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Russell Group Universities

What is a Russell Group university?

In its own words, the Russell Group (RG) “represents 24 leading UK universities…committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector”.

These universities have a significant impact on life in the UK and across the world. RG membership is a hallmark of quality.

The RG first convened in 1994 when the heads of member universities met. It became a formal organisation in 2007.

Russell Group university rankings

RG universities can be found in every major city in the UK. Their standing as educational institutions means they feature prominently in global rankings.

The Group’s aim is to ensure that its members’ world-class teaching and research has an impact – socially, culturally and economically – throughout the UK and the world.

Our membership of the RG at Queen’s means that our courses are directly shaped and influenced by research – research that is carried out by our academics. The latest discoveries and ways of thinking are fed into our degree programmes every year. Students are taught by the same people who conduct the research.

To underpin our commitment to internationally-leading research and collaboration, we have established four interdisciplinary Global Research Institutes and six Pioneer Research Programmes, bringing researchers together to tackle some of the greatest global challenges of our age.

The Russell Group and Queen’s University

RG universities pride themselves on their standard of education, their facilities and their learning experience, and Queen’s is no exception.

A £350 million investment in the last ten years into our facilities such as the McClay Library, the new Graduate School, the new One Elmwood Student Centre and Students' Union, the new home of Computer Science and the School of Law hub complements our courses.

Queen’s is ranked 4th in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024) and 13th in the UK for research intensity (Complete University Guide 2025), with 88% of research submitted by Queen’s being assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021).

Learning and teaching

On the teaching front, 21 Queen’s subjects feature in the UK top 20, according to the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024, with 10 Queen’s subjects in the UK top 10.

Queen’s is dedicated to fostering a more global student body, with 92% of our current international students satisfied with the level of research activity (International Student Barometer 2022).

Queen’s currently has over 3900 international students from over 90 different countries (Queen’s Planning Office, 2023).

The University is the recipient of seven Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education.

Russell Group universities list

The 24 UK universities that make up the RG are:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • LSE (London School of Economics & Political Science)
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • UCL (University College London)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York 
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