World University Rankings 2014-15
Our vision and mission
Newcastle University, UK, is a modern civic university with a proud tradition, committed to world-class academic excellence - but excellence with a purpose.
Our vision is of Newcastle as a university with a global reputation for academic excellence. Our mission is to be a world-class research-intensive institution which delivers teaching and facilitates learning of the highest quality and plays a leading role in the economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England.
History and development
Newcastle University originated in 1834 with the establishment of a School of Medicine and Surgery in Newcastle upon Tyne, and the College of Physical Science, founded in 1871. The two colleges catered for the demands of a growing industrial city, providing the professional disciplines with skilled, knowledgeable graduates, who helped to stimulate the growth of Newcastle. The Newcastle colleges merged to form King's College in 1937. In 1963, following an Act of Parliament, King's College became the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and latterly, Newcastle University.
During the industrial revolution, Newcastle was a powerhouse, becoming synonymous with coal, shipbuilding and heavy engineering, and today many towns and cities around the world are named Newcastle in its image. Science and innovation originating from Newcastle have revolutionised the modern world, including the invention of mining safety lamps, Stephenson's Rocket, Sir Joseph Swan's electric light bulb, Lord Armstrong's artillery and Charles Parsons' turbine engine. From these proud roots in North East England has grown a University with global ambitions and a world-wide reach.
The University's main campus is located in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, the cosmopolitan capital of North East England which enjoys a worldwide reputation for the quality of its cultural and social life. The North East region is famed as much for the warmth of its welcome as for the rugged beauty of its coastline and countryside, and all lie within easy reach of the city and University. The city is well-connected nationally and internationally - London is only three hours away by train, and Newcastle International Airport is close by, linking the city to more than 80 destinations worldwide.
Today's University has a thriving international community of almost 16,000 undergraduate and 5,600 postgraduate students from more than 120 countries worldwide. Teaching and research are delivered in 24 academic schools and 40 research institutes and research centres, spread across three Faculties: the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; the Faculty of Medical Sciences; and the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering.
The majority of our teaching and learning activities take place on a 50 acre campus whose buildings provide as many reminders of our heritage as they do signs of our exciting future. Ultra-modern glass and steel structures sit alongside our iconic redbrick buildings, the result of a continuous programme of investment and development in our campus and facilities designed to ensure that Newcastle University remains among the most popular UK destinations for students at home and abroad.
We offer around 175 full-time undergraduate degree programmes in a wide range of subject areas spanning arts, sciences, engineering and medicine, together with approximately 340 postgraduate taught and research programmes across a range of disciplines. Once here, our students are guaranteed an excellent learning experience. They benefit from research-informed teaching by passionate, talented academic staff, many of whom are leaders in their field in the UK, and in some cases, the world, giving students the opportunity to study at the cutting edge of their chosen discipline.
Students also have access to some of the best facilities and student services in the UK. Learning is supported by a multiple award-winning Library service and 24-hour computing clusters. The Library boasts more than one million books and periodicals and over 500,000 e-books - one of the largest e-book collections in the country.
Newcastle's reputation for preparing students for the world of work is among the best in the UK. The University is among the top 20 in the country for our employment rate, with latest official figures showing that 93% of our graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of graduating. More than three quarters of them were in graduate-level jobs.
Our award-winning Careers Service supports the launch of around 30 student companies each year and there has been a 17% increase in the number of graduates who have gone on to be self-employed. The University has pledged to give every student the chance to take advantage of a work placement, internship or voluntary project during their time here. We are also one of the top 20 universities targeted by graduate employers in the UK.
Our students consistently rate their time at Newcastle very highly. The 2012 National Student Survey found that 89% of our students were happy with their time at Newcastle, making us tenth among our peers. And the latest International Student Barometer found that nine out of ten of our international students would recommend us to their friends and family, the twelfth best rate in the world.
Newcastle University is also a great place to engage in a wide range of sporting activities and is in the top 10 of the British University Colleges and Sports (BUCS) league.
Excellence with a purpose
As a member of the prestigious Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities, Newcastle University has an outstanding reputation across a wide range of disciplines. All 38 of its submitted research areas were identified as 'world leading' or 'internationally recognised' by the latest 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). We are ranked 17th in the UK for research power, according to the influential publication, Research Fortnight, and we are in the UK's top twelve for research power in science and engineering.
We aim to be a globally significant research University and we conduct our research activities with a resolute commitment to excellence and a concern for the needs of both local society and global issues. This combination of being globally ambitious and regionally rooted underpins Newcastle University's vision for the future.
