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About the University

Independent minds. Collective spirit. All for the public good.

Discover our strategy and vision

Who we are

We exist as a University for Public Good. Our founding values of excellence, equality and opportunity for all are as true today as they were when we opened our doors to 230 students in 1963.

Today we're home to more than 20,000 students and 5,000 staff. Our diverse community fosters a sense of belonging and operates at the highest academic and ethical standards.

In times of uncertainty and global unrest, the achievements of our staff and students continue to inspire us and have a positive impact on local, national and global scales.

Watch on YouTube

Rebecca Clark, Head of Access and Outreach, explains what public good means to her. Explore our Strategy Stories.

Proud of our research and teaching

We're one of only four UK universities (alongside Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial) to offer:

Gold for teaching

Overall rating of Gold under the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Why York's gold rated

Top 10 research

Awarded joint 10th in the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Research performance

At York, you’ll find a community united by a sense of collective purpose. It permeates all that we do, whether that’s supporting our city through the darkest days of the pandemic, providing funding to students struggling through the economic crisis, or offering a safe haven to scholars whose countries have been torn apart by war.

Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President

Award-winning education that empowers

A member of the Russell Group, we are a dynamic, research-intensive university.

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

We nurture our highly talented students from all backgrounds by giving them opportunities to develop and grow in an ever-changing world. Through York Futures, our innovative employability programme, we support our students’ career ambitions and help them meet the needs of global employers.

Our three faculties and 30+ academic departments undertake groundbreaking research that underpins our teaching.

Watch on YouTube

Third year Hull York Medical School student, Phoebe Durojaiye, explores how students can get involved with the University Strategy 2030. Explore our Strategy Stories.

Research with impact

Our curiosity-driven, action-oriented and interdisciplinary research pushes the boundaries on major global issues, from climate change to robotics. The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 places us in the top 10 of UK universities for research quality, with strong performance across our three faculties.

  • Research and development project, XR Stories, is establishing our region as a centre of excellence in immersive and interactive storytelling.
  • In 2022/23, we raised £97m in research grants, our largest ever total, an increase of 21 per cent (£17m) from 2021/22. 
  • Our Research Strategy 2023-2030 lays out how we advance knowledge for public good.

We are creating a thriving research culture and community within which diverse people, ideas and approaches can flourish. Our research community and culture encompass everyone who plays a role in the research and knowledge exchange process including students, academic and research staff, technicians and professional support.

Discover our research

Local commitment on a global scale

By building strong partnerships with international institutions and promoting collaboration beyond disciplinary boundaries, we broaden the reach of our teaching and research for local impact on a global scale.

We pursue transformative research partnerships and student and staff exchanges across the world, including major strategic relationships with Maastricht University and and our Europe Campus, CITY College at Thessaloniki, Greece.

We’re working in partnership with IntoUniversity and the University of Hull to establish three new learning centres to help children growing up in East Hull, Bridlington and East Marsh Grimsby stay on track at school and realise futures they may never have dreamed possible.

Enterprise Works, our business hub, is where we nurture enterprising talent and foster connections with local businesses, students and researchers. Encouraging entrepreneurial activity in our region drives social change and delivers benefits from our expertise for the public good.

Watch on YouTube

Bob Doherty, Dean of the School for Business and Society, discusses our mission for public good. Explore our Strategy Stories.

Landscape photograph of the campus, showing students relaxing on a sunny day with the LGBTQ flag raised

Our campus community

York is a campus university set within 500 acres with lakes, wetlands and landscaped gardens, located within walking distance of the city centre. It's home to an abundance of water birds, including ducks, geese, swans and herons. We continue to invest in our estate, including a transformational new Student Centre, which will become the home of student life on campus.

All York students become members of one of our eleven colleges, which provide an inclusive and supportive community.

A beautiful city to live, learn and work

York is a thriving, friendly city, renowned for its rich history and heritage.

Regularly named one of the best places to live and visit in the UK, 2,000-year-old York has so much to offer. From iconic medieval streets to a thriving foodie scene and more attractions per square mile than anywhere else in the UK.

Travel between campus and the city centre is easy by bus, bike or on foot. York is a great base from which to explore the wider region and beyond, with direct rail networks that connect us with other major cities in the UK.

Explore our city guide


Environmental sustainability is one of our core principles and we're embedding sustainable thinking across all areas of the University. Researchers at York collaborate across disciplines to help shape a more sustainable future for us all, addressing unprecedented global challenges in environmental, social and economic sustainability.

In 2021, we launched Environmental Sustainability at York (ESAY) to boost our environmental sustainability activity and develop pathways to help us achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

As a University for public good, we continue to consider the ways our actions can affect positive and lasting change. In 2024, we published our latest statement on responsible investment - outlining our divestment from a number of areas that threaten global sustainability.

Opportunity for all

Widening access to higher education is at the heart of what we do. Through regular activities we enthuse talented young people from all backgrounds about higher education.

With York Festival of Ideas, we welcome a wide audience to free events that demonstrate the transformational power of our research and ideas.

We're a University of Sanctuary, providing support for refugees and asylum seekers. We continue to do what we can to support our community in difficult times.

How we're governed and led

The University was created by Royal Charter and is a public higher education institution and exempt charity in England.

Find out how the University is run