✨ What is a Russell Group University? ✨

icon-time 22 May 2018
icon-view 2721

You may have come across the term "Russell Group University" in connection with UK higher education, but what is the Russell Group?

Image result for russell group

Formed in 1994, the Russell Group is a self-selecting (they choose their own members) association of the UK's largest public research universities. The following 24 universities are currently members:

Image result for russell group

UniversityARWU(Global)QS(Global)THE(Global)Complete(National)Guardian(National)The Times(National)
University of Birmingham101–15084=141=1615=15
University of Bristol614476172716=
University of Cambridge342111
Cardiff University99137162=36=4235
Durham University201–3007897645
University of Edinburgh3223=27=23=30=24
University of Exeter151–200158=130=14=1314
University of Glasgow101–1506580=36=2320
Imperial College London278856=4
King's College London4623=36213928=
University of Leeds101–15010113914=1410
University of Liverpool101–150173=177=416742
London School of Economics151–2003525=415=11
University of Manchester383454=222825
Newcastle University201–300161=175=23=30=26
University of Nottingham101–15084=147=181918
University of Oxford761222
Queen Mary University of London151–200127121334443
Queen's University Belfast301–400202201–250353838
University of Sheffield101–15082104314021
University of Southampton101–150102126=263530
University College London16716710=7=
University of Warwick101–1505791889
University of York201–300135=137=201716=

They are not selected based on their rankings, but it does include many of the UK's highest ranked universities.

The group's stated objectives are to:

  • "lead the research efforts of the United Kingdom;
  • maximise the income of its member institutions;
  • attract the best staff and students to its member institutions;
  • create a regulatory environment in which it can achieve these objectives by reducing government interference; and
  • identify ways to co-operate to exploit the universities' collaborative advantage."

It is certainly considered a lobby-group (an organisation that seeks to influence politics), and has been accused of being a cartel (an association of companies working together to raise collective profits); but the Russel Group would say the main focus is to collaborate on research.

Being a Russell Group member doesn't necessarily indicate the quality of the university, but some employers and organisations nevertheless use it as a proxy for the best universities because it does not change every year like university rankings. So you may stand a better chance of getting a job if you went to a Russell Group university.

Image result for russell group