The Largest Universities in the United Kingdom by Enrolment

The University of Manchester is one of England's largest universities.
The University of Manchester is one of England's largest universities.

The United Kingdom (UK) has several universities which rank among the best in the world. The four largest universities in the UK with the highest enrollment of students are University of London, Open University, Open University in England, and University of Manchester. These universities enroll distance learning, part-time, and full-time students. Furthermore, their enrollments go beyond the UK border to international students from over 100 countries.

The Largest Universities in the United Kingdom

University of London is located in London, England. It is the largest UK university by enrollment having 161, 270 full-time students. In addition, it has over 50,000 students enrolled for distance learning. University of London is a collegiate as well as a federal research university. It offers both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. University of London boasts of approximately two million alumni in the world. Some of those notable alumni of University of London were Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi, and Alexander Graham Bell. Furthermore, there are 84 Nobel Laureates, six Grammy Award Winners, and two Oscar Winners associated with University of London.

Open University is a Wales university. It is a research and public distance learning university. The university is popular for being the world leader in provision of flexible and high quality online degree programs. In fact, Open University was among the pioneers of distance learning in the world. It enrolls the second highest number of students in the UK after University of London. Statistics shows that their latest enrollment is 126,210 students. Many of the Open University students study off-campus. The university awards degree and non-degree qualifications to its students. The degrees awarded are both undergraduate and postgraduate while the non degrees are certificates, diplomas, and continuing education units. Some notable alumni of Open University include Meles Zenawi, Mary Stuart, Peter Cottrell, and Craig Brown.

University of Manchester ranks fourth amongst the universities in the UK with the highest enrollment. It comes after Open University in England which is the third with a number of 101,490 enrolled students. University of Manchester is a public research institute with a student enrollment of 39,700. By performance, it was ranked 34th in the world in 2018. It is UK’s largest single site university and hosts students from over 160 nations in the world. The university is a member of the renowned Russell Group of UK universities. University of Manchester is a result of a merger between Victoria University of Manchester and University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. The merger took place in 2004. University of Manchester provides undergraduate and post-graduate degree programs. It has about 25 Nobel laureates among its present and past staff and students. Besides the degree programs, University of Manchester owns and operates cultural properties such as Jodrell Bank Observatory, Whitworth Art Gallery, and Manchester Museum.

Factors Influencing High Student Enrollment

The UK colleges experience high enrollment of students in spite of their high fees due to several factors. Firstly, most of the universities offer quality education. The measure of quality is in accordance with the satisfaction of the current students as well as league-table rankings. The second greatest factor considered by students is the long term employment and earning prospects. Students make their university choices with these two factors in mind.

The Largest Universities in the United Kingdom by Enrolment

RankSchool NameEnrolment
1University of London161,270
2Open University126,210
3Open University in England101,490
4University of Manchester39,700
5University College London37,135
6University of Birmingham33,830
7Manchester Metropolitan University32,485
8University of Nottingham32,125
9University of Leeds31,790
10Sheffield Hallam University31,485
11Cardiff University30,675
12University of Edinburgh30,355
13Coventry University29,430
14King's College London28,900
15University of Sheffield27,925

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