Ranking British universities on how posh their alumni are
Bonus points for Made in Chelsea stars and minor royals
Who comes to mind when thinking of posh universities in the UK? Your first thoughts were definitely Oxbridge, maybe Durham or Edinburgh, or even Exeter at a push.
But what is it about these institutions that instantly links them to being ‘posh’? Is is their educational prowess? Their centuries of history steeped in tradition? Or even their groundbreaking research?
I mean… these things may play a part, but to really determine how posh a uni is, you just need to look at the types of people who studied there.
From your Prime Ministers to your TV presenters, your royal family members to your Made in Chelsea stars, a lot can be determined about a uni by its former students. We’ve created a definitive ranking of some of the biggest UK universities based on how posh their alumni are.
• Nick Grimshaw (Presenter, studied Communication and Media Studies)
Okay sure, the guy is a big celeb, but I’m sure Grimmy would laugh in your face if you called him posh.
University of Warwick: 0/10
• Carrie Symonds (Political activist and BoJo’s fiancé, studied History and Theatre Studies)
• Ruth Jones (Actor, studied Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts)
“Sling ya hook you pervert, before I break your arm” would definitely be Nessa’s response if you ever dreamed of calling her posh.
As for Carrie Symonds? Okay she is your standard posho – just look at who she’s about to marry.
• Adrian Chiles (Presenter, studied Journalism)
• Huw Edwards (BBC newsreader, studied French)
• Martin Lewis (Journalist, did a Postgrad in Broadcast Journalism)
Cardiff, Cardiff, Cardiff. Your students may be clad in spenny sports gear, or chinos and a Ralph Lauren shirt, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that your alumni are all a bit dead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Huw Edwards would be a great bloke to have a pint with at The Woody, but in terms of poshness… well he’s hardly comparable to the future King of England.
University of Glasgow: 2/10
• Emeli Sandé (Singer, studied Neuroscience)
• Gerard Butler (Actor, studied Law)
• Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister of Scotland, studied Law)
A revered group, but about as posh as a deep fried Mars Bar.
University of Exeter: 3/10
• JK Rowling (Author, studied French and Classics)
• Katie Hopkins (Columnist, studied Economics)
• Will Young (Singer, studied Politics)
• Zara Tindall (Olympian Equestrian and Royal, studied Physiotherapy)
Exeter is well know for being somewhat of a preppy uni. Full of the Home Counties finest, shipped down to the South West every semester in daddies Range Rover, it is easy to think of Exeter as being one of the poshest establishments going.
Yes, they’ve had the odd minor royal such a the Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter, Zara Tindall, but some of its other alumni leave a lot to be desired.
Poshness suggests a certain amount of decorum and class, and, judging by some of the things JK Rowling has posted on Twitter recently, along with pretty much everything that has come out of Katie Hopkins’ mouth ever, it appears that many of Exeter’s most notable alumni are certainly lacking in any decorum whatsoever.
Durham University: 4/10
• Andrew Strauss (England cricketer, studied Economics)
• Will Carling (English rugby player, studied Psychology)
• Will Greenwood (English rugby player, studied Economics)
• Nish Kumar (Comedian, studied English)
Your typical Durham student is clad in a Barbour jacket, signet ring gleaming, with a sizeable trust fund waiting for them…Or so you’d think. Despite this stereotype, Durham’s alumni is severely lacking in any prolific poshos. You’ve got some sports players and other notable people, but maybe more of you got into Oxbridge than we thought?
University of Bristol: 4.5/10
• David Walliams (Actor and comedian, studied Drama)
• James Blunt (Singer, studied Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering and Sociology (ik wtf!!!))
• Matt Lucas (Actor and comedian, studied Theatre, Film and Television)
• Simon Pegg (Actor, comedian and screenwriter, studied Theatre, Film and Television)
• Susanna Reid (Presenter and journalist, studied Politics, Philosophy and Law)
Bristol students like nothing more than to pretend they’re not posh. They try so hard to be a little bit quirky, a little bit ‘alternative’ and very very cool. This isn’t reflected in their alumni, however, who are all quirky and not that cool. Don’t get me wrong, David Walliams is pretty pompous, but he’s hardly the poshest bloke in Britain.
