The University of Dundee lifted the THE DataPoints Merit Award trophy at this year’s Times Higher Education Awards last Thursday (29 November 2018).
These awards, now in their 14th year and widely referred to as the “Oscars of higher education”, shine a spotlight on the exceptional achievements of individuals, teams and institutions working in the HE sector today. For the DataPoints Merit Award, Times Higher Education looked at how research performance matched outcomes in global reputation surveys.
THE said worldwide reputation has become vitally important for universities, especially if they want to climb to the upper reaches of global rankings and to be the first choice for researchers seeking new networks of collaboration. However, it can also be a difficult area to improve on, as reputation naturally favours the old guard of established universities whose names constantly trip off the tongue of anyone asked which institutions are the best in the world.
THE analysed their World University Rankings data to find the UK universities that had the highest scores for the citation impact of their scholarship compared with their reputation. This produced a diverse shortlist of mainly smaller research-intensive universities.
Topping the list was the University of Dundee. We are an institution that consistently produces world-leading research in a variety of fields and particularly in the life sciences, where we are among the top 100 in the world, according to THE’s subject ranking. The overall field-weighted citation impact of Dundee’s research is twice the world average, making it higher than many of the larger research-intensive universities. Dundee was among institutions featured in a THE article last year on ‘small superstars with a bright future’, and THE said their latest award confirms that ‘Dundee is a success story that does not always get the recognition it deserves.’
Professor Sir Pete Downes, Principal of the University of Dundee, said, “This is an award for all our community. It is recognition of the tremendous strengths of our research outputs, as we continue to punch far above our weight in the global context.”
THE editor John Gill said, “At a time when universities face challenges and headwinds, when politics and social attitudes can seem to call into question many of the things that they stand for and hold dear, it is particularly important to champion the values, creativity and dedication of those who live and breathe higher education. As ever, our shortlists represent the best of the best, but our judges also reported that this year’s entries were the strongest that they could remember, so all those honoured should be incredibly proud. It’s THE’s great honour to help celebrate their success.”