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UK university groups

Updated on March 24, 2012

Many UK universities have formed groups through which they share ideas and resources regarding issues and procedures in the higher education sector. The list below lists the major university groups.

The Russell Group

The Russell Group is the most prestigious university group in the UK. It represents 24 leading UK research-intensive universities, including Oxbridge, Cambridge, and Imperial College London, and is regarded as an elite university group. The members of the Russell Group have the quality and strengths to compete successfully in the global market place for research and expertise.

Eight Russell Group members made the top 20 of the Guardian's university league table last year. The other 16 were from the 1994 group. Four of them, Exeter, Durham, York and Queen Mary, left the 1994 Group and joined the Russell Group recently (March 2012).

The below is the list of the Russell group member institutions.

1. University of Oxford

2. University of Cambridge

3. Imperial College London

4. London School of Economics & Political Science

5. Durham

6. University of Warwick

7. University College London

8. York

9. University of Edinburgh

10. University of Southampton

11. University of Bristol

12. King's College London

13. University of Nottingham

14. Exeter

15. Newcastle University

16. University of Sheffield

17. University of Glasgow

18. University of Birmingham

19. University of Leeds

20. University of Manchester

21. Queen's University Belfast

22. University of Liverpool

23. Cardiff University

24. Queen Mary, University of London

1994 Group

The 1994 Group represents 15 UK universities. The 1994 Group's mission is to promote excellence in research and teaching. The members are committed to delivering very high levels of student satisfaction and offering an excellent experience to students. The 1994 Group is consistently an excellent performer in the National Student Survey.

The below is the list of the 1994 group member institutions.

1. University of St Andrews

2. University of Bath

3. Lancaster University

4. School of Oriental and African Studies

5. Loughborough University

6. University of Leicester

7. Royal Holloway, University of London

8. University of Sussex

9. University of Essex

10. University of Surrey

11. University of East Anglia

12. University of Reading

13. Goldsmiths, University of London

14. Birkbeck, University of London

15. Institute of Education, University of London


The Million+ group represents 26 new universities, incorporating post-1992 and university colleges. Many members have long histories as colleges and subsequently polytechnics. The group was formed in 1997. The million+ group is at the forefront of the political debate about the role and contribution of universities to the economy and society.

The below is the list of the Million+ group member institutions.

1. University of Central Lancashire

2. Birmingham City University

3. Middlesex University

4. University of Wolverhampton

5. Coventry University

6. University of Gloucestershire

7. Edinburgh Napier University

8. Bath Spa University

9. University of Cumbria

10. Kingston University

11. University of Sunderland

12. University of West London

13. University of Abertay Dundee

14. Leeds Metropolitan University

15. Staffordshire University

16. Canterbury Christ Church University

17. University of Bedfordshire

18. University of Northampton

19. Buckinghamshire New University

20. University of Derby

21. University of Greenwich

22. Anglia Ruskin University

23. University of The West of Scotland

24. University of East London

25. University of Bolton

26. London Metropolitan University

University Alliance

The University Alliance was formed in 2006 comprising a mixture of pre and post 1992 universities. The member institutions have a balanced portfolio of research, teaching, enterprise and innovation. Alliance universities have innovation and enterprise running through everything they do and deliver: the courses they offer; their graduate prospects; their research impact; how they work with business, professions and the community; the role they play in building regional economies; to the way they are run.

There are 23 business-engaged universities in University Alliance. They are

1. Oxford Brookes University

2. Open University

3. University of Hertfordshire

4. Plymouth University

5. Nottingham Trent University

6. University of Huddersfield

7. Northumbria University

8. University of the West of England

9. Bournemouth University

10. Sheffield Hallam University

11. University of Lincoln

12. University of Bradford

13. Glasgow Caledonian University

14. De Montfort University

15. University of Portsmouth

16. University of Glamorgan

17. Kingston University

18. University of Wales, Newport

19. Teesside University

20. Manchester Metropolitan University

21. University of Salford

22. Liverpool John Moores University

23. Cardiff Metropolitan University


The United Kingdom Arts and Design Institutions Association (UKADIA) aims to promote the distinctive character of UK specialist arts institutions providing higher education courses, and to add value to their effectiveness through recognising and advancing their links to the creative, cultural and communications industries, the community and business. The members of UKADIA are specialist creative industries, arts and design institutions from across the UK's higher and further education sectors. The specialist colleges contribute to the UK's reputation in the visual arts and creative industries.

Because it is a specialist group, UKADIA is relatively small comparing with other university groups. It only has 13 members. Some top art colleges, such as Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art, are not members of this group.

1. University College Falmouth

2. Arts University College at Bournemouth

3. University of the Arts London

4. Norwich University College of the Arts

5. Ravensbourne

6. University for the Creative Arts

7. Plymouth College of Art

8. Royal College of Art

9. Leeds College of Art

10. Rose Bruford College

11. Hereford College of Arts

12. Cleveland College of Art & Design

13. Central School of Speech and Drama


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