Glasgow named THE UK University of the Year 

Published: 27 November 2020

The Principal thanks staff after the University was named University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2020

Dear Colleague, 

I am delighted to announce that last night the University of Glasgow was named University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards 2020. 

The THE Awards are widely recognised as the most prestigious in the sector and being named University of the Year is a testament to the exceptional achievements of our community. 

In large part, this award is in recognition of our ground-breaking work to redress historic links to slavery through a significant programme of reparative justice.

We were the first UK university to recognise and research our past in such a way and I am proud that we have been open about all that we found. Talking about any institution’s historical links to slavery can be a difficult conversation but we felt it was a necessary and right one for our university to have.  

As well as the University of the Year award, we were also shortlisted in the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category for the creation of a three-dimensional virtual reality classroom to enable students to analyse and understand complex molecular structures. My warmest congratulations to everyone involved in that project, which is playing a hugely significant and valuable role. 

I recognise this has been a challenging year for us all – students, teachers, researchers and support staff alike. Through difficult times it has been immensely heartening to see how our community has come together and I want to thank you for all you have done, and all you are doing, on behalf of the University.  

In a year like no other, all of us should be proud of what we have achieved. Alongside being named University of the Year, we have improved in three major university rankings, including The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 where we rose two places to 14th in the UK and remain 2nd in Scotland; the Guardian University Guide in which Glasgow rose two places to 12th in the UK and the THE World University Rankings in which Glasgow moved up seven places to 92nd.  

More broadly, I am proud of the way we have managed to sustain a sense of community in these exceptional and trying times. It is this Team UofG spirit that has got us through the last eight months, it is this teamwork that will get us through the period ahead and it is this joint effort which has been recognised by the THE.  

Once again, I am extremely grateful to everyone involved in bringing this title to Glasgow. This award is hugely deserved and our entire community should feel proud of this achievement.  

Thank you for all your efforts. 


Anton Muscatelli 

Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Glasgow 


In September 2018, in a UK first, the University of Glasgow published a report based on comprehensive research conducted by historians Professor Simon Newman and Dr Stephen Mullen in our College of Arts which also set out a proactive programme of reparative justice recommendations.  

 You can explore more about the University of Glasgow’s Historical Slavery Initiative on the following web pages - Historical Slavery Initiative. 


First published: 27 November 2020