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June 14, 2016updated 27 Mar 2023 3:41pm

Which UK cities have the most universities?

By Jonn Elledge

First a word about the data. The CfC gathers data on the 63 largest cities in Britain, from London (pop: 9.8m all the way down to Worthing (pop: 107,000). As to what counts as a university, we’re only counting the main campuses, not smaller branch campuses. Last but not least, we’re not counting the Open University, which is technically based in Milton Keynes, but as a distance learning institution doesn’t have a campus in the traditional sense.

You can probably guess which of those has the most universities: we’ve already covered it. London is so far out ahead of the others that it breaks the scale of the chart, and we’ve had to fudge it.

Nonetheless, here’s the top 10:

Scotland’s historic reputation for education is clearly on show, and the country’s two largest cities are in joint second place, with six universities a piece. The Northern Powerhouse is also putting in a good showing, with two universities in Sheffield, four in Liverpool, and a whopping five each in Manchester and Leeds.

As you’d expect, though, these are all big cities: the smallest is Belfast, and that’s still got a population of 475,000. It’s also a capital city, which probably helps when collecting universities.

This is an extract from a longer article looking at the distribution of Britain’s universities.

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Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @jonnelledge.

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