The University of Leeds is a redbrick university in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire. Officially founded in the early 20th century, the university’s origins can be traced back to the 19th century, when the Yorkshire College of Science was established. It was one of the first colleges in the UK for students of all faiths and backgrounds, set up to challenge the exclusivity of Oxford and Cambridge. Initially the college focussed purely on scientific studies before eventually introducing Classics, History and Modern Literature. This led the Yorkshire College of Science to become the Yorkshire College and in 1904, King Edward VII granted Leeds its own Charter as an independent institution. Today, the University of Leeds is among the Russell Group of research-intensive universities.
It offers over 500 undergraduate and more than 200 postgraduate-degree courses. Leeds is split into nine faculties, they include: Arts, Social Sciences and Law, Engineering, Environment, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Medicine and Health and Performance and Visual Arts. With over 30,000 students – 5,000 of them international, from more than 100 countries – the university prides itself on being a multicultural and international institution.Its partnership with Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China was the first overseas school to be set up by the University of Leeds and offers students a unique UK-Chinese engineering curriculum. The university is located on a single-site campus, just a short walk from Leeds’ vibrant city centre, with access to art galleries, museums, shopping and sports facilities, as well as green spaces. Leeds University Union offers over 250 clubs and societies and its students' union was the first in the UK to be awarded ‘excellent’ status by the National Union of Students (NUS) as part of its Quality Students' Unions accreditation scheme. A recent £520m has been invested into transforming its campus, which includes state-of-the-art sport and well-being facilities, a 25m eight lane swimming pool and the largest fitness suite of any UK university
Leeds alumni include the late historian Herbert Read, the singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae, and the astronaut Piers Sellers.