The University of Southampton is a British Russell Group university located in the city of Southampton, United Kingdom. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 following a legacy to the Corporation of Southampton by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College, with degrees awarded by the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted a Royal Charter to give the University of Southampton full university status. It is a member of the European University Association, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Southampton is an accredited institution of the Worldwide Universities Network. The University of Southampton is recognised as one of the leading research universities in the UK and has achieved consistently high scores for its teaching and learning activities. It additionally has one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities in Britain.
In recent years, Southampton has been rated as one of the world's top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education Table, while the 2011 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 75th overall in the world, and Webometrics Ranking of World Universities ranking Southampton 32nd in the world.
The university is a member of the Russell Group of research universities committed to the highest levels of academic excellence in both teaching and research. Southampton is also a member of the Worldwide Universities Network. It currently has over 17,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students, making it the largest university by higher education students in the South East region. The University has six campuses - four in Southampton, one in Winchester, and one international branch in Malaysia. A further campus - the Maritime Centre of Excellence - is being developed close to the Highfield Campus. The main campus is located in the Highfield area of Southampton. Three other campuses are located throughout the city - Avenue Campus, National Oceanography Centre and Southampton General Hospital, with an additional campus - the School of Art - based in nearby Winchester.
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