The Russell Group, representing the top research universities in the UK, has accepted Queen's University, Belfast as a member. The group, of which Imperial is a member, also includes the top University of London colleges and Oxford and Cambridge, among others across the UK.
Queen's is said to be delighted at joining the group, as it makes it an attractive destination for postgraduate students, academics and investment from industry.
The Russell Group was set up in 1994 and its members account for almost 65% of all research grants in the UK. Members of the group are supportive of top-up fees and this led to the formation of the Aldwych Group, comprised of the students' unions of the universities, to lobby them collectively.