Skip to main content
Blog banner

There are superpowers in every industry and just like in the UK (United Kingdom) education sector, The Russell Group accommodates some of the world's most prestigious universities.



Russell Group of universities represents 24 leading UK universities committed to maintaining the absolute best research, outstanding teaching, and learning experience, and unrivaled links with business and the public sector.

The Russell Group university plays a key role in the intellectual, cultural, and economic life of the UK and has an international reputation for the high quality of its research and teaching. In an increasingly global higher education market, they attract the best academics and students from around the world, as well as investment from multinational, research-intensive businesses.


Russell Group of Universities have an enormous impact on the social, economic, and cultural well-being of their regions, yet also influences and achieves impact on a truly global scale. By virtue of their size and the quality of their research and teaching, the Russell Group of universities creates and catalyzes a diverse range of economic activity which has a major impact on the economy of the UK.


The full list of Russell Group members is as follows:

  • 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


Benefits of studying in one of the Russell Group of Universities

The Russell Group's 24 members are world-class universities with a strong research focus. They are distinct institutions with their own histories and philosophies, but they have some common qualities.

Our universities believe that tackling global challenges requires people and ideas.

They are assisting in the development of a dynamic economy, stronger communities, and a brighter future for the UK through world-class research and education.


They have the greatest research, the best teaching and learning experience, and unrivaled connections with local and national businesses and governments.

The Russell Group of universities has enormous social, economic, and cultural ramifications locally, nationally, and globally:

  • They produce more than two-thirds of the world-leading research produced in UK universities and support more than 260,000 jobs across the country.
  • They inject £87 billion into the national economy every year.
  • In 2018-19, 446,450 undergraduates and 155,655 postgraduates were studying at a Russell Group university.

Our members attract students and staff from around the world and work with major multinational businesses and international organizations:

  • 32% of students are of non-UK nationality, attracted to our universities by the quality, relevance, and reputation of research.

Russell Group members also have a strong role and influence within their regional and local communities, collaborate with businesses on joint research projects, and supply highly-qualified and highly-motivated graduates to the local workforce. 



How does the Russell Group compare to the Ivy League?

Like the Ivy League universities, the Russell Group is a group of internationally recognized universities. Both groups of universities have a formidable reputation for providing pupils with a high standard of education; however, in this section, we will compare the difference between the Russell Group vs Ivy League schools.


As the Ivy League universities are based in America, their undergraduate degrees usually take 4 years to complete, compared to an average of 3 years at a Russell Group university. The only exception is if you do a year abroad (such as for a languages degree) or a year in industry (for example, for a computer science degree programme).


Although both university groups are private institutions of learning, the fees still differ quite a lot between them. Students based in the UK (known as home pupils) can expect to pay around £9,250 per year in tuition to study at a Russell Group university. Whereas, if they were to study at an Ivy League university, their tuition would be around $50,000 upwards per year. Similarly, international students completing their studies at a Russell Group can expect to pay more to do so. However, the Russell Group university fees for international students start at around £20,000 per year, so student debts are likely to be less if you study at a Russell Group vs Ivy League schools.


Whilst both will offer you a good standard of education, what you will study at each university will also vary. American universities typically have a broader curriculum, particularly for first-year students, as you do not need to specialize in your chosen subject until further along in your degree programme. This is different at Russell Group universities, where you are expected to know your degree subject(s) before you start at the university, so you apply for a specific course.


Russell Group universities, therefore, have different entry requirements depending on the course you are applying to. Some subjects, such as law and medicine can be extremely competitive, so they usually require higher A-level grades than others.



Is entering one of the Russell Group universities your dream? Come and talk to us! At Intake, we have many years of experience and can provide solid support for our students. If you have any questions about the application process or the required documents, you can make an appointment to consult with one of our advisors. Let us help you overcome any difficulties you might have with your overseas study application.


Find Your Direction

At Intake, we are all about giving great advice to each individual, to help you find the right path forward to reach your goals. Get in contact today to see where you could go in future!