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Russell Group of Universities vs Non-russell Group Universities

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The United Kingdom has some of the oldest universities in the world, going back to a very long time ago, even before our great-great-great-grandparents were born. Because of this, people all over the world think that the UK’s universities are really good and impressive.

The UK is one of the best places for people from other countries to go to university. They have really good universities and offer a lot of choices. You can find universities that are really fancy and also have more flexibility in how you study compared to some other places.

If you’re from another country and want to go to university in the UK, you have many good options. They have more than 130 universities where you can study lots of different things. There are two types of universities you might consider: the Russell Group and the Non-Russell Group universities.

The Russell Group universities are like the stars of the show. They’re known for doing really advanced research and being some of the best universities in the UK. They can be a bit hard to get into because many students want to go there, especially for subjects like science, economics, law, and medicine.

The Non-Russell Group universities are also really good. They might not be as famous, but they still offer great education and job opportunities. They are usually easier to get into than Russell Group universities and are more flexible about who they accept. Just remember, some subjects might have tougher requirements than others.


What is the Russell Group of Universities?

The Russell Group is a special group of universities in the United Kingdom that you might have heard of when applying to universities. Many people think that these universities are the best in the UK.


There are 24 universities in the Russell Group, and each one is really good at doing advanced research. These universities are different from each other, but they all have some things in common, like being well-known, having strict rules for who can get in, and offering popular subjects. Because they are pickier about who they accept, it can be really hard to get into these universities, especially for subjects like science, economics, law, and medicine.


What about Non-Russell Group Universities?

While a lot of students really want to go to Russell Group universities, it’s good to know that there are about 106 other universities in the UK that are just as good. These universities are well-known for being really good at teaching, helping you find jobs, and offering interesting courses. They’re a great choice if you want to study in the UK.


These other universities that aren’t in the Russell Group are usually easier to get into. They’re more flexible about letting people in. But it’s important to remember that this can be different depending on what you want to study. Some subjects might be harder to get into, while others are more reasonable.


Russell Group Vs Non-Russell Group

Russell Group University

Non-Russell Group University

15 out of 16 institutions in the nation ranked in Times Higher Education’s top 100 

66 out of 106 Non-Russell group universities of the United Kingdom rank in the QS World University Ranking 2022 and Times Higher Education Ranking 2022

21 universities from the Russell Group have participated in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), with 10 receiving gold awards, and 10 receiving silver awards, across all 274 higher education providers like The University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, and University of Cardiff

Non-Russell Group institutions also have TEF gold ratings and a better reputation for offering specialized programs, so students may earn a degree that is more relevant to their interests like the University of Birmingham, University of Buckingham, University of Cambridge, Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, Coventry University, University for the Creative Arts, & De Montfort University

Foreign students can expect to pay between £20,000 and £30,000 per year in tuition and living expenses at any of the UK’s Russell Group universities.

Tuition and living expenses for international students at most UK universities outside the Russell Group run from around £9,000 to £12,000 annually.

For their first job, only 14% of graduates needed an internship.

For 83% of recent non-Russell Group grads, obtaining their first graduate position requires internship experience for their first role.

Although just 17% of all college students graduate, 61% of all job holders in the UK are from Russell Group University with an hourly wage of €18.60. 

Only 53% of non-Russell group universities were employed in a non-skilled role with an average hourly wage of €14.97.

Let’s compare the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold Rating for colleges in the UK belonging to the Russell Group and the Non-Russell Group.


Russell Group of Universities

Non-Russell Group Universities

University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

Durham University

University of Exeter

University of Glasgow

University of Leeds

University of Liverpool

Newcastle University

University of Nottingham

Queen Mary University of London

Queen’s University Belfast

University of Sheffield

University of Southampton

University of York, etc.


University of East of Anglia

Royal Holloway University of London

University of Essex

Heriot-Watt University

University of Strathclyde

Swansea University

Nottingham Trent University

University of Dundee

University of Hertfordshire

University of Huddersfield

Keele University

Liverpool Hope University

University of Northampton

University of Portsmouth

Staffordshire University

Coventry University

De Montfort University, etc.