Guardian University Guide 2023

Guardian University Guide 2023

Dear Colleagues,

The Guardian University Guide 2023 was published on Saturday and I am delighted to report that the University of Aberdeen has achieved its highest ever ranking of 13th in the UK, and our rise of seven places from 20th last year also makes us the biggest climber in the top 20.

This latest league table success follows on from a strong performance in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, released last week, where the University moved up one place to 19th in the UK.

The Guardian University Guide, unlike other national league tables, focuses exclusively on teaching and student-facing metrics, with the overall ranking built up from the subject level rankings. The rankings are based on nine metrics:

  • Satisfied with Course (from National Student Survey (NSS))
  • Satisfied with Teaching (from NSS)
  • Satisfied with Feedback (from NSS)
  • Student-Staff Ratio
  • Spend per Student
  • Average Entry Tariff
  • Value-Added Score
  • Career Prospects
  • Continuation

As seen in the table below, we have improved our rank on seven of nine metrics, and now rank in the top quartile for six metrics and top five in the UK for three of those.

YearSatisfied with course (%)Satisfied with teaching (%)Satisfied with feedback (%)Student-staff ratioExpenditure per student / 10Entry TariffValue added score/10Career prospect (%)Continuation
2023 Rank34693773912730
2022 Rank710885870863534
2023 Score85.285.367.415.04.71877.88296
2022 Score86.185.366.615.74.81847.08294
2023 QuartQ1Q1Q3Q2Q3Q1Q1Q1Q1
2022 QuartQ1Q1Q3Q2Q3Q1Q1Q2Q2


The outstanding education and student experience we have provided our students during unprecedented times is clearly reflected in this ranking. Student satisfaction with both course and teaching as measured through the National Student Survey 2022 is at an all-time high and we have ranked third and fourth respectively. Student satisfaction with feedback continues to rank significantly lower than other student experience measures, but we have seen a rise of 19 places this year to 69th place indicating that the actions we are taking across the University to address this particular aspect of the student experience are having an impact. We continue to rank in the top 10 in the UK for Entry Tariff and are now also ranked =1st on a ‘Value Added Score’ which measures the effectiveness of our teaching by comparing our students’ entry qualifications with their degree result.

It is encouraging to see that we have moved into the top quartile for student employability and continuation, with the former rising eight places to a rank of 27th, and student continuation rising four places to 30th. We will continue our work to enhance the educational experience for our students on all fronts.

Similar to last week’s Times & Sunday Times ranking, our efforts to build revenue and recruit staff has resulted in a rank of 37th for Student-Staff ratio, which is an improvement of 31 places over the last two years. Conversely, spend per student has dropped by three places to 73rd in the UK though it should be noted that this is a technicality as this is based on the same data as last year’s ranking and arises from the way that the overall ranking is built up from the subject level results.

Subject results

At subject level, four of our subject areas rank top five in the UK:  Medicine is ranked 2nd in the UK for the fourth year in a row, Accountancy & Finance =2nd, Chemical Engineering 3rd and International Relations 4th. A further six subject areas have ranked within the top 10 in the UK: Anthropology & Archaeology (6th), Physics (6th), Earth & Marine Sciences (7th), Dentistry (8th), Politics (8th) and Music in 9th place.

Nearly three quarters of our subjects listed in the Guardian University Guide are now ranked top 20 in the UK (20 out of 27 compared with 16 out of 29 last year), which is our best aggregate performance in the subject tables to date.

We can be proud of the excellent progress we are making as we seek to provide our students with the best possible education and student experience and I would like to extend my thanks to all staff for your contribution to our collective success.

A full report on the Guardian University Guide 2023 is available via the Planning webpages.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 are expected to be published on 12 October and I will be in touch with a summary of those results as soon as they are known.


Best wishes,            


Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal