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The Top Universities in Wales 2023

Penglais Campus. Aberystwyth University.

Cardiff University, which has been named by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 as the Welsh University of the Year, tops the Welsh university rankings, and sits 25th place nationally. The only Welsh Russell Group university, Cardiff remains in the top 20 for graduate prospects, based on a survey of those in highly skilled work or further study within 15 months.

Cardiff University

Meanwhile, 90 per cent of the work the university submitted to the latest Research Excellence Framework survey achieved the top two ratings of world leading or internationally excellent. With new programmes introduced in 2021-22, the demand for places at Cardiff is on the up, rising by 15 per cent in the 2021 admissions cycle to a new high.

Aberystwyth University, which ranked second in the Welsh rankings, has continued to flourish against key performance measures in the National Student Survey. The university remains third for satisfaction with teaching in the survey’s overall result.

The new edition of The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 provides the definitive rankings for UK universities and the most comprehensive overview of higher education in Britain. It includes profiles on 135 universities and the definitive UK university rankings, making use of the latest data published in the past two months.

Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure said:  “We are delighted to uphold our long-standing reputation for excellent student satisfaction and exceptional teaching quality.  This is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff, who go the extra mile to ensure that our students have an outstanding student experience and fulfil their potential.”

“Aberystwyth University celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. As well as being an opportunity to commemorate the institution’s considerable contribution to the world since opening as Wales’ first university in 1872, it is also a time to celebrate new advancements and future ambitions as we continue to respond to the challenges faced by society today.  Recent developments include opening Wales’ first Veterinary School and embarking on providing healthcare education provision with our new Nursing degrees.  Both of these exciting developments will build resilience in the rural economy and support the growth of a sustainable workforce in mid Wales and beyond.”

Top Universities in Wales 

Regional rank University National rank Last year’s national rank 2022 National student survey Teaching excellence


2022 National student survey Student satisfaction


Graduate prospects (% in high-skilled jobs or graduate-level study) Completion rate


1 Cardiff University 25 35= 73 70.1 84.3 92.8
2 Aberystwyth University 41 38 83.7 80.5 66 85.2
3 Swansea University 42= 39 74 70.4 78.1 89.9
4 Bangor University 45= 64 78.5 74.5 71 82.3
5 Cardiff Metropolitan University 93 79= 72.3 69.2 71.6 80
6 University of South Wales 103 99 75.8 69.6 66.5 81.7
7 University of Wales Trinity St David 104 83= 77.8 71.6 62.6 77.7
8 Wrexham Glyndwr University 120 110= 81.6 74.6 69 74

Credit: The Sunday Times

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 provides students and their parents with an invaluable first reference point on the path to finding a university place. It contains full profiles of all universities. The academic league table is made up of eight indicators including student satisfaction with teaching quality and their wider student experience, research quality, graduate prospects, entrance qualifications held by new students, degree results achieved, student/staff ratios, and degree completion rates.

A fully searchable website with university profiles and 70 subject tables is viewable here.