Teesside University has been named University of the Year for Social Inclusion in an influential national league table.
The University received the accolade in this year’s Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide after rising each year in this category since the Guide started publishing social inclusion ratings in 2018.
The University of the Year for Social Inclusion award recognises social diversity and the work of higher education institutions to embrace social mobility and encourage greater participation from underrepresented groups.
Teesside University has a long-standing commitment to support students from all walks of life to access higher education and has consistently been ranked among the top universities in the country for social inclusion. It is committed to creating an inclusive campus which embraces diversity and supports all students throughout their academic journey – from applying to university, right through to successful progression.
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University, Professor Paul Croney, said: “We are delighted to be named University of the Year for Social Inclusion; this reflects the considerable work we have carried out in this area over a number of years.
“Teesside University is an anchor institution with a civic mission to transform lives and economies.
“Here at Teesside, we take an uncompromising approach to ensuring that people from all walks of life, who have the talent to succeed, are given the opportunity to experience higher education and develop their skills, expertise and confidence. We are levelling-up opportunity and never has this been so important; it is positive to see The Times and Sunday Times highlighting this critical work, which is rarely reflected in sector metrics but absolutely core to Teesside’s mission.
“We support students to make the best of their university experience and potential, through scholarships, digital skills development and access to business networks and opportunities.
“The award of University of the Year for Social Inclusion recognises that Teesside University is a force for change, that supports its student community to realise their ambitions, today, and to become the leaders of tomorrow.” Alastair McCall, editor of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “Teesside has an outstanding record in delivering higher education into disadvantaged sectors of society that other universities simply don’t reach. Based in a region where the uptake of higher education has actually fallen since 2012, Teesside performs better than any other university in the country in recruiting from postcodes with low participation rates.
“The vast majority of students come from homes where neither parent went to university, and virtually all students have been educated in non-selective state schools. They go on to achieve well, supported by a university that is geared to ensure their success. Teesside acts like an institution that understands the critical role it plays in social mobility. After rising in our diversity ranking every year, Teesside is a worthy winner of our University of the Year for Social Inclusion.”
As the only university in the Tees Valley region, the student population at Teesside University is diverse, with 30.6% of students coming from the POLAR Q1 grouping, significantly above the national average of 12%. Many of Teesside’s students are adult-learners, balancing caring, family and work commitments alongside their programme of study.
Over 40% of Teesside University students are also home-grown talent, who remain in the region once graduating, providing the skills needed for the workforces of the future.
The University is also a major creator of jobs, innovation and applied research, powering the regional economy and galvanising the growth of emerging hubs of excellence, such as the creative and digital sector and the green economy.
As a global institution, Teesside University is a magnet for investment, welcoming a vibrant international student community and offering learning experiences around the world.
Professor Croney added: “Despite the social challenges of the Tees Valley, where employment opportunities, attainment and aspiration are below national benchmarks, Teesside University drives ambition. We are proud to deliver significant learning gain, global experiences and opportunity for our students.”