Key facts and statistics

Key facts and figures about the 24 universities are available in our Profile publication:

Or choose from the areas below:

Economic impact

Access and inclusiveness

Global reach

The economic impact of Russell Group universities

The size and extent of Russell Group universities makes them a prominent UK and international industry in their own right:

  • they have a total economic output of more than £32 billion per annum - this represents 44% of the total economic output for the whole university sector
  • they are responsible for supporting more than 300,000 jobs UK-wide
  • they are a major UK export industry, with overseas earnings of over £4 billion per annum.

The most recent Research Excellence Framework found that:

  • 68% of the UK’s very best (‘world leading’) research took place in Russell Group universities
  • Almost twice as much of the research undertaken at Russell Group universities is ‘world leading’ compared to the rest of the sector
  • 68% of the research deemed to have had outstanding (4*) impact in terms of its reach and significance.
  • More than half of research in Russell Group universities results in outstanding impact, compared to less than a third in other universities.
  • Three quarters of the research environments deemed conducive to producing world-leading (4*) research are in Russell Group universities.
  • Russell Group universities are more than twice as likely to provide the most conducive environments for 4* research.

Russell Group graduates are highly sought after by employers, with 11 of the top 30 universities in the world, as ranked by employers, in the Russell Group. Research by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has identified that male graduates of Russell Group universities earn 16% more, and female Russell Group graduates 9% more, over their lifetime on average than graduates from other universities.

Over 2013-14:

  • the 24 Russell Group universities accounted for 71% of the IP income generated by UK universities
  • 76% of the total income from contract research to UK universities went to Russell Group universities
  • active spin outs from Russell Group universities accounted for 61% of those which survived for three years.

Russell Group universities produce 30% of the UK’s science and engineering graduates and around 80% of doctors and dentists.


Access and inclusiveness at Russell Group universities

Over three quarters of first degree entrants at Russell Group universities are from state schools and colleges.  Around 1 in 5 of first degree entrants are from lower socio-economic groups.

In 2015-16 the 20 Russell Group universities in England will be spending £235 million supporting students from less advantaged backgrounds. This includes £167 million on scholarships, fee waivers and bursaries aimed at the least advantaged, and £49 million on outreach activities, including working with teachers and pupils in schools and putting on summer schools and access schemes.

In 2011-12 the average bursary offered by Russell Group universities was £2221, almost twice the average of other universities.

Evidence shows that bursaries are effective at encouraging high-achieving students from low-income families to opt for a more selective university.

The global reach of Russell Group universities

The Russell Group attracts 33% of the UK’s international undergraduates and 39% of international postgraduates.

Russell Group universities are highly successful in attracting talented researchers from around the world, with the proportion of non-UK nationality staff around 34% on average, compared to just 20% at other UK universities.

Our universities are recognised as world-leaders. Eleven Russell Group universities feature in the Times Higher top 100 world universities, nine feature in the top 100 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 18 in the QS World University Rankings' Top 100.


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