The University of Bristol is a research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1909, and its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876. Bristol has been named amongst the world’s top 30 universities by the QS World University Rankings. A highly selective institution, it has an average of 14 applicants for each undergraduate place. 

The University had a total income of £426.7 million in 2011/12, of which £112 million was from research grants and contracts. It is the largest independent employer in Bristol. Current academics include 18 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, 10 Fellows of the British Academy, 13 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 31 Fellows of the Royal Society. 

​Bristol is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities, the European-wide Coimbra Group and the Worldwide Universities Network, of which the University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Eric Thomas was chairman from 2005 to 2007.