Northern Ireland

Ulster University to remove 'world leading' claim from adverts following complaints to watchdog

Two complaints were made about the ‘world-leading’ phrase in the advert
Two complaints were made about the ‘world-leading’ phrase in the advert Two complaints were made about the ‘world-leading’ phrase in the advert

Ulster University (UU) is to remove a 'world leading' claim from its adverts following complaints made to a UK watchdog.

The adverts on signage erected in Coleraine stated: “You are only 10 minutes away from a world-leading university”.

It was reported that two complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the billboard adverts.

The watchdog said the "complainants argued that the claim was misleading, based on the university's Times Higher Education World University ranking".

“We spoke with Ulster University, and they provided assurance that they would remove the ad," it added.

"As such, we considered the matter closed."

UU is ranked between number 601 and 800 on The Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

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A UU spokesperson said: “There has not been any formal investigation nor sanction from ASA in relation to this ad.

"The university is, however, in the process of replacing this ad."

She added that the university's "research environment" had been judged to be excellent and worthy of the description.

“The ‘world-leading’ reference in this ad was based on a number of factors and rankings, and particularly the REF 2021 rating, where that independent expert reviewer specifically defines that ‘97 per cent of Ulster University’s research environment is world leading or internationally excellent’."