The Best Universities in Yorkshire

The Best Universities in Yorkshire

The UK is well known and respected around the world for its old and prestigious Universities. So, it’s no wonder that Yorkshire too has some top class educational institutions. From the perennial student party towns of Leeds and Sheffield to the historical calm of York, down your drinks and let’s count the down the top four Universities in the great county.


Founded in 1831, Leeds University has 33,000 students each year – making it the 5th biggest Uni by student size in the UK. It’s also in the prestigious Russel Group, along with Sheffield and York who also made this list. Four Nobel Prize winners, a former Home Secretary, countless chart-topping musicians and a NASA astronaut are counted among Leeds alumni. In recent years it has developed somewhat of a reputation as a top ‘party’ Uni, with tonnes of exciting nightclubs and student focused venues opening up as well as an award-winning Student Union.


Another Russel Group University, Sheffield is consistently ranked among the World’s top 100 Universities. Founded in 1897, as one of the last major towns in the UK to build a University, it now has over 20,000 students a year. Known for its hills, trams and music scene, Sheffield has a friendly reputation and often past students return to live here. Past alumni include another Home Secretary, David Blunkett, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Yorkshire born Gold-Medal Olympic Triathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill. Just a few of the Universities research partners include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Unilever.


The only non-Russel-Group University on this list, The University of Huddersfield is a perennial dark horse in yearly top Uni lists. They even won a Global Teaching Excellence Award in 2017. It is also one of the oldest universities in Yorkshire, having a history dating back to 1841. While it may not have the stellar alumni of the other Universities on this list, Sir Patrick Stewart was its chancellor for 11 years from 2011-2015. The uni campus has been visited by many members of the Royal Family in modern times. These include Prince Charles, and the Queen herself who laid the foundation stone of a new University building in 2007.


Also a Russel Group uni, you’d expect that this well-known historic town might have had a University for a very long time indeed. However, despite documented evidence of plans going as far back as the early 17th century, it was only founded relatively recently (for York) in 1964. First opening with less than 250 students, the University of York now educates over 17,000 undergrads and postgraduates each year.

York University also has a great reputation for student media, with the oldest continuing student run TV station (founded in 1967) and the oldest independent radio station in the UK. Past graduates include former Director General of the BBC Greg Dyke, celebrated comedian Harry Enfield and a former President of Portugal.