Facts and figures

Building prosperity

Russell Group universities are a prominent UK and international industry in their own right:

  • They are found in every major city of the UK, and have an average income of £659 million.
  • They have a total economic output of over £32 billion per annum - 44% of the total economic output for the whole UK university sector (of which Russell Group universities comprise just 15%).
  • They support over 300,000 jobs UK-wide
  • They are a major UK export industry, generating overseas earnings of over £4 billion per annum.
  • The average annual capital spending of Russell Group universities is £92 million; for other UK higher education institutions the average is £15 million. Projects over the five years are expected to support more than 98,500 UK jobs.

Leaders in pioneering research

Russell Group universities produce excellent research on a grand scale, across a broad range of disciplines and have the critical mass of excellent research to generate huge impact. The most recent assessment of research quality in UK universities (the Research Excellence Framework 2014) found that:

  • 68% of the UK’s world leading research took place in Russell Group universities
  • The proportion of world leading research at Russell Group universities is almost double that at other universities
  • More than two-thirds of the research at Russell Group universities is deemed to have had outstanding impact in terms of its reach and significance to the wider economy, society, health and culture.

Enriching education and creating opportunities

Russell Group universities provide an outstanding student experience for both undergraduates and postgraduates. In 2014-15, 404,000 undergraduates and 192,000 postgraduates were studying at the 24 Russell Group universities.

According to the 2015 National Student Survey:

  • 88% of students at Russell Group universities were satisfied with their course
  • 89% of students were satisfied with teaching at our universities
  • 90% of students found their course intellectually stimulating

Over a five-year period to 2017, Russell Group universities will invest:

  • £768 million in teaching and research facilities for science, technology, engineering and maths, and a further £162 million in teaching facilities for other subjects
  • £253 million in library and IT facilities
  • £667 million in student accommodation, sports, social and cultural facilities

Russell Group graduates are highly sought after by employers, both nationally and internationally. Eleven of the top 50 universities in the world, as ranked by employers, are Russell Group universities and graduates from our universities earn on average 10% more than graduates of other universities over a lifetime.

Driving innovation 

Russell Group universities have a proven track record of turning world-leading research into innovative products and services. In 2014-15:

  • Our universities generated over £106 million in intellectual property income, 68%  of the total generated by UK universities.
  • The estimated turnover from companies spun out from Russell Group universities was £550 million.
  • The 493 active spin-outs from Russell Group universities accounted for 59% of those which survived for three years or more.

Collaboration with business is a core part of the mission of all of our universities.

In 2014-15, Russell Group universities competitively won:

  • £776 million from collaborative research (62% of the total collaborative research income to UK universities)
  • £907 million from contract research (75% of the total contract research income to UK universities)

Russell Group universities represent nine out of the top 10 UK universities for contract research with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Global reach

Russell Group universities attract the brightest minds from around the world, welcoming talented students and researchers from around the world into their diverse academic communities:

  • 35% of the UK’s undergraduates and 44% of the UK’s postgraduates from other countries
  • Around 37% of academic staff at Russell Group universities are from overseas, compared to an average of just 21% at other UK universities.

Our universities are recognised as world-leaders with four of the top ten universities in the world, 17 in the Top 100 and all 24 in the Top 190 of the QS World University Rankings 2015.


Facts and figures about the 24 universities which make up the Russell Group.

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