The University of Surrey is a public research university in Guildford, Surrey, England. The university received its royal charter in 1966, along with a number of other institutions following recommendations in the Robbins Report. The institution was previously known as Battersea College of Technology and was located in Battersea Park, London. Its roots however, go back to Battersea Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1891 to provide further and higher education in London, including its poorer inhabitants. The university’s research output and global partnerships have led to it being regarded as one of the UK’s leading research universities.

The university is a member of the Association of MBAs and is one of four universities in the University Global Partnership Network. It is also part of the SETsquared partnership along with the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, the University of Southampton and the University of Exeter. The university’s main campus is on Stag Hill, close to the centre of Guildford and adjacent to Guildford Cathedral. Surrey Sports Park is situated at the nearby Manor Park, the university’s secondary campus. Among British universities, the University of Surrey had the 14th highest average UCAS Tariff for new entrants in 2015.

A major centre for satellite and mobile communications research, the university is in partnership with King’s College London and the Dresden University of Technology to develop 5G technology worldwide. It also holds a number of formal links with institutions worldwide, including the Surrey International Institute, launched in partnership with the Dongbei University of Finance and Economics. The university owns the Surrey Research Park, providing facilities for over 110 companies engaged in research. Surrey has been awarded three Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for its research, with the 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranking 78% of the university’s research outputs as “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. It was named as The Sunday Times University of the Year in 2016.

The chancellor of the university is Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. Current and emeritus academics at the university include ten Fellows of the Royal Society, twenty-one Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, one Fellow of the British Academy and six Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences. Surrey has educated many notable alumni, including Olympic gold medallists, several senior politicians, as well as a number of notable persons in various fields including the arts, sports and academia. Graduates typically abbreviate the University of Surrey to Sur when using post-nominal letters after their degree.

Reputation and rankings

National rankings
Complete (2022) 34
Guardian (2022) 54
Times / Sunday Times (2022) 32
Global rankings
THE (2022) 201–250
QS (2023) 267
ARWU (2021) 301–400
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework Gold

The university has consistently been in the top 60 of the three main ranking compilations of universities in the United Kingdom, placing it 39th in The Times and Sunday Times, 34th in The Good University Guide and the Complete University Guide, and 54th in The Guardian University Guide for 2021. International rankings have seen a steady improvement over the past five years. Subjects ranked in the top 20 include Hospitality & Leisure Management and Petroleum engineering. The university was ranked seventh in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018. In 2019, Surrey was ranked 161-170th in the QS World Employability Rankings, and first in the UK and 12th in the world for research partnerships with employers .

In 1991 the university was granted the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement,[13] and in 1996 was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher & Further Education in recognition of the university’s outstanding achievement in satellite engineering and communications, teaching and research by the Centre for Satellite Engineering Research and associated companies. In 1998, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd was awarded the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement, presented in person by the Queen on her second visit to the university, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Kent, chancellor of the university.

The university was awarded a 2002 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher & Further Education for its research and development on optoelectronic devices and ion beam applications. In July 2007, the university was awarded Fairtrade University status by the Fairtrade Foundation. The university won a 2011 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher & Further Education for its research into the fields of safe water and sanitation.[75] In 2013, the Electronic Engineering Department of the university won the 2013 Elektra Award University Department of the Year, and judged to be the most innovative and successful in Europe. In 2016 the university won The Sunday Times University of the Year award.[78] The university won a 2017 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher & Further Education for “Leading research and teaching in food and nutrition informing public policy on diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and other dietary related issues”.