Russell Group improved

These are the most improved Russell Group unis in this year’s Complete University Guide

A good day to be a Liverpool student

Your uni is always making loads of promises on how it will improve after students complain about various things. But how much do they actually change, and what can actually be done in a year? Well, in addition to telling us which universities are the best overall, the 2025 Complete University Guide tells us how many places your uni has moved up the ranking in a year.

Unluckily for some unis, however, a lot of them have actually moved down the rankings this year, with six Russell Group unis sliding down the ranking, coming out worse off than last year. Rip Cardiff for moving down six places since the 2024 Complete Uni Guide. Yikes. Seven of the 24 Russell Groups stayed in the same position though, including the top two, Oxford and Cambridge.

The Russell Group unis that stayed in the same position from last year are:

• University of Oxford

• University of Cambridge

• London School of Economics

• University College London

• University of Bristol

• University of York

• King’s College London

With 10 Russell Groups moving up the rankings, these are the most improved unis in this year’s Good University Guide:

Russell Group improved

10. University of Exeter – up one place  

It might only be one spot, but every little helps I guess! Exeter moved from 15th last year to 14th this year.

9. University of Warwick – up one place 

Also improving by one spot, Warwick just squeezed into the top 10 this year.

8. Imperial College London – up one place 

Going from 6th last year, Imperial is now the fifth-best UK uni for 2025.

7. Queen’s University Belfast – up two places 

In last year’s rankings, QUB was 27th and gas improved enough to push it up to 25th this year.

6. University of Sheffield – up two places 

16th in the 2024 Complete University Guide, Sheffield has improved by two places this year.

5. University of Birmingham – up two places 

Coming in at 12th, Birmingham moved up from 14th in last year’s rankings.

4. Durham University – up two places

Notoriously full of Oxbridge rejects, Durham moved up two places from last year to be the sixth-best uni overall.

3. Queen Mary University of London – up three places

The most improved London Russell Group, QMUL has moved up three places to 50th this year. It’s still the worst-rated Russell Group overall, though.

2. Newcastle University – up four places

At 30th last year, Newcastle has moved up four spaces to the 26th best UK uni for 2025.

1. University of Liverpool – up six places 

As the 18th best uni in the 2025 Complete University Guide, Liverpool is the most improved Russell group this year, moving up six places from last year’s rankings.

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