1994 Group
TypeAssociation of UK universities
  • United Kingdom
Chair of the Board
Professor Michael Farthing
Key people
Executive Director:
Alex Bols

The 1994 Group was a coalition of smaller research-intensive universities in the United Kingdom, founded in 1994 to defend these universities' interests following the creation of the Russell Group by larger research-intensive universities earlier that year.

The 1994 Group originally represented seventeen universities, rising to nineteen, and then dropping to eleven. The group started to falter in 2012, when a number of high performing members left to join the Russell Group.[1] The 1994 Group ultimately dissolved in November 2013.[2][3]


The group sought "to represent the views of its members on the current state and the future of higher education through discussions with the government, funding bodies, and other higher education interest groups" and "[made] its views known through its research publications and in the media".[4]

University Alliance, million+, GuildHE and the Russell Group were its fellow university membership groups across the UK higher education sector.

Members at time of dissolution

Institution Location Established Gained university status Vice-chancellor
(or equivalent)
Total number of students Research funding (£Thousand)
Birkbeck, University of London London 1823 1920 Professor David Latchman
19,020 9,985
University of East Anglia Norwich 1963 1963 Professor David Maguire 19,585 16,482
University of Essex Colchester 1964 1964 Professor Anthony Forster 11,690 9,967
Goldsmiths, University of London London 1891 1904 Professor Frances Corner (Warden) 7,615 8,539
Institute of Education, University of London London 1902 1932 Professor Li Wei
7,215 7,734
University of Lancaster Lancaster 1964 1964 Professor Andy Schofield 12,695 18,640
University of Leicester Leicester 1921 1957 Professor Nishan Canagarajah 16,160 22,225
Loughborough University Loughborough 1909 1966 Professor Nick Jennings 17,825 22,398
Royal Holloway, University of London Egham 1849 1900 Professor Julie Sanders (Principal) 7,620 13,699
SOAS, University of London London 1916 1916 Professor Adam Habib (Director) 4,525 7,238
University of Sussex Brighton 1961 1961 Professor Sasha Roseneil 12,415 16,196

Historical membership

The following table shows the membership of the group since its formation in 1994.

Institution Location Year joined Year left
University of Bath Bath 1994 2012
Birkbeck, University of London London 1994
Durham University Durham 1994 2012
University of East Anglia Norwich 1994
University of Essex Wivenhoe (Essex) 1994
University of Exeter Exeter 1994 2012
Goldsmiths, University of London London 1994
Institute of Education, University of London London 2009[5]
University of Lancaster Lancaster 1994
University of Leicester Leicester 2006[6]
London School of Economics London 1994 2006
Loughborough University Loughborough 2006[6]
University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) Manchester 1994 2004
Queen Mary, University of London London 2006[6] 2012
University of Reading Reading 1994 2013
Royal Holloway, University of London Egham 1994
University of St Andrews St Andrews 1994 2012
SOAS, University of London London 2006[6]
University of Surrey Guildford 1994 2012
University of Sussex Brighton 1994
University of Warwick Coventry 1994 2008[7]
University of York York 1994 2012

The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), which merged with the Victoria University of Manchester to form the University of Manchester, was a member of the 1994 Group until October 2004. The London School of Economics was also a member until 2006, and the University of Warwick until July 2008. Durham University, University of Exeter, Queen Mary, University of London and University of York left in 2012. All have now joined the Russell Group.[8] In October, the University of St Andrews and University of Bath withdrew from membership of the group.[9][10] The University of Surrey also announced its intention to leave the group on 6 November 2012.[11] On 19 December 2012 the University of Reading announced that it would cease to participate in the group, although its membership formally ended in July 2013.[12]

1994 Group position in league tables

See also: Rankings of universities in the United Kingdom

University ARWU[13]
(2013, World)
(2013/14, World)
(2013/14, World)
(2014, National)
The Guardian[17]
(2014, National)
Times/Sunday Times[18]
(2014, National)
Birkbeck, University of London 374 201–225
University of East Anglia 201–300 229 174 20 17 17
University of Essex 401–500 338 251–275 39 63 39
Goldsmiths, University of London 461–470 51 58 48
Institute of Education, University of London
University of Lancaster 301–400 156 137 11 11 12
University of Leicester 201–300 202 161 16 13 14
Loughborough University 244 351–400 14 14 21
Royal Holloway, University of London 265 102 30 38 28
School of Oriental and African Studies 337 33 22 24
University of Sussex 101–150 193 121 31 50 32

Governance and management structure

The 1994 Group was headed by a board made up of the heads of member institutions. The board met formally five times a year. In addition, an annual residential conference took place in the summer where longer-term strategic issues were discussed.[4] The board had responsibility for determining strategy and agreeing all policy papers, position statements and consultation responses, and responsibility for the governance of all joint activity.

The chair was elected by board members for a three-year term of office. Professor Michael Farthing, vice-chancellor of University of Sussex, was elected chair in 2011.[4] The chair was the national spokesperson for the group and represented its interests where a senior representative of the group was required. The chair had overall responsibility for the development and delivery of the communication strategy on behalf of the board. Previous chairs included: 1997-2000 Sir Ivor Crewe (Essex); 2000-03 Alisdair Smith (Sussex); 2003-06 Sir David Eastwood (UEA); 2006-09 Sir Steve Smith (Exeter); 2009-12 Paul Wellings CBE (Lancaster); 2012- close Michael Farthing (Sussex).

The chair was assisted by a Chair's Advisory Group (CAG) elected from the board for a three-year period of office (initial membership was staggered to ensure a rolling change of membership).[4] The CAG met on four occasions each year. CAG members had a general brief for assisting the chair in the development of all areas of group policy (including management of the relationship with the Policy Groups). The CAG had a central role in the development of relationships with government, funding bodies, and HE stakeholder organisations.

Policy groups

The 1994 Group had three high-level Policy Groups that met three times a year to discuss longer-term strategy and policy issues.[4]

The 1994 Group's Student Experience Policy Group aimed to identify the key issues surrounding student experience in the HE sector, defining the 1994 Group's own position in this context, and identifying potential areas for research and activity in the future.

The Research and Enterprise Policy Group aimed to strengthen the research carried out by its members by investigating funding and other issues.

The Strategic Planning and Resources Policy Group developed policies and guidelines in response legislative and financial changes affecting the group's members.

Unions 94

Established in 2006, Unions 94 was a loose coalition of students' unions within the 1994 Group.

See also

Types of UK university

International groups of universities


  1. ^ "Russell Group 'a more natural fit'". THE. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  2. ^ "1994 Group disbands". THE. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Statement from the Board of the 1994 Group". 1994 Group. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "1994 Group website". 1994 Group. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Institute of Education joins 1994 Group". Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d "Four more universities join 1994 group". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  7. ^ "Warwick University – V-c explains exit from 1994 Group". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Russell Group: News and Policy Statements – 2012 – Russell Group of universities agrees to expand". Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  9. ^ "University of Bath withdraws from 1994 Group". Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Will the last university to leave the 1994 Group please turn out the lights". THE. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  11. ^ "University of Surrey announces it is to leave 1994 Group". Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  12. ^ "1994 Group leaks yet another member". THE. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2013". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Archived from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  14. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2013/14". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  15. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2013–2014". THE. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  16. ^ "University League Table 2014". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  17. ^ "University guide 2014: University league table". The Guardian. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  18. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2014". Times Newspapers. Archived from the original on 19 July 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2013. (subscription required)