The prestigious accolade was awarded to the University ahead of five other shortlisted institutions and recognises its overall strategy of engaging with business, industry and government, investing in students and developing socially progressive policies.
It is the second time Strathclyde has been named Times Higher Education University of the Year having also won the title in 2012.
The judges praised the university as “as exemplar of a university that has taken on a vital social mission and excelled in delivering on that goal” and said its achievements reflected Strathclyde’s “embrace of an unconventional institutional mind-set: its top priorities are the application of knowledge and the rapid response to commercial and social needs”.
Building on its Enlightenment roots as ‘the place of useful learning’, the University, which previously won the prestigious title in 2012, has transformed its approach to make a positive impact on the local – and global – communities it serves.
In the last year alone, it has launched Scotland’s first innovation district, Glasgow City Innovation District, a hub for entrepreneurship, research and collaboration.
It was named the anchor university for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and opened the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, as well as co-developing a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
Strathclyde also won its largest single research contract, the £20 million One Ocean Hub project, bringing together 50 partners internationally to transform the world’s response to plastic pollution, rising sea levels and over-fishing.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded this honour which reflects the educational, social and economic contribution of our staff and students over the last year.
“Our vision as a leading international technological university is being realised and we are proud to be delivering technological and socially progressive solutions to global challenges, alongside our partners.
“The entire Strathclyde family is committed to making a positive impact on our local communities as well as on economic value and benefits to society at large.
“It’s an exciting time for Strathclyde, as we are now through the half way point in a £1 billion, sustainable campus development that is radically changing student services, research facilities and health and wellbeing.
“Our socially-progressive policies are changing lives by supporting staff with caring responsibilities, tackling gender-based violence in the sector and also helping young people with learning difficulties to achieve their potential.
“We have also launched new industrial research and innovation facilities in partnership with government and businesses, a state-of-the-art sports facility and, in partnership with the Students’ Union, we are leading the development of a £60m Learning and Teaching building.
“Strathclyde remains a place where talent is nurtured, innovation is fostered and jobs and inclusive economic growth are generated.”
The university also won the award for Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year for its Breaking Barriers initiative which helps young people with a learning disability gain university qualification and work experience; and was shortlisted in two other categories: Outstanding Library Team and Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development.
Earlier this year, Strathclyde was also named the Sunday Times Good University Guide Scottish University of the Year for 2020.
It was also awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for excellence in energy innovation. The award recognises institutions which show “quality and innovation” and deliver “real benefit to the wider world and public through education and training”.