The Sunday Times Good University Guide has granted Imperial College the title of University of the Year 2022. The award comes following record-breaking National Student Survey results for the College, where student satisfaction reached a new peak of 84%.
The award is all-encompassing for the university, taking into account the renowned work of the COVID-19 Response Team, adaptation and proliferation of staff and students under altered conditions, and widespread volunteer work in the vaccine roll-out and other aspects of public health. The Times boasts "the definitive rankings for UK universities and the most comprehensive overview of higher education in Britain".
The College seems set apart from other UK universities through its rapid and fruitful transition to hybrid teaching. The editor the the Good University Guide said "no one did it better", citing the improved NSS satisfaction results during a year where at almost every other university's scores fell.
Further to this, the College emphasised its investment in upgrading teaching spaces to facilitate new methods that fit better with the current climate. Spaces in the Chemistry building and at the Charring Cross campus have been upgraded since 2018, to allow more interactive, smaller-group learning that provides another way of learning outside of lectures. This year alone at least £7.32 million has been spent on improving teaching spaces, with expenditure since the College's 2018 "Vision" was announced reaching millions per year also.
The award is in notable contrast to the Guardian's recently published 2022 university guide, which placed Imperial College at a humble 7th.
Alice Gast praised Imperial's network of "brilliant people" in light of the news. Provost Ian Wamsley said that the effort of students and staff during the pandemic was "innovative" and "pragmatic". He added "We delivered a transformative education and student experience, as well as impactful research that helped people - exactly when the world needed Imperial".
Vice-Provost Emma McCoy chimed in to thank the College's student-facing staff. The award adds credence to her recent comments on the Today Programme, where she highlighted that Imperial's vision for the future was based around "looking at where the value for money within the degrees truly comes from".
The Times did not hold back on Imperial College today, running three separate articles on its success in the university guide. VP McCoy added further that "the content that is about knowledge transfer we will continue to do remotely", reaffirming the College's new hybrid model announced earlier this year.