University of Leeds, England


The University of Leeds, established in 1904, is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK. It is renowned globally for the quality of its teaching and research.

The strength of its academic expertise combined with the breadth of disciplines it covers, provides a wealth of opportunities and has real impact on the world in cultural, economic and societal ways.

The University strives to achieve academic excellence within an ethical framework informed by its values of integrity, equality and inclusion, community and professionalism.

Academic excellence

  • The University of Leeds is ranked in the top 10 universities in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2019.
  • It is named the University of the Year 2017 in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.
  • Its staff have been awarded 26 National Teaching Fellowships – more than any other university.
  • Leeds is ranked in the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
  • Leeds is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities.
  • Leeds is part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), which comprises 22 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents.
  • Leeds is a top 10 university for research power in the UK according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
  • Leeds was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize, the country’s highest accolade for an academic institution, in 2009 and 2011.
  • In the National Student Survey 2018, 88% of final year Leeds students said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the course – five points above the national average.
  • In Leeds’ latest audit by the Quality Assurance Agency the University received a commendation, the highest category of praise available, for Leeds’ enhancement of student learning opportunities.

The University community

  • Leeds has more than 34,000 students including more than 25,000 undergraduates and more than 9,000 postgraduates.
  • It also has over 7,000 international students from more than 150 countries, including exchange students.
  • The local community benefits from Leeds’ 3,000 student volunteers.
  • Leeds has a global network of alumni and are in regular contact with more than 250,000 alumni from over 180 different countries.
  • Leeds has staff from more than 90 different countries.
  • With over 8,000 staff, the University of Leeds is the third largest employer in Leeds.
  • It contributes around £1.23bn a year to the local economy – students add a further £211m through rents and living costs.
  • Leeds was voted 3rd in the UK in the 2018 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.
  • Leeds was ranked the UK top university for the environmental impact of its research according to Times Higher Education.
  • The latest High Fliers report, The Graduate Market in 2018, has ranked Leeds in the top 10 most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters.

Enterprise and initiatives

  • Since 1995 the University has produced over 100 ‘spin-out’ companies including over 30 that are currently active.
  • Six of its spin-out companies are market listed with a value of over £500 million and employing over 700 people.
  • 36% of its academics are involved in applied research or as consultants to industry with an estimated contract value of £59m.
  • Leeds’ ‘Spark’ initiative offers business start-up support and it runs an annual business plan competition with prizes of up to £2,000 for entrepreneurial students.
  • The University won the Entrepreneurship award at the Guardian University Awards 2016.

The campus

  • The University of Leeds campus is a ten-minute walk from Leeds city centre.
  • It has committed more than £520m to a transformative campus development programme.
  • The Edge is its state-of-the-art fitness, sport and well-being facility, which includes a 25m eight lane swimming pool and the largest fitness suite of any UK university.
  • The students’ union has more than 300 clubs and societies.
  • Leeds students’ union was the first students’ union in the UK to be awarded Excellent status by the National Union of Students (NUS) as part of its Quality Students’ Unions accreditation scheme. It was also the first students’ union in the country to receive two gold standard awards for the Students’ Union Evaluation Initiative.
  • Leeds has won a number of environmental awards including a Green Gown Award in 2012 for Promoting Positive Behaviour, in relation to Leeds’ It All Adds Up It has also received accreditation to ISO14001, the principal international standard for environmental management systems


  • The University is home to the International Pianoforte Competition and is part of a groundbreaking collaboration with Opera North.
  • It has a unique partnership with national institution Marks & Spencer – the company’s entire archive is based on campus.
  • It is part of the White Rose University Consortium; a strategic partnership between three of the UK’s leading research universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.
  • It has launched a joint school with Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) to deliver world-class teaching and research. The SWJTU-Leeds Joint School, based in Chengdu, China, will offer a unique UK-Chinese engineering curriculum and is the first overseas school to be set up by the University of Leeds

Performing wonders

  • The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Editors and Ed Sheeran have all played at the University Refectory
  • A number of musicians have studied at the University including Alt-J, LIttle Boots, Corinne Bailey Rae, and members of Gang of Four, The Wedding Present, Bastille, The Mekons, Sisters of Mercy and the Kaiser Chiefs.

Source: University of Leeds’ website


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