Facts and figures

The University of Leeds, established in 1904, is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK. Here are some more facts and figures about the University:

Academic excellence

  • Leeds is ranked in the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2021.
  • We were The Times and The Sunday Times’ University of the Year in 2017 and are currently ranked 15th in its Good University Guide 2021.
  • Our staff have been awarded 25 National Teaching Fellowships – more than any other university.
  • We are a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities.
  • We are part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), which comprises 23 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents.
  • We are a top 10 university for research power in the UK according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
  • We were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize, the country’s highest accolade for an academic institution, in 2009 and 2011.
  • In our latest audit by the Quality Assurance Agency the University received a commendation, the highest category of praise available, for our enhancement of student learning opportunities.

Our University community

  • We have more than 38,000 students including more than 36,000 full time, 2,000 part time, 28,000 undergraduates and 10,000 postgraduates.
  • We have over 12,000 international students from more than 130 countries, including exchange students.
  • We have 3,500 student volunteers who contribute to local, regional and national projects.
  • We have a global network of alumni and are in regular contact with more than 300,000 alumni in more than 192 different countries.
  • We have 9,200 staff from more than 100 different countries.
  • We contribute £1.3 billion every year to the UK economy – students add close to £200m of international revenue into the City Region each year.
  • Leeds has been ranked in the top 10 most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters in the latest High Fliers report, The Graduate Market in 2021 (PDF).

Enterprise and initiatives

  • Since 1995 we have created over 110 spin-out companies. Currently, our spin-out companies employ over 1000 people with six listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
  • Our Spark initiative offers business start-up support and we run an annual business plan competition with prizes of up to £3,000 for entrepreneurial students.

The campus

  • Our campus is a ten minute walk from Leeds city centre.
  • We have committed more than £520m to a transformative campus development programme.
  • The Edge is our state-of-the-art fitness, sport and wellbeing facility, which includes a 25m eight-lane swimming pool and one of the largest fitness suites of any UK university.
  • The students' union has more than 300 clubs and societies.
  • Ours 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. Ours was also the first students' union in the country to receive two gold standard awards for the Students’ Union Evaluation Initiative.


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. 

Last updated 12 August 2021