- Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students. Since then we have become one of the world's leading universities, carving out a reputation as an academic powerhouse where a clear focus on excellence has secured national and international recognition alongside longer established institutions. A member of the elite Russell Group of universities, we are a dynamic, research-intensive university committed to the development of life-saving discoveries and new technologies to tackle some of the most pressing global challenges. Located within walking distance of York city centre, our safe and attractive Heslington campus is home to our nine colleges and most of our departments. We also have several departments located in the city centre at the historic King's Manor.