University achievement

GCU was named the number one university in the UK for promoting gender equality

Our University community had much to celebrate in 2021, from winning United Nations’ acclaim and international awards to joining the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative University Network and enhancing our rankings in each of the UK’s most influential league tables. 

The United Nations cited our Strategy 2030 as an example of Sustainable Development Goals best practice. The strategy, which charts the University’s bold vision for the next decade, was handpicked by the UN among its "breakthroughs and success stories".

We won the prestigious Athena SWAN Institutional Silver Award in recognition of our commitment to promoting gender equality. The School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment was also awarded a School Silver award and the Glasgow School for Business and Society was awarded a Bronze in the first roll-out of the award to business and social science schools and departments. 

That commitment was underlined when we were named the number one university in the UK for promoting gender equality – and in the top five in the world – in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings. The University was ranked 69th in the world, placing us in the top six per cent globally, in the influential rankings, which illustrate how the global higher education sector is working to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

And we improved our ranking in every UK league table. We climbed 15 places in the prestigious Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, moving from 75th to 60th of 132 universities in the UK. We improved our ranking in The Complete University Guide 11 places, and the Guardian placed us 69th of 121 universities in the UK, up eight places on last year.

GCU joined the Clinton Global Initiative University Network

Our “ground-breaking” learning project PEETS was showcased in a national teaching excellence report. The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) report from Advance HE said the International Study Period Promoting Excellence in Employability and Transversal Skills (PEETS) project gives students access to “life-changing” experiences. 

Glasgow School for Business and Society was praised as an excellent example of how UK business schools can deliver for the Common Good in an influential report. The Chartered Association of Business Schools selected GSBS as a model of good practice in its taskforce report, Business Schools and the Public Good. 

GCU’s innovative support for students and graduates was recognised with a prestigious International Circle of Excellence Grand Gold Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

CASE – a global non-profit dedicated to educational advancement – gave our MINT project its highest recognition, reserved for “exceptional or game-changing” schemes. MINTMentoring, Internships, Networking and Talks - is backed by Sir Alex Ferguson CBE and is helping our graduates launch their careers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Global standing

We were once again named one of the globe’s top universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022. It ranked us in the 601-800 banding of 1,662 institutions, and we were awarded our best scores for teaching and research since the University was first placed in the rankings in 2016.  

We were recognised as one of the world's leading universities for teaching and research in our key subject areas in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject and were once again named one of the world’s top universities aged 50 or younger in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2021, which rates measures including teaching, research, international outlook and income from industry (knowledge transfer). 

Our MBA was recognised as a global leader in the Corporate Knights 2021 Better World MBA Rankings. The programme, designed around our commitment to the Common Good and the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education, ranked 27th in the world for its clear focus on sustainability and its alignment with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. 

We joined universities across the UK supporting students' and staff mental health, signing up to charity Student Minds' Mental Health Charter Award programme. The programme was launched nationwide after its successful pilot last year by GCU and just two other UK universities.  

And we became the first university to be named an Endometriosis Friendly Employer. Endometriosis UK recognised us for our support for women suffering from the chronic condition and our work to break the taboo and stigma around endometriosis and other menstrual conditions. 


We inspired our students to tackle some of the world's most pressing challenges when we became part of the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative University Network. Established by former US President Bill Clinton, the network helps young people turn their ideas to make the world a better place into practical action.  

Daneyal Mirza, Emma Kidd and Monica Allen joined students from institutions including Cornell, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago in the network’s Class of 2021, developing projects to reduce consumer waste, tackle poverty in the developing world, and promote sustainable food production. 

We were joint top university in Scotland for graduates who are in full-time work 15 months after completing their studies, according to the latest Graduate Outcomes survey conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The findings showed that 90% of GCU graduates were in employment and/or further study, which is above the Scottish and UK rates of 88% and 89% respectively.