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University of London colleges score highly in 2022 Social Mobility Index


Professor Wendy Thomson, CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, has congratulated Member Institutions on their impressive standings in the recently issued 2022 Social Mobility Index.

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The chart, produced by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), rates English universities according to the added value for social mobility that they offer their students. It provides up-to-date information on how each university helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds progress over the course of their later life and to succeed in their future careers.

London results are generally good with nine of the capital’s universities in the top 20, and those for Member Institutions are as follows:

  • Queen Mary University of London took third place, ranking it as the best Russell Group university for social mobility and the third best in the country overall for a second successive year
  • King's College London came in fifth (up four places)
  • LSE also improved its ranking taking eighth place (from 12th)
  • City, University of London was ninth
  • UCL was 15th (up from 18th).

Designing an English Social Mobility Index [PDF] was first published in 2021 but has been refined this year. The results show a wider spread of institutions than other university league tables.

Professor Thomson said:

I’m very proud of our Member Institutions, who feature amongst the top 20 universities on the recently published student social mobility index. It demonstrates the ways that the University delivers its commitment to 'Transforming Education and Creating Futures’.

The ‘Top 20’ results can be seen on the HEPI blog by London South Bank University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor David Phoenix, who compiled the results. He commented: “With new higher education funding proposals from Government and a revised Teaching Excellence Framework on the horizon, it is more vital than ever for universities to be able to publicly demonstrate the value they add to their students. I hope this latest version of the Social Mobility Index will provide a valuable tool for institutions to reflect on their work in this area with reference to their own mission and peer groups.”

Designing an English Social Mobility Index was first published in 2021 but has been refined this year. The results show a wider spread of institutions than other university league tables.

Rank 2022 Index (new methodology) 2021 Index (previous methodology)
1 The University of Bradford The University of Bradford
2 Aston University Aston University
3 Queen Mary University of London Queen Mary University of London
4 Birmingham City University Birkbeck University of London
5 King’s College London Imperial College
6 The University of Salford London South Bank University
7 Newman University City, University of London
8 LSE Newman University
9 City, University of London King’s College London
10 The University of Wolverhampton The University of Wolverhampton
11 Imperial College The University of Bolton
12 The University of Greenwich LSE
13 The University of Bolton Birmingham City University
14 The University of Cambridge The University of Salford
15 UCL Teesside University
16 Brunel University of London The University of Huddersfield
17 University of Keele Brunel University of London
18 Teesside University UCL
19 London South Bank University Coventry University
20 The University of Warwick The University of Greenwich

Professor Phoenix was complimented by HEPI Director, Nick Hillman: “Based partly on how institutions are assessed abroad, Professor Phoenix has come up with an absolutely fascinating way of evaluating the impact of different higher education institutions in England. Unlike many other league tables, there is a huge diversity - the top 10 includes four former Colleges of Advanced Technology (Bradford, Aston, City and Salford), three Russell Group institutions (QMUL, KCL and the LSE), two former polytechnics (Birmingham City and Wolverhampton) and an institution that became a full university less than a decade ago (Newman). It all confirms that our higher education sector has strength in breadth.”

Minister of state for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan MP said:

We should do more to celebrate those universities which make a contribution to real social mobility – that means getting on, not just getting in. This is why I’m so delighted that this new league table is seeking to do exactly that, by highlighting the work that universities such as Bradford, Aston and Queen Mary do to transform lives.