Every city or town on the list meets the following criteria:
1. It is the base for one university or higher education institution only.
2. At least 10,000 students physically attend classes there.
3. Students make up at least 5% of the total population.
The list was drawn up using government and university figures and by estimating student numbers at different campuses. We also allowed for near-term growth in attendances. Other types of university cities and towns are identified below.
30 cities and towns meet the student-number criteria (2 and 3) but are the base for multiple universities. University cities tend to be bigger than single-university towns. They also offer more educational choice.
Note distinction between 'city' and 'town' is blurred in the UK and does not tell you much about the size of a place. Cities can have populations as low as around 10,000 while some towns have populations of two-hundred thousand or more.
The almost "university towns" are the places that are the base for a university but don't qualify as a university town. They may have too few university students and/or students are only a small proportion of the population. Depending on how the universities are set up, the almost university towns can still provide students with a rich university experience.