Queen Mary University London will become a member of the Russell Group of universities in August 2012 after accepting an invitation to join.
The Universities of Durham, York and Exeter have also been extended invitations, which they have accepted, taking the Group’s total number of members to 24.
Principal of Queen Mary, Professor Simon Gaskell said: “We are delighted to accept the invitation to join the Group. The Russell Group includes the top research-intensive universities in the UK.
“The invitation to join the Russell Group is a result of our achievements over the last decade, notably the considerable improvement in research strength across a broad academic range, acknowledged in the 2008 RAE and the expansion in student numbers with steadily increasing entry standards. These achievements have been made alongside our firm commitment to our local community and to widening participation.”
Prof Michael Arthur, Chair of the Russell Group, said: “Durham, Exeter, Queen Mary and York have demonstrated that – like all other Russell Group members – they excel in research, innovation and education and have a critical mass of research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.”
The move is likely to pave the way for Queen Mary Students’ Union to join the Aldwych Group, which is an association of students’ unions of Russell Group universities.