List Of Russell Group Universities UK: World & National Ranking

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  • The Russell Group consists of twenty-four universities in the UK
  • It was established in 1994 and incorporated as an organisation in 2007
  • The Russell universities in the UK are some of the topmost universities one can choose to study from
  • The Russell Universities in the UK are best known for research education and open wider doors to make a career in the field of research

The Russell Group is a self-selected association of a group of twenty-four universities in the United Kingdom. It was established in the year 1994 with 17 UK research universities. Their objective, as stated by the group, is “to help ensure that our universities have the optimum conditions to flourish and continue to make social, economic and cultural impacts through their world-leading research and teaching.” Russell Group Universities UK maintain the best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience, and unrivalled links with the public sector along with the local and national business.

The Russell Group is led by the Chief Executive, Dr Tim Bradshaw and chaired by Prof. Sir Anton Muscatelli, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. Prof. Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, was appointed by the Russell Group in May 2020 as the next chair, starting September 2020.

russell group universities uk

List of Russell Group Universities UK

Universities Year of Joining QS World University Rankings THE World University Rankings University League Tables (National)
University of Oxford 1994 2 1 2
University of Cambridge 1994  3 5 1
Imperial College London 1994 7 12 5
University College London (UCL) 1994 8 18 10
University of Edinburgh 1994 16 30 15
University of Manchester 1994 27 50 17
King's College London 1998 35 33 20
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 1994 49 27 4
University of Warwick 1994 61 78 11
University of Bristol 1994 62 92 14
University of Glasgow 1994 73 86 19
University of Southampton 1994 77 124 17
Durham University 2012 82 162 7
University of Birmingham 1994 90 105 13
University of Leeds 1994 92 127 16
University of Sheffield 1994 95 110 28
Queen Mary, University of London 2012 117 117 35
University of Nottingham 1994 103 141 20
Newcastle University 1994 134 146 23
University of Exeter 2012 149 143 12
Cardiff University 1998 151 191 30
University of York 2012 151 169 22
University of Liverpool 1994 189 178 33
Queen's University Belfast 2006 216 201-250 27

Purpose of the Russell Group

The Russell universities in the UK receive two-thirds of all research grants, enabling them to contribute largely to the intellectual, cultural, and economic factors in the UK.

In the most recent 2014 Research Excellence Framework, it was seen that the Russell universities in the UK produced 68% of world-leading research and 68% of the country’s research with an outstanding impact.

Oxford University Scholarship

Members of The Russell Group Universities UK

As known, the Russell Group currently has twenty-four members. Twenty of them are from England, two from Scotland, and one from Wales and Northern Ireland. Out of the twenty English members, five are from Greater London, three are from the Yorkshire and the Humber region, and two each are from North West, North East, South West, South East, and West Midlands. Then, one each from the eastern regions and East Midlands. Four of the members are constituent colleges of the University of London, and the fifth institution, Imperial College London, was a part of the UoL until 2007.


As of 2021, eight UK universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities top 100, 16 of the 17 top universities in the UK, and all the eleven UK universities in THE top 100 are members of the Russell Group.

Impacts of the Russell Group Universities UK

Russell Universities in the UK have a massive social, economic, and cultural impact locally, across the UK and the globe.

  • The universities support more than 260,000 jobs across the nation and produce the world’s two-thirds of the world-leading research.
  • The universities contribute approximately £87 billion to the country’s economy every year.
  • The quality, relevance, and reputation of research of the Russell universities in the UK attract around 32% of students of non-UK nationality. This suggests that Russell Universities in the UK have better student satisfaction and employability rates, as well as a higher student-to-staff ratio.

Let us now look at the Russell Group Universities UK along with their year of joining the group and their top rankings as of 2022 on a global and national level. Learn more about studying in the UK and how one can start the process of the same.

Guide On Grading System In The UK

History of Russell Group 

The Russell Group got its name from the location of the Group’s first informal meetings at the Hotel Russell in Russell Square, London. The headquarters of the group is located in Cambridge.

As mentioned earlier, it was established in the year 1994 with 17 universities, and new universities were added in the following years. The group became an official, incorporated organisation in 2007. The first 17 universities to become members of the Russell Group are Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Imperial College London, Liverpool, Leeds, London School of Economics, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Oxford, Southampton, Sheffield, University College London, and Warwick. Then, Cardiff University and King’s College London joined the group in the year 1998.

 In November 2006, Queen’s University Belfast became the twentieth member of the group. And later, in March 2012, the four universities- Durham, Exeter, Queen Mary University of London, and York were announced to become members of the Russell Group in August 2012.

 In December 2005, the Russell Group had announced that the group would be appointing its first full-time director-general, owing to the results of the planned expansion of its operations, including commissioning and conducting its policy research. So, Wendy Piatt, the then deputy director in the Prime Minister’s strategy unit, was made the group’s new Director-General and chief executive in November 2006.

russell group universities uk


The Russell Group consists of some of the top universities in the UK. Russell Universities in the UK offer the best quality education in almost all fields of study. Studying at any of the ‘RG’ universities and becoming a part of a diverse peer group have access to a plethora of research opportunities. If you are planning to study at any of the Russell Universities in the UK, contact LeapScholar to take a step towards starting your journey abroad in the smoothest possible way.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will getting into an 'RG' University fetch one a graduate job?

Ans. There are a lot of factors a recruiter looks upon at the time of hiring. These factors include your academic performance, experiences, the strength of your portfolio, and of course, the interviews would be the dealbreaker. Though, a degree from any of the Russell universities in the UK will certainly add sparkle to your job applications and open up doors to exploring many more opportunities.

2. Is getting into one of the Russell Group Universities the best option?

Ans. The Russell Group consists of some of the topmost universities in the UK. They are best known for their research education. One planning to make a career in research may opt to attend any of these universities. However, there are also other top-class universities one can attend that are not a part of the group.

3. Do Russell Universities provide any financial aid?

Ans. Many of the Russell Universities do provide grants, bursaries, and scholarships to their students. Any kind of financial support is granted on the basis of discipline, extracurricular activities, region, volunteering, etc.

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An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.