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Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK.Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially.Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council meetin…

Clusters of UK universities based on research, teaching, economic resources, academic selectivity and socioeconomic mix of students

UK University league tables are unreliable as they are often closely bunched together at the top, middle and bottom. Don't read too much into universities placed 10 to 20 places apart – a university in 50th place is usually separated by the one in 60th by only a few percentage points. This is also why some universities ranking fluctuate from year to year – small differences in score can mean big differences in placing. For example, a small drop in the National Student Survey (NSS) may cost a university 20 places in league tables.

It makes more sense to cluster universities based on similar criteria. According to DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2015.1082905, there are 4 distinctive clusters of universities in the UK. A stark division is evident between the old pre-1992 universities and the post-1992 universities, with large differences evident in terms of research activity, economic resources, academic selectivity, and social mix. The difference between old and new universities with respect to teaching quality is minor.

Oxford and Cambridge stand out among the old universities forming an ‘elite’ tier of universities. The differences between this elite tier and the rest are substantial in relation to research activity, economic resources, academic selectivity, and social mix, but are much more modest in relation to teaching quality.

The remaining 22 Russell Group universities are found to cluster together with over half (17 out of 30) of all the other old universities.

Around a quarter of post-92 universities form a distinctive bottom tier. These universities are far less well-resourced than all other universities, and the student populations they serve are much less academically successful and socioeconomically disadvantaged.

The 4 clusters of UK universities are listed below, sorted by CUG ranking within the same cluster.

Russell GroupUnaffiliated pre-92 universitiesMillion+GuildHEUniversity AllianceUnaffiliated post-92 universities

Cluster 1 (2 universities)

  1. University of Cambridge
  2. University of Oxford

Cluster 2 (39 universities)

  1. University of St Andrew
  2. London School of Economics
  3. Imperial College London
  4. Loughborough University
  5. University of Durham
  6. University of Lancaster
  7. University of Bath
  8. University College London
  9. University of Warwick
  10. University of Exeter
  11. University of Birmingham
  12. University of Bristol
  13. University of Edinburgh
  14. University of Leeds
  15. University of Manchester
  16. University of Southampton
  17. University of Glasgow
  18. King's College London
  19. University of Nottingham
  20. University of York
  21. University of Newcastle
  22. Royal Holloway
  23. University of East Anglia
  24. University of Aberdeen
  25. Queen's University of Belfast
  26. University of Sheffield
  27. Heriot-Watt University
  28. Cardiff University
  29. University of Dundee
  30. University of Liverpool
  31. University of Surrey
  32. Queen Mary University of London
  33. University of Strathclyde
  34. SOAS
  35. University of Leicester
  36. University of Reading
  37. University of Sussex
  38. University of Kent
  39. Goldsmiths, University of London

Cluster 3 (67 universities)

  1. Swansea University
  2. University of Essex
  3. Harper Adams University
  4. Aston University
  5. University for the Creative Arts
  6. University of Stirling
  7. Nottingham Trent University
  8. Arts University Bournemouth
  9. Oxford Brookes University
  10. University of Lincoln
  11. University of the Arts, London
  12. University of Northumbria
  13. University of Huddersfield
  14. Manchester Metropolitan
  15. Coventry University
  16. University of Keele
  17. City University of London
  18. Aberystwyth University
  19. Ulster University
  20. University of Portsmouth
  21. University of Hull
  22. University of the West of England, Bristol
  23. Liverpool John Moores University
  24. Sheffield Hallam University
  25. University of Bradford
  26. Falmouth University
  27. University of Central Lancashire
  28. University of Plymouth
  29. University of Chichester
  30. Bangor University
  31. Robert Gordon University
  32. Staffordshire University
  33. Queen Margaret University
  34. Edinburgh Napier University
  35. University of West London
  36. University of Hertfordshire
  37. De Montfort University
  38. Roehampton University
  39. Birmingham City University
  40. Brunel University
  41. Bournemouth University
  42. Cardiff Metropolitan University
  43. Glasgow Caledonian University
  44. London South Bank University
  45. University of Greenwich
  46. University of Salford
  47. Bath Spa University
  48. University of Chester
  49. Teesside University
  50. University of Abertay Dundee
  51. University of Gloucestershire
  52. Middlesex University
  53. University of Derby
  54. Kingston University
  55. University of South Wales
  56. University of Worcester
  57. University of Winchester
  58. University of Sunderland
  59. University of Northampton
  60. University of the West of Scotland
  61. University of Westminster
  62. University of Brighton
  63. Leeds Beckett University
  64. Newman University
  65. University of Bedfordshire
  66. Canterbury Christ Church
  67. University of the Highlands & Islands

 Cluster 4 (19 universities)

  1. Liverpool Hope University
  2. Edge Hill University
  3. University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  4. Solent University
  5. York St John University
  6. Bishop Grosseteste University
  7. Anglia Ruskin University
  8. University of East London
  9. University of Cumbria
  10. London Metropolitan University
  11. University of Wolverhampton
  12. Leeds Trinity University
  13. Buckinghamshire New University
  14. Wrexham Glyndwr University
  15. University of Bolton
  16. University College Birmingham
  17. Plymouth Marjon University
  18. University of Suffolk
  19. Ravensbourne University London

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