14 Facts About Russell Group


Russell Group is a self-selected association of twenty-four public research universities in the United Kingdom.

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Russell Group is named after the location of the first informal meetings of the Group, which took place at the Hotel Russell in Russell Square, London.

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In March 2001, the Russell Group decided against selecting a preferred option for the future funding of higher education, stating that endowments, a graduate contribution, increased public funding and top-up fees should all remain options.

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In December 2005, it was announced that the Russell Group would be appointing its first full-time director-general as a result of a planned expansion of its operations, including commissioning and conducting its own policy research.

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In January 2013, it was announced that the Russell Group would establish an academic board to advise the English exams watchdog Ofqual on the content of A-Levels.

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Russell Group is led by Chief Executive Dr Tim Bradshaw and chaired by Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.

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In May 2020 the Russell Group appointed the next chair Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, starting September 2020.

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Russell Group currently has twenty four members, of which twenty are from England, two from Scotland, and one from each of Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Four Russell Group members are constituent colleges of the University of London and a fifth London institution, Imperial College London, was part of the University of London until 2007.

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All but two of the universities in the Russell Group are part of the Sutton Trust's group of 30 highly selective universities, the Sutton 30.

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Russell Group universities are seen as "particularly creditworthy" due to their membership of the group, allowing them to borrow money at low interest rates.

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Durham University academic, Vikki Boliver, published a report in 2015 claiming that the prestigious position of the Russell Group was not based on evidence, but rather successful marketing.

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The other 22 members of the Russell Group sit in a second tier of universities along with 17 other "old" universities, mostly comprising former members of the defunct 1994 Group.

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Twenty-four universities in the Russell Group are responsible for around half of the Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions of the UK university sector.

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