Two North universities have been ranked among the world’s top institutions in a prestigious league table.
Durham was also ranked 25th globally for employer reputation with regard to the quality of, and international demand for, its graduates following a survey of 27,900 blue-chip employers.
In the latest figures for 2012-13, 87% of Durham graduates secured employment or went on to further study within six months of graduating.
The average starting salary for a Durham graduate is £22,000, which is £2,000 above the national average.
Durham University’s pro-vice-chancellor for education, Professor Tom Ward, said: “Once again the latest rankings demonstrate the strength of the innovative research-led education that our departments provide for students, combined with a unique student experience in our college system that enables students to lead their own extra-curricular activities in sports, the arts, volunteering and outreach.
“This allows students to develop the key skills valued by top employers, such as leadership, critical thinking and entrepreneurship, alongside their academic learning with some of the world’s finest researchers across arts and humanities, the sciences and social sciences.
“It is this experience that makes our graduates among the most sought after in the world.”
This latest data also supports Newcastle University’s strong performance in UK league tables which saw Newcastle placed in the Top 20 in The Sunday Times’ most recent survey and Complete University Guide 2015.
This year, Newcastle was also rated sixth in the UK for student satisfaction and 94% of its students found jobs within the first six months of graduating.
Professor Chris Brink, vice-chancellor at Newcastle University, said: “It is encouraging to see this rise in our position in the QS global rankings and it is further evidence of our international strengths in research, teaching and working with business.
“In the last academic year we also enjoyed our best year ever in terms of student admissions our highest levels of research income at over £120m and our student satisfaction rates are the most impressive to date.
“Of course, different league tables measure different things and they assign different weightings to the various measures.
“So we always advise students to look at as many of the league tables as they can and check whether the table measures the topic that they are interested in.”
The QS ranking examines all three core elements of a university; research, teaching and business engagement.
It also measures the university’s reputation among its academic peers and also industry partners.