Annual Review

Our rapid and sustained success has helped position Lancaster as one of the UK’s best universities and during 2019 we have extended our reach and influence through exceptional performance.

Vice-Chancellor's review

Lancaster is a University solidly rooted in academic and collegiate values, and it has been a privilege to serve as the interim Vice-Chancellor.

Our strengths in research and teaching combine with our vibrant, diverse community, international partner campuses and research collaborations to position Lancaster as a truly distinctive university. Our students continue to be at the heart of everything we do. Some of our greatest strengths include our student experience and employability reflected in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 ranking Lancaster 3rd in the UK for graduate-level employment with 89% of Lancaster students going into professional work or further education after graduation.

Our strategy is to become truly globally significant – a leader in higher education and a university which engages locally and internationally to address the issues that concern us as a society. Over the past 12 months we have extended our reach and influence as an economic and civic anchor with renewed focus on and commitment to our region. Eden Project North in Morecambe is a tremendously exciting project for our local area and the University’s partnership with Eden plc will explore special projects in health, education, research, knowledge exchange, sustainability and the environment, engagement and outreach to enhance its impact.

We continue to explore new opportunities to extend our teaching and research links around the world and this year, Lancaster’s first campus in mainland Europe in Leipzig, Germany accepted its inaugural cohort of students. The Health Innovation Campus officially opens in 2020 - a major investment that will help improve advances in health care and significantly contribute to the regional economy.

We are still facing the uncertainty of Brexit and the recommendations of the Augar Review and what these will mean for Lancaster and the UK higher education system as a whole. There are many challenges for us as a community, not least students evaluating the merits of going to university. We will need to re-evaluate every aspect of our activities while holding true to our core values of scholarly excellence, inclusivity and diversity.

Lancaster will welcome its new Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield in May and I look forward to Lancaster’s continued success.

Professor Steve Bradley

Interim Vice-Chancellor

Portrait of Professor Steve Bradley, Interim Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University

International success

Lancaster University was named International University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.

From more than 120 UK Universities, we are consistently ranked in the top ten in all three national leagues tables and this year received our highest ever ranking of 7th in the Complete University Guide 2020.

This year we also celebrated being ranked 7th for teaching excellence in Europe in the Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2019. This is the first international university ranking focused entirely on teaching and learning.

Lancaster has also risen three places to rank 128 in the QS World University Rankings 2020.

We're 139th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, making us 18th out of the 100 UK universities included in the table.

Lancaster University outperforms most Russell Group universities on most objective measures. We outrank the majority of Russell Group institutions in the three major UK league tables.

12 months of outstanding achievements


Lancaster University attributes its continuing success to a strategy of continuous improvement. We prioritise the student experience and stimulating teaching, alongside world class research. Our strong performance is underpinned by ongoing investments in staff, facilities and our vibrant campus - as well as our valued community links within our region.

World class research

The most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 confirmed Lancaster as world-leading, and the only one of the eight most research-intensive institutions in the North of England to have had funding increased because of the quality and volume of its research. Lancaster is ranked 20th overall for impact, meaning research which has particular reach and significance.

Research with impact

 Driven by a desire to create a better world, Lancaster brings together experts from different backgrounds to investigate and provide solutions for global problems which impact lives.

Highlights of the Year


Our academic community identifies problems and develops new systems and practices which improve communities, lives and the economy.

Engaging with our communities

By taking an integral and valued civic role as an anchor institution in our region, Lancaster University instils a sense of profound community pride in its staff and students.

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