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What is a Russell Group university student?

Russell Group StudentsPostgraduate students can define themselves in lots of ways and one way is by the university they attend. For example, some students in America might call themselves Ivy League students and by direct comparison, in the UK some students are proud of the fact they attend one of the Russell Group universities.

Here we take a look at some of the ways that a Russell Group university student can be defined.

Where do they study?

Russell Group university students will study at one of the universities that are part of the Russell Group. Founded in 1994, the Russell Group currently comprises of 24 universities all based in the UK, with campuses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and includes universities located in places such as Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Newcastle, York, London and Birmingham. These prestigious universities all focus on research and have well established links with business and other international organisations, which means they are the ideal choice for postgraduate students.


What do they study?

All of the universities that make up the Russell Group are large institutions that have many faculties and departments covering almost any area of study. For postgraduate students some Russell Group universities focus in on a selection of topics or have a particularly good reputation in one field or another. For example, the University of Edinburgh offers many prestigious postgraduate courses in its Law School, and the London School of Economics offers several masters level courses in Finance and Business Management. Meanwhile the University of Exeter offers a large number of postgraduate courses in Education and the University of York has plenty of options for studying and researching History at postgraduate level.

What do they do outside of studying?

Most of the Russell Group universities student unions are part the National Union of Students and so have a large student-led organisations on-campus to keep their students occupied. The large universities in the UK all have numerous student clubs and societies and the Russell Group universities are no different. Newcastle University has 28,000 students with facilities to match and has clubs like the Entrepreneurs Society or the Climbing Club. The University of Exeter's Student's Guild has a similar offering of clubs and societies with popular groups including the Dance Society and the Gin Society.

Where do they live?

The Russell Group universities offer student accommodation on-campus like many universities in the UK. In addition to this, many Russell Group universities are located in or nearby to large cities with a large student population so there is often a supply of private accommodation from individual landlords and larger private student accommodation providers who offer private halls of residences. Most Russell Group universities offer international postgraduate students accommodation on-campus with postgraduate students who have studied at the university before often choosing to live off-campus.

Where do they get their funding from?

The potential for funding at Russell Group universities is one of the key advantages to postgraduate students, especially those undertaking a research degree, as the Russell Group campaigns together to secure research funding. They have been highly successful at this so their universities’ research facilities are amongst some of the best in the UK. This also means that they have access to scholarships and bursaries that other universities in the UK may not have. Russell Group students are also able to secure funding the same way many UK based students do through the UK Government or from their funding sources from home if they are international students.

How many Russell Group students are there?

Across all of the Russell Group universities, there were 609,500 students in the academic year 2015 to 2016, and of these 192,500 were postgraduate students. Around 90,000 students who join the Russell Group universities each year come from outside of the UK. This table depicts the breakdown of postgraduate student numbers in 2015/16.
Russell Group Postgraduate Students


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