Definition of Russell Group in English:

Russell Group

proper noun

  • An association of UK universities regarded as having the highest academic standards.

    • ‘Some in the elite Russell Group of universities have already discussed what fees they would like.’
    • ‘The top universities, the Russell Group and the 94 group, are more pleased than anxious to find themselves in the in-tray of the Cabinet's most powerful minister.’
    • ‘The Russell Group has asked a team of economists to undertake a wholesale review of university funding.’
    • ‘Researchers found those who had attended a Russell Group institution could expect to earn 6% more than graduates of newer universities.’
    • ‘Universities, including elite Russell Group universities, are themselves open to accusations of grade inflation.’
    • ‘The pressure for top-up fees in England came from the Russell Group, who said they needed to charge fees to raise more money and stay competitive.’
    • ‘This vision is embraced by the Russell Group, the Ivy League of elite universities, who have most to gain from differential fees.’
    • ‘Sterling chairs the Russell Group, which organises the group of university chiefs pushing for top-up fees.’
    • ‘One in 10 had offers from Oxbridge, while the others were hoping to go to one of the other institutions in the Russell Group of the top 19 UK universities.’
    • ‘This is Southampton University, a Russell Group research giant which just happens to be adjacent to a large council estate.’


1990s: from the name of the Hotel Russell in Russell Square, London, where representatives of the universities first met.