Below is a list of the ten biggest universities in Britain, based on student population. These rankings are sourced from the most recent statistics of 2007-2008, published by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency.
1. Open University – 181,695
Topping off the list of the top ten biggest UK universities based on population is Open University or OU which has a population of 181,695 students. One of its most notable features is its open entry policy which doesn’t take into account the previous academic qualifications of students applying for most undergraduate courses.
2. Leeds Metropolitan University – 41,215
With a population of 41,215, Leeds Metropolitan University is second on the list of big UK universities. This institution gained university status in 1992 and boasts of 2 campuses located in Leeds and West Yorkshire. The University recently won the award for “outstanding contribution to the local community” at the Times Higher Education Supplement annual higher education awards ceremony.
3. University of Manchester – 37,360
At number three with a student population of 37,360 is the University of Manchester which is a “red brick” civic university located in Manchester. A member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities, this institution was founded in 2004. It is also a member of the N8 Group for research collaboration. The students at University of Manchester study 500 academic programs and also have a staff of more than 10,000.
4. Manchester Metropolitan University – 33,155
Manchester Metropolitan University – MMU is a university located in North West England, whose central campus and headquarters are located in the city of Manchester. MMU is third on the list of largest UK universities with a population of 33,155 and it has some outlying facilities in Cheshire.
5. University of Leeds – 32,250
Fifth on the list of top 10 UK universities is the University of Leeds which is also referred to as Leeds University. This “red brick” institution is located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire and boasts a population of 32,250 in its student body.
6. University of Nottingham – 31,830
With a population of 31,830, the University of Nottingham is sixth on the list of ten biggest universities in the UK. This is a public research institution located in the city of Nottingham. The university also has other campuses located internationally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as in Ningbo, China.
7. University of the West of England, Bristol – 31,700
The University of the West of England – WWE comes in at number seven with a student body population of 31,700. This university is located in the city of Bristol with the main campus situated at Frenchay. Other facilities include the smaller campus at St. Matthias, the School of Creative Arts as well as a School of Health and Social Care.
8. University of Central Lancashire – 31,245
The University of Central Lancashire – UCLan has a population of 31,245 which makes it eighth on the list of biggest UK universities. This institution of higher learning is located in Preston, Lancashire and was founded in 1828. UCLan has been ranked as the best modern university in North West England.
9. Sheffield Hallam University – 31,090
Sheffield Hallam University is ninth on the list of biggest UK universities with a population of 31,090. This facility is based in South Yorkshire on two sites located in Sheffield.