How many Universities are there in the United Kingdom?

Image of central London by the Big Ben


There are 154 recognized higher learning institutions that can award degrees in the United Kingdom, according to the U.K. government website. Over two million people are enrolled at U.K. universities as undergraduate and postgraduate students, 500,000 of them being international. The UK is among the world’s leading destinations for international students. Universities in Britain date back to the dawn of mediaeval studium generale, with Oxford and Cambridge taking their place among the world’s oldest universities, therefore they are traditionally reputed as the best in the world. Students receive the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, critical thinking, and connections to drive forward their careers in universities that consistently perform well in world rankings. 

Top Universities in the UK

The world’s highest ranked University; University of Oxford 

When determining a university as ‘the best’ many factors such as reputation, ranking, history, course availability and your interests can be taken into consideration. Out of a 1000, There are a total of 90 UK universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2021. This UK university league table below reveals the best UK universities and colleges, according to the trusted THE World University Rankings 2021.

World University Rank 2021 United Kingdom Rank 2021Name of University
1University of Oxford
2University of Cambridge
11 3Imperial College London
16 4United College London (UCL)
27 5London School of Economics and Political Science
30 6University of Edinburgh
35 7King’s College London
51 8University of Manchester
77 9University of Warwick
91 10University of Bristol

The University of Oxford, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, continues its domination as the top university in the UK for 2021. It attracts only top scholars and students. Entry standards are high and admission is competitive; on average, it receives five applications for each available place. In total, Oxford offers 48 undergraduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines. Undergraduates and postgraduates belong to a college and often live in the college building or college-owned accommodation. Oxford remains to be one of the most historically attractive as it consists of 100 libraries and multiple museums in the city.

Like Oxford, the University of Cambridge is also one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. The town is just an hour from London. The university is home to more than 19,000 students and 9,000 staff. There are 31 colleges, some of which date back to the 13th century, and more than 100 academic departments. Cambridge is particularly renowned for excellence in mathematics. Getting an undergraduate place at the university is extremely competitive; the acceptance rate is only 21%.

Of the top universities in the UK, about 20 are in London, including well-known institutions such as Imperial College London and UCL, and more recently established universities such as the University of Westminster and the University of Greenwich. Studying in the heart of the capital proves to be one of the greatest attractions to international students craving the buzzing city life.

Why study in the United Kingdom?

Exploring Architecture and Culture in central London

History – The UK is home to multiple historic sites, castles, abbeys, palaces and Stonehenge. The UK will fascinate both history enthusiasts and casual tourists. It offers some of the best scenery in the entire world. London has some of the world’s most famous museums and historical sights. 

Focused and Shorter Degrees – If you know exactly what you want to study, then studying in the UK is for you! UK degrees are more professionally-focused and a typical undergraduate degree is 3 years, and the typical graduate degree is 12 months. By finishing your schooling faster, you can have a jumpstart on your career! Another benefit remains that by graduating a year earlier, you save a large portion of your money.

Social Life – For a university student, fun and friends are equally as important as your academics as it is what shapes your experience overall. The UK hosts some of the most hospitable people and an exciting nightlife with plenty of live music.

Easy access to travel –  Unlike other countries such as the US or Canada, everything is relatively close in Europe. While you’re studying in the UK, you can take weekend trips to Paris, Barcelona, or Milan in your spare time for a much smaller portion of the price you would pay to visit them from countries further.

 Opportunities for International students

 International Students in the United Kingdom    

The United Kingdom is one of the most popular destinations for especially international students due to the various benefits it offers. To meet their needs, the UK has great resources in place for prospective students looking to study in the UK. Many advisors are at your disposal to answer your questions. By international standards, the UK is considered a very safe place to be. The city is very multicultural and the people are very open minded. Due to the large number of international students in the UK it is considered an international hub. With its professional and diverse mix of people, the UK may be your launching platform to other international opportunities. The UK is the ideal place for International students looking towards improving their english language. Fluency in English is an asset to any company in the international job market, and there is no better place to learn and practice English than in the UK.


Going to university in the UK is a great way to expand your knowledge, meet new people, experience a new culture, and gain exposure. You’ll get plenty of support at UK universities, and a chance to experience a great student lifestyle. Whatever your interests are, there is always a degree to match it, from over 50,000 courses in more than 25 subject areas. All of which are generally shorter than other countries, helping to reduce overall tuition fees and accommodation costs. Study in the world’s most highly reputed universities along with having an amazing experience!

Find out more about how to study at a top university here. Explore the links below to learn more! 

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