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Russell Group Universities

The Russell Group is a collection of 24 British public universities, including the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, that are committed to the highest standards of academic excellence in both teaching and research.

It is a term you may have heard your school teachers or friends talk about, or mentioned on websites while narrowing down your university choices.

However you’ve come across it, you may be wondering exactly what this Russell Group is all about and why it’s special.

Established in 1994, they receive around two thirds of all university research grant and contract income in the UK.

A majority of the members are leading universities, making applications to these particular institutions more competitive.

Why is it called The Russell Group?

It’s actually named after the Russell Hotel in Russell Square, London – this is because the first informal meetings of the group took place here.

Why was it formed?

The members wanted to represent their collective interests to the government and other similar bodies. It has the following objectives:

  • power the UK’s research progress
  • increase income for its members
  • recruit the best staff and students to its members
  • reduce government intervention in order to create an environment where it can achieve these objectives
  • find avenues of co-operation to exploit their collaborative advantage

Which universities are members of The Russell Group?

20 are from England, 2 from Scotland, 1 from Wales and 1 from Northern Ireland. The current members of the Russell Group are:

Where can I find mout more about Russell Group Universities?

The best place to find out more about these top universities is to visit their individual websites (please see links above). However, you can also find more in-depth information at the following sources:

Further information

For more tips and advice on applying to university, please see: