The University of Leeds is a public research university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was established in 1874 as the Yorkshire College of Science. In 1884 it merged with the Leeds School of Medicine (established 1831) and was renamed Yorkshire College. It became part of the federal Victoria University in 1887, joining Owens College (which 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 has 36,330 students, the 5th largest university in the UK (out of 169). From 2006 to present, the university has consistently been ranked within the top 5 (alongside the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Edinburgh) in the United Kingdom for the number of applications received. Leeds had an income of £751.7 million in 2020/21, of which £130.1 million was from research grants and contracts. The university has financial endowments of £90.5 million (2020–21), ranking outside the top ten British universities by financial endowment.

Notable alumni include current Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer, former Secretary of State Jack Straw, former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Sayeeda Warsi, Piers Sellers (NASA astronaut) and six Nobel laureates.

Rankings and reputation

National rankings
Complete (2022)[55] 20
Guardian (2022)[56] 16
Times / Sunday Times (2022)[57] 15=
Global rankings
THE (2022)[58] 127=
QS (2023)[59] 86
ARWU (2021)[60] 101–150
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[61] Gold

Leeds was ranked joint 19th (along with the University of St Andrews) amongst multi-faculty institutions in the UK for the quality (GPA) of its research and 10th for its Research Power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Between 2014-15, Leeds was ranked as the 10th most targeted British university by graduate employers, a two place decrease from 8th position in the previous 2014 rankings.

The 2021 the Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked Leeds as 153rd in the world. The university ranks 84th in the world in the CWTS Leiden Ranking.Leeds is ranked 91st in the world (and 15th in the UK) in the 2021 QS World University Rankings. Leeds has also been named University of the Year 2017 by The Times and The Sunday Times’ Good University Guide. In 2019, it ranked 150th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings.

The university won the biennially awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2009 for services to engineering and technology. The honour being awarded to the university’s Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) which for over forty years has been a world leader in transport teaching and research.