THE University of Chester has been named as the top modern university in the north west and third best in the UK.
According to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014, the institution ranks joint 52nd overall in the UK, putting the University of Chester top of the Cathedrals Group institutions.
Professor Tim Wheeler, vice-chancellor of the university, described the rankings as “fantastic”.
Prof Wheeler said: “These accolades are not only the result of our priority in putting our students first - which is at the heart of everything that we do - they are also a tribute to the university’s staff, who always aspire and deliver to the very highest standards.
“As the university evolves, in particular with the creation of a new faculty of engineering and technology at Thornton Science Park, we will strive to ensure that our students continue to have the best possible all-round experience.”
The overall ranking represents a rise of seven places from last year, and follows on from the institution’s best ever performance in the National Student Survey and Chester Students’ Union being named the best in the north west.
This is the first year that The Times and The Sunday Times have produced a combined Good University Guide. The publication provides students and parents with a first reference point on the path to finding a university place and contains full profiles of all universities.
The league table is drawn up from criteria including student satisfaction, research quality, graduate prospects, entrance qualifications held by new students, degree results achieved, student staff ratios, service and facilities spend, and university dropout rates.
The university has also been shortlisted in two categories in the Times Higher Education Awards with the institution being nominated for entrepreneurial university of the year and Dr Neil Pickles, from the department of biological sciences, in the running for most innovative teacher of the year.