There are a few different ways of determining which are the good universities, which ones you should aim for, which ones are worth applying for, but what are Russell Group Universities, and is it worth aiming for one?

The Russell Group is a collection of 24 universities in the UK, and these are good universities.

At the moment, the group consists of …

• Birmingham,

• Bristol,

• Cambridge,

• Cardiff,

• Durham,

• Edinburgh,

• Exeter,

• Glasgow,

• Imperial,

• King's College London,

• Leeds,

• Liverpool,

• the London School of Economics,

• Manchester,

• Nottingham,

• Oxford,

• Queen Mary,

• Queen's in Belfast,

• Sheffield,

• Southampton,

• UCL,

• Warwick,

• York.

But admission to the Russell group is not based on league tables; it's not based on results and it's not based on research. They're 24 taken from the top 50, and if you look at the Russell Group website, their statistics are really, really good. Students coming out of Russell Group universities have, high employment rates, their research is excellent, they have, like, really, really, really good stats. But, if you picked a group of 24 random universities out of the top 50 in the country, they would have really, really good stats. So, just because a university is in the Russell Group, doesn't mean it has anything special. It doesn't say it has an advantage over the other universities that aren't in the Russell Group. There are, like, really, really good universities who aren't in this group, for whatever reason, they're not in the group. They've decided not to be, or whatever. But I know sometimes there's this obsession with labels, oh, I'm into a Russell Group, or I'm into a Redbrick, I'm into Oxbridge, and labels aren't necessarily very helpful. When you're looking at universities, you need to decide where you're going to be happy. That's the most important thing. Don't get obsessed with what is Russell Group, what isn't Russell Group, because Russell Group is just a little club of universities that have got together and given themselves a name. Which is good for them, but not necessarily right for you.