The University of Sheffield is a research university based in the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It is one of the original ‘red brick’ universities and is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities. It was ranked 40th in the world’s top 100 universities by the Global University Ranking Study 2009, and 17th in the United Kingdom in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and is consistently ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the United Kingdom and Europe according to The Good University Guide. It was the Sunday Times University of the Year in 2001. In 2011, QS World University Rankings placed Sheffield as the 72nd university worldwide.
Furthermore, the university is ranked amongst both the UK’s and world’s Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, and the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise found 41 submissions out of 49 of Sheffield’s research to contain more than 50% of “world-leading” and “internationally excellent” research, which made Sheffield among the Top Ten in the Russell Group. The university has produced five Nobel Prize winners so far.
The University of Sheffield was originally formed by the merger of three colleges. The Sheffield School of Medicine was founded in 1828, followed in 1879 by the opening of Firth College by Mark Firth, a steel manufacturer, to teach arts and science subjects. Firth College then helped to fund the opening of the Sheffield Technical School in 1884 to teach applied science, the only major faculty the existing colleges did not cover. The three institutions merged in 1897 to form the University College of Sheffield. Sheffield is one of the six red brick universities.