Uh oh, a new ranking found these 10 Russell Group unis are the worst in the world right now

It’s not too late to withdraw your application

No matter which Russell Group university you study at, you’re bound to tell people it’s the best one in the country. It’s part of the intricate lore if being a uni student – you can hate on your own campus but absolutely no one else is allowed to say a bad word about it. Even if you hate all your lectures, your SU bar is shit and the institution is literally on its knees, you will defend that grey pebble dash prison right up until the end. Well, that’s unless you study at one of the worst Russell Group unis in the country right now.

The QS World rankings look at 1,500 unis worldwide to tell us the very best universities in the world right now. This year, Imperial College London beat Oxbridge Universities for the first time ever, so there’s some serious reshuffling going on at the moment.

Universities are ranked based on factors such as academic reputation to how well they are respected by employers.

So these are the worst Russell Group unis in 2025 that made it into the QS World Ranking

89. Durham University

At a comfortable 89th place in the world, Durham University tied with Pennsylvania State University. Despite being overcrowded with a large majority of Oxbridge rejects, it actually ranked as the 10th worst Russell group university in 2025. Bit awkward.

105. University of Sheffield

Sheffield was ranked at the 105th best university in the world, which isn’t bad for a little northern town. It suffered a bit more of a hit when ranked against UK Russell Group universities at the ninth worst, but that can be expected. Sheffield produced one of the world’s best indie rock bands – they can’t do it all!

108. University of Nottingham

Notts was considered to be the eighth worst Russell Group uni in 2025, according to the newest data. I am truly shocked – not only do all Nottingham grads rave on about their university, the campus looks mega posh too. I guess you really do have to take some things for surface value.

120. Queen Mary University of London

After hearing how Imperial College London actually overtook Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the 2025 QS World Ranking, it’s surprising to see another London university in the top 10 worst Russell Group unis. I fear it has stopped trying.

129. Newcastle University

Ranking at number six out of the worst Russell Group unis 2025, this one hurt. As a Newcastle University graduate myself, I’m going to pretend I didn’t read this and instead continue to brag about the city and culture instead. Pick your battles.

165. University of Liverpool

Placing at 165th in the world, the University of Liverpool certainly didn’t flop, but there are definitely improvements to be made if it intends to improve next year. It’s currently the fifth worst Russell Group uni for 2025.

169. University of Exeter

Exeter! This isn’t very “rah” of you – I expected more than a low ranking as the fourth worst uni out of the Russell Groups. What is going on?

184. University of York

After a chaotic year since the passing of our king Long Boi, I’m going to let this one slide. Ranking as the third worst Russell Group for 2025 is slightly embarrassing and I know it can do better. Let’s give them a year off.

186. Cardiff University

Well, with the UK’s most dangerous student area yet again being Cathays, this one doesn’t seem too shocking. The second worst Russell Group in the country was of course Cardiff University, but to be fair, Wales is a small country.

206. Queen’s University Belfast

Although often forgotten about when compared to the likes of the University of Edinburgh or Durham University, QMUL is in fact a Russell Group University. It actually ranked at a respectable 206 out of the world rankings, not bad at all when you consider the size of Ireland in comparison to many other countries in the world. It was however, ranked as the worst Russell Group university for 2025. There’s always next year, ey QMUL.

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