The Russell Group is an association of twenty-four universities in the United Kingdom. The association represents the very best in public universities dedicated to research, pedagogy and quality education. The association was formed to represent the interests of these higher education institutions to the public and government but also to consolidate their links to private sector making the education they impart more grounded in practical terms.
Formed in 1994 and formally incorporated in 2007, the Russell Group was named after Hotel Russell in London which used to host the informal meetings of the heads of the original 17 members. Apart from the two oldest universities of the UK, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, the original members of the Russell Group included the six red brick universities – University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, and University of Sheffield. In 1998, the Cardiff University and the King’s College London (now University of London) joined the group and in 2006 the Queen’s University Belfast joined the association. In 2012, the universities of Durham, Exeter, Queen Mary (University of London), and York left another well-known association of universities called the “1994 Group” and joined the Russel Group. The 1994 Group has since been dissolved.
While a shared pursuit of research and academic excellence has distinguished the Russell Group, the association has also helped with the marketing of higher education in these institutions, particularly overseas. About 34 percent of the students in the group’s institutions are of non-UK nationality. About 39 percent of the academic staff are also non-UK nationals.
The socio-economic support offered by the association is also noteworthy. The alumni of the Russell Group institutions are strong influencers in their local communities and the group provides a solid foundation for collaboration in research and in business enterprises. The group produces about two thirds of the leading research generated in the UK.
The Russell Group is not the only university group or association in the UK. University Alliance is a similar group of universities which have a business focus; the Million+ is a group of newer universities involved in public policies, and the Guild HE is a group of vocational institutions. A number of universities in the UK have not joined any group as well.
Current Members of the Russell Group
|S.No.||University||Year of Joining|
|1||University of Birmingham||1994|
|2||University of Bristol||1994|
|3||University of Cambridge||1994|
|4||University of Edinburgh||1994|
|5||University of Glasgow||1994|
|6||Imperial College London||1994|
|7||University of Leeds||1994|
|8||University of Liverpool||1994|
|9||London School of Economics (University of London)||1994|
|10||University of Manchester||1994|
|12||University of Nottingham||1994|
|13||University of Oxford||1994|
|14||University of Sheffield||1994|
|15||University of Southampton||1994|
|16||University College London (University of London)||1994|
|17||University of Warwick||1994|
|19||King’s College London (University of London)||1998|
|20||Queen’s University Belfast||2006|
|22||University of Exeter||2012|
|23||Queen Mary University of London (University of London)||2012|
|24||University of York||2012|