Is Leeds A Russell Group University?
Leeds University Main Building in Leeds city center. Leeds
Photo by Rahman Hassani/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Is Leeds A Russell Group University?

Rachael Grealish July 5, 2022

The University of Leeds is one of the biggest in the UK, with over 100 years of experience teaching students, but people often wonder is it a Russell Group uni?

Founded in 1904, with origins in the 19th century, the University of Leeds is home to more than 38,000 students from more than 150 different countries and is renowned globally for the quality of its teaching and research

Today Leeds staff have been awarded 26 National Teaching Fellowships and the uni is part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), which comprises 23 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents – but is it a Russell Group university?

Is Leeds a Russell Group University?

Simply, yes, the University of Leeds is in the Russell Group.

The Russell Group is a catch-all term for a group of universities with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement.

Photo by Rahman Hassani/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The group was started in 1994 and was made up of 17 universities – including the original six red brick universities that were started in the Victorian era and based in cities that were big industrial powerhouses following the Industrial Revolution.

Now the group consists of 24 universities:

  • 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
  • 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
  • University College London
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

Does it actually make a difference? Well, lots of universities choose not to apply to be part of the group, however, a careers adviser for The Uni Guide, Gill Sharp, said: ‘By banding together, Russell Group universities are able to put more funding, contracts, grants and awards their way. Why does that matter to you? Because success breeds success.

‘With more money to invest in research and other projects, the knock-on effect is that these unis are better equipped to attract the top staff and students, which then further cements their academic prestige.’

Is Leeds a good university?

Leeds uni is a three-time winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the country’s highest accolade for an academic institution, but there is really only one true way of knowing how ‘good’ a uni is, besides its rankings, by it sreviews its students, past and present, give it.

The University of Leeds has been given 4.3 stars, out of five, on the Student Crowd after receiving more than 580 reviews from former and current students – although rankings do come into a little bit as this meant on the Student Crowd it was ranked 8th out 140 universities.

Many of the reviews praise the university campus, its facilities and the knowledge and support from staff – taken from reviews in the last six months when written.

One student wrote: ‘The campus buildings look very beautiful and have all the things needed for students. The lecturer also provide support and advice to the students.’

Another said: ‘I love the campus and its facilities. Lots of refreshing greenery within campus. The union organises diverse activities that are very welcoming and open for everyone.’

On WhatUni Leeds has been given 4.2 out of five stars and many praised the ‘student community’ as one Actuarial Mathematics BSc (Hons) student said: ‘The student community at university is very supportive of each other and has great opportunities for socialising with fellow students.

‘I loved how easy it was to put myself out there and make friends within societies and night outs. Online learning was pretty much the worst part of it all.’

What is the rank of Leeds University?

As for university league rankings, Leeds was ranked 16th out of 130 universities in the UK for 2023, according to the Complete University Guide, this is an increase of four places from its ranking last year.

According to the Times Higher Education the university ranked 127th in the World University Rankings 2022. THE University Rankings, also ranked the university’s business school 37th in the Most International Universities in the World 2022.

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Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.