Annual Review

Our rapid and sustained success has helped position Lancaster as one of the UK’s best universities and during 2015/16 we have extended our reach and influence through exceptional performance.

Vice Chancellor's Review

It is a privilege to be the Vice-Chancellor of such an excellent university that is so solidly rooted in academic and collegiate values. Our strengths in research and teaching, our vibrant, diverse community and beautiful campus combine to position Lancaster as a truly distinctive university.

Our strategy is to become truly globally significant – a leader in higher education and a university which engages locally and internationally to add to knowledge and address the issues that concern society. Over the past 12 months we have extended our reach and influence through the exceptional work of our staff and students.

For the first time in our history we have secured top ten places in all three of the national university leagues tables. This reflects our rising reputation amongst the UK’s elite universities.

We continue to explore new opportunities to extend our teaching and research links around the world. The first students have taken up their places at Lancaster University College at Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) China.

We have completed the acquisition of land for the development of a pioneering new campus that will drive innovation in healthcare. An independent assessment suggests the project will have a significant economic impact, ultimately creating up to 2000 jobs and representing a £100M boost to the regional economy. Amongst its first challenges, the Health Innovation Campus will respond to a pressing need to tackle issues linked to ageing; widely considered to be one of the biggest social and economic challenges of our time.

We were delighted to be in the first wave of the Science and Innovation Audits laying the foundations for new science and innovation collaborations that will put the region in the vanguard of developing and exploiting new innovations to ensure it can sustain and grow the Northern advanced manufacturing industries. This puts Lancashire and Sheffield, in partnership, at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse.

Our students continue to be at the heart of everything we do. Some of our greatest strengths include overall student satisfaction and employment. Following the vote to leave the EU, I have assured all our current and future students and our staff – whatever their background – that Lancaster is a welcoming community that includes people from 142 countries, and this will not change.

Professor Mark E. Smith


Portrait of Professor Mark E. Smith the Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University

12 Months of Outstanding Achievements

Lancaster's success is due to its strategy of continuous improvement. We foster a culture of prioritising the student experience and stimulating teaching with world class research. We strive to maintain our strong record with significant investment into staff, facilities and our vibrant campus

Lancaster has climbed to 9th position in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017, to achieve its elite target of top ten positions in all the UK’s major university league tables.  Lancaster also ranks 9th in the Complete University Guide and 8th in the Guardian.


In the 2015 National Student Survey, the University achieved 91% on the overall satisfaction score

A new chapter was marked in Lancaster’s long history of partnership working with China when the first students took up their places at Lancaster University College at Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) China this year 


of Lancaster University graduates have gone into work or further study within six months of graduating

Over £500 million has been invested into our beautiful campus since 2003 with a further £200 million planned over the next four years.

We have implemented a range of projects which have directly reduced the University’s carbon footprint by over 20% and in 2016 increased our recycling rate to 83%.

World Class Research

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed Lancaster as a world-leading research university and the only one of the eight most research intensive universities in the North of England to have had funding increased because of the quality and volume of its research. It also ranked Lancaster 13th for its percentage of world leading research and 18th in the UK overall. This led to a 52% increase in research grant awards during 2015-16.

Research With Impact

Driven by research and learning, our university brings together experts from different backgrounds to tackle global problems that impact lives.

Highlights of the Year

We are a source of new thinking and practice that improves communities, lives and the economy - an international university that seeks to maximise our local and regional societal and economic impact. We also are well positioned to meet the UK productivity challenge.

To support manufacturing we have launched Productivity Through People -  a unique collaboration of three world class manufacturers; BAE Systems, Siemens and Rolls Royce

The Work Foundation launched a Commission for Good Work to help rebuild a more productive and socially inclusive economy post Brexit.

We have a major role in NHS innovation to modernise how the NHS delivers care

Successful entrepreneur Gian Fulgoni and global advisor Stewart Wallis OBE are two of the most recent distinguished people to have been awarded an honorary degree

Highfliers Andrew Cowell, MD of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, and Mark Branson, CEO of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, are two of our most recent Alumni to receive an award.

Lancaster University is joining forces with TWI to create a new centre of excellence for smart and advanced manufacturing systems.

Investing in the future

We are committed to investing in the future of our campus in order to provide world-class facilities for our staff and students. We are always improving, aware that being the best means a process of continual renewal.

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