The University of Leeds (informally Leeds University, or simply Leeds) is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Originally named the Yorkshire College of Science and later simply the Yorkshire College, it incorporated the Leeds School of Medicine and became part of the federal Victoria Universityalongside Owens College (which eventually became the University of Manchester) and University College Liverpool (which became the University of Liverpool). In 1904, a royal charter was granted to the University of Leeds by King Edward VII.
The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, of which the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Michael Arthur is the current Chairman, and the N8 Group for research collaboration. The university is also a founding member of the Worldwide Universities Network, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, the White Rose University Consortium, the Santander Networkand CDIO and is also affiliated to the Association of MBAs, EQUIS and Universities UK.
Leeds has around 33,600 students, the fifth-highest number of any university in the UK. From 2006 to present, the university has consistently been ranked second in the United Kingdom for the number of applications received, second only to the University of Manchester. Leeds had a total income of £547.3 million in 2010/11, of which £124 million was from research grants and contracts. The university has financial endowments of £42.3 million (2008–09), ranking outside the top ten British universities by financial endowment.
Described as “a top redbrick university and one of the giants of the British higher education system” by The Guardiannewspaper, the university is ranked nationally between 16th (QS World University Rankings) and 27th (The Independent). Internationally, the university is ranked as the 34th best in Europe and globally ranked between 85th in the 2011 QS World University Rankings and 101st in the 2010 (ARWU). In 2007, The Sunday Times released a 10 year average of their rankings, placing Leeds 26th out of 119 institutions from 1998 – 2007. Leeds was ranked 8th in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the best result in the Yorkshire and the Humber region and in 2010, Leeds was ranked as the 9th most targeted British university by graduate employers. Notable alumni include former Secretary of State Jack Straw, Piers Sellers (NASA astronaut) and multiple Nobel laureates.
Jack Straw graduated with a 2:2 degree in Law from the University of Leeds, during this time he was elected president of the leeds university union, starting his career in politics.
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