University of Leeds: 5/10
• Emma Mackey (Actor, studied English Lit and Lang)
• Keir Starmer (Leader of Labour Party, studied Law)
• Jamie Laing (Made in Chelsea star, studied Theatre and Performance)
• Caggie Dunlop (Made in Chelsea star, studied Philosophy)
I can just imagine 18 year old Jamie Laing having a wonderful time at Beaver Works.
University of Manchester: 5.5/10
• Benedict Cumberbatch (Actor, studied Drama)
• Jack Whitehall (Comedian, studied History of Art)
• Mathew Horne (Actor, studied Drama)
• Robert Rinder (Criminal barrister and TV personality, studied Politics and Modern History)
That’s right, Jack Whitehall was actually a student in Manchester, making walking round Fallowfield and seeing a carbon copy of JP from Fresh Meat ever more likely. Students in Manny have found the perfect balance between being really posh but acting like they’re not. They secretly love shooting and ski holidays to their mates houses in Val-d’Isère but they’re not in your face about it (well most of them anyway).
• Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster (Aristocrat, studied Countryside Management)
• Ollie Proudlock (Made in Chelsea Star, studied Fine Art)
• Princess Eugenie (Royal, studied Art History, English Literature and Politics)
• Rowan Atkinson (Actor and comedian, studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
• Sophie Habbo (Made in Chelsea Star, studied Media Communications and Cultural Studies)
Geordie’s are known for getting absolutely mortal and having sex with everyone and everything, so it may come as some surprise to find out that Newcastle is the alma mater of not only two Made in Chelsea stars but a royal and Rowan Atkinson. I would literally give my entire student loan to watch Princess Eugenie and Mr. Bean downing Jägerbombs in Bijou.
On top of this, Newcastle can boast the 29-year-old Duke of Westminster as one of their alumni, who has a staggering net worth of $12.7 billion.
St. Andrews: 2 future monarchs/10
• Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Royal, studied History of Art)
• Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (Royal, studied Geography)
You know a uni is posh when it boasts the matchmaking of the future king and queen of the throne.
University of Edinburgh: 8.5/10
• Arthur Chatto (Royal, studied History of Art)
• Chris Hoy (Olympic cyclist, studied Applied Sports Science)
• Gordon Brown (Former Prime Minister, studied History)
• Laura Kuenssberg (Journalist, studied History)
• Louise Thompson (Made in Chelsea star, studied Geography)
• Pippa Middleton (Sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, studied English)
• Samuel Chatto (Royal, studied History of Art)
• Amelia Windsor (Royal, studied French and Italian)
You think of Edinburgh and you imagine rich, good-looking and clever students. Their alumni is exactly that.
• David Attenborough (Broadcaster and natural historian, studied Geology and Zoology)
• Emma Thompson (Actor, studied English)
• Ian McKellen (Actor, studied English)
• Naomie Harris (Actress, studied Social and Political Sciences)
• Prince Charles (Royal, studied Anthropology, Archaeology and History)
• Stephen Fry (Actor, comedian and Writer, studied English)
• Tom Hiddleston (Actor, studied Classics)
Cambridge was so close to making it to the top spot, with a whole host of fancy British celebs like Stephen Fry, David Attenborough and the future king. Many of these icons are national treasures, however, and are far more respected and relatable than the hoards of Tory MPs produced by Oxford. This means Cambridge narrowly missed out on nabbing the prestigious title of poshest uni.
Oxford: 28 Prime Ministers/10
• Boris Johnson (Prime Minister, studied Ancient literature and Classic Philosophy)
• David Cameron (Former Prime Minister, studied PPE)
• Felicity Jones (Actress, studied English)
• Hugh Grant (Actor, studied English)
• Nigella Lawson (Celebrity chef, studied Medieval and Modern Languages)
• Theresa May (Former Prime Minister, studied English)
• Tony Blair (Former Prime Minister, studied Law)
Try change my mind on this one, I bet you can’t. Oxford is undoubtedly the poshest uni in the UK (and potentially the world), churning out more fancy-pants personalities than any other. The uni boasts 28 British Prime Ministers in their extensive list of famous faces, including four out of five PMs in this century alone. They’ve had everyone from actors, activists, authors and journalists wandering the city of dreaming spires, which is certainly not something to stick your nose up at.