The University of Southampton is a British Russell Group university located in the city of Southampton, United Kingdom. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 following a legacy to the Corporation of Southampton by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College, with degrees awarded by the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted a Royal Charter to give the University of Southampton full university status.
The university is a member of the Russell Group of research universities and the Worldwide Universities Network. It currently has over 17,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students, making it the largest university by higher education students in the South East region. The main campus is located in the Highfield area of Southampton. Four other campuses are located throughout the city, with an additional campus the School of Artbased in nearby Winchester.
The university has a strong emphasis on research, having one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities in Britain. Southampton is highly regarded as a centre for educational excellence, ranking nationally as a top 20 university in various tables, and regularly rated in the top 10 of the National Student Survey. The university is also noted for its large array of indoor and outdoor sports facilities.