We strive for world-class academic excellence - but excellence with impact - so that our high-quality academic work responds to large-scale societal needs and demands. In pursuit of this aim, we have developed the concept of Societal Challenge Themes, under which we now group a significant part of our research. By looking at our activities in this way, we hope that society at large can better understand where we can help make a difference − and the University can demonstrate its commitment to excellence with impact.
Our Societal Challenge Themes are chosen using three clear principles. Firstly, they concern issues where we have real expertise to contribute; secondly, they must be topics of major global interest with significant resonance in our own country; and finally, they must be areas in which we have developed genuine engagement with the public and numerous stakeholder communities, so that we have a deep understanding of the issues.
Overall, the three themes of Ageing, Sustainability and Social Renewal are a striking illustration of the University's strategy of both academic excellence − our capability − and our status as a civic university which drives our commitment.
Here we have made seminal contributions to Alzheimer's and dementia research, enhanced our understanding of the fundamental biology of why we age, and developed ground-breaking new models of engagement with older people to address the challenges of social care.
Already internationally-recognised for our work in power generation and electrical systems, we are now set to build on our expertise in the drive towards a low carbon economy. Internationally, we have helped countries combat environmental problems caused by polluted water seeping from abandoned mines and influenced government policies.
We are applying our significant strengths in research relating to how individuals, communities and organisations adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing and challenging environment. Our Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal is a hub for research activity which is focused on asking the big questions facing our society. Notably, we are known for our focus on rural issues, highlighting to Government the problems facing the countryside.
Newcastle University continues to increase its international profile at home and abroad. This academic year saw the completion of a £53m building where international students can live and learn at the heart of the University campus. INTO Newcastle University opened its doors in September 2012 and will eventually cater for up to 800 students. The INTO development comprises a purpose-built teaching centre with 18teaching rooms, a learning resource centre, a lecture theatre, science laboratory and computer labs as well as administrative and academic offices, social areas and a restaurant, and two new halls of residence. Together, Bernicia Halls and Joseph Cowen Halls provide 532 brand new, high-quality study bedrooms.
Newcastle University partnered with INTO - which prepares international students for undergraduate and postgraduate study - in 2007. Since then, more than 4,000 students from 50 different countries have come to Newcastle through INTO and opted to continue their education here. In the 2011-12 external International Student Barometer, INTO Newcastle University recorded an overall student satisfaction rating of 90%.
At the same time as increasing our thriving international community here in Newcastle, we are furthering our strategic global links by developing our presence in South East Asia
through Newcastle University International Singapore (NUIS) and Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia.
Our presence in Singapore, and our partnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), goes from strength to strength. In May 2012, SIT unveiled plans to develop five purpose-built campuses, two of which will consolidate Newcastle University's offerings in Singapore. Situated in the grounds of two of Singapore's major polytechnics, Ngee Ann and Nanyang, these multimillion-pound developments will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for our students.
From three degree programmes and just 67 students and four academic staff in 2009, NUIS has grown exponentially. This year, well over 500 undergraduates are studying with NUIS, which now offers six degree programmes ranging from Marine, Offshore, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering to Naval Architecture and Food and Human Nutrition. With the addition of a seventh programme, in Electrical Power Engineering, in September 2013, undergraduate student numbers are set to increase to more than 600, together with a 32-strong team of academic and support staff.
We are also strengthening our academic presence and capacity building in Singapore. Through the recent launch of 20 PhD scholarships we are actively seeking collaborations and partnerships with Singaporean academic and research institutions, industry and government agencies.
With the opening of NUMed in 2011, Newcastle became the first UK university to establish a medical campus overseas. NUMed now has 70 staff and 220 students studying on its modern 13-acre campus. With two 200-seat presentation lecture theatres, a 100-seat
Harvard-style demonstration theatre, 20 classrooms, two 50-place ICT classrooms, three well-equipped teaching laboratories and a library/information centre, NUMed has been specifically designed to meet the education and training needs of the doctors of tomorrow.
Towards the end of 2011, we signed an agreement with Xiamen University, in the People's Republic of China, to host the North East's first Confucius Institute which is set to build closer academic, cultural, economic and social ties between our region and China.
Keeping in touch with our graduates and celebrating their successes and achievements is another way in which our work extends beyond Newcastle. Almost 100,000 of our graduates stay in contact with the University through our Alumni Association, providing invaluable support for our activities and for our current students.