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.
The university is a member of the Russell Group of research universities and 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.
The university has an emphasis on research, having one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities in Britain. Southampton is highly regarded as a centre for educational excellence and outstanding teaching, considered one of the top universities in the UK, ranking nationally as a top 15 university in various tables, 12th in the UK according to the 2009 the Sunday Times, and regularly rated in the top 10 of the National Student Survey.
In recent years it 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 also a member of the European University Association, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Southampton is an accredited institution of the Worldwide Universities Network.
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