The University of Exeter is a public research university based in Exeter, South West England. A member of the Russell Group of UK universities, it combines excellence in teaching and research. It was awarded gold in the first Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in recognition of the high quality of its teaching. 98% of its research was rated as international quality in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF). Its motto is Lucem sequimur (we follow the light).
It has its origins in the Exeter School of Art and Exeter School of Science, founded in 1855 and 1863 respectively. The schools merged, becoming the Royal Albert Memorial College, then the University College of the South West of England and finally in 1955 the University of Exeter, when it received its Royal Charter.
The University of Exeter is organised into six academic colleges. Their many research institutes and centres include the Centre for Leadership Studies, the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture, the Living Systems Institute and the Environment and Sustainability Institute. Its research themes are often interdisciplinary, and include climate change, translational medicine and exoplanets.
University of Exeter alumni include J. K. Rowling – who studied a BA in French and Classics – and politicians Sajid Javid and Caroline Lucas