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“The best years of your life are at university,” is a common phrase thrown around by people who reminisce over their days studying. And, while this might be an over-exaggeration, there’s some truth to this statement. University life is often seen as a time of self-discovery and growth, both academically and personally.
Not only can higher education be a great investment for your career, it can offer invaluable life skills too. Between coffee-fuelled study sessions and lectures, university offers a chance to meet new people and experience new things. And, most importantly, with newfound independence and freedom, having a romantic relationship at university isn’t uncommon.
With this in mind, which university is the best in the UK for falling in love? Which campus has the highest percentage of university relationships and, out of those, which has the highest percentage of marriage?
How common is love at first citation? The Knowledge Academy crunched the numbers by asking 3,500 past and present students from the top 30 UK universities to find out.
And the results are in… According to the 3,500 individuals we surveyed, here are places where relationships in university are most common:
Move aside Paris, York is the city of love. The University of York takes the top as the most romantic university, having the highest proportion of relationships in university out of all campuses we surveyed. According to the polls, 63.30% of students at the University of York reported meeting a romantic partner during their time there. Unfortunately, most of these connections didn't last with only 7.34% reporting being married to the partner they met at University.
Not only the best place to find love, it's also one of the most haunted universities in the UK, so you really do have to be on your toes if you choose to study here.
Coming in second place as the best university for falling in love is another campus in the North of England—the University of Manchester. With alumni spanning from artist Phil Collins, to actor Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s no surprise that 61.74% of respondents said that they had a relationship at university while studying here. According to our research, around one in five married their university partner too, at 20.87%.
Bristol is a city known for its creativity, street art and vibrant music scene. According to our, it also hosts the third most romantic university campus too. The University of Bristol ranks just below the University of Manchester as the best institution for finding a university relationship, with 57.41% of students saying they had a university relationship while studying. Just over one in ten of these university relationships made their way to marriage too, with 13.89% of those surveyed saying they had married their university partner.
According to our data, the University of Leeds ranks fourth place as the best university in the UK for having a relationship at university. As the fifth-largest university in the UK, 57% of alumni surveyed said had a relationship at university—placing it just a fraction lower than the University of Bristol. Despite the relatively large percentage of students who found love at the University of Leeds, according to our results, only 5% reported marrying their university relationship—the lowest rate out of all universities we surveyed.
The University of Southampton comes just after the University of Leeds as the fifth-best university in the UK for falling in love. According to our data, 56.93% of those polled said they had a university relationship. Likewise, around one in ten of those surveyed said they eventually married the partner they met at university at 10.95%.
The sixth best university to fall in love in the UK is the University of Edinburgh. As the highest Scottish university to rank on the list, the number of people surveyed that said they found a romantic partner at university was 56.45%, with 16.94% saying they eventually married the partner they met at university.
Durham University in North East England comes in seventh as the best university for falling in love in the UK. According to the polls, 55.91% of students said they had a university relationship, with a respectable 19.69% saying they eventually married the partner they met while studying.
Despite being one of the most prestigious universities in the world, the University of Oxford comes in at only eighth when comparing which universities in the UK are best for falling in love. Out of all Oxford alumni and students polled, only 55.91% said they had a relationship at the university. However, of those who did meet a romantic partner at university, 21.09% said they went on to marry. This gives the University of Oxford the second-highest marriage rate in the UK.
Liverpool: the city of music and The Beatles. It’s even found to be the most haunted university, too. However, according to our research, it’s not the most romantic. Only 52.34% of alumni or students at the University of Liverpool said they had a university relationship, with only 14.02% going on to marry after that.
Known as Oxford’s arch-rival, the University of Cambridge, unfortunately, falls short compared to its nemesis in regards to the best city for falling in love. According to our data, just 48.39% of those who studied here said they had a university relationship, with only 14.52% saying they eventually married the partner they met at university. Fear not, however, as what the university lacks in romance, it makes up with books—being the third-best campus in the UK for book lovers.
Unfortunately not every graduation ends in a romantic forever after. Our data found that some universities were particularly less romantic than others–here are the three worst campuses for finding a university relationship.
According to our research, the University of Aberdeen is statistically the worst university for finding a university relationship. Of all those polled, just 6.40% said they had a relationship at university–around ten times less than the University of York. Likewise, only 8% of those who said they found a romantic partner at the University of Aberdeen reported getting married to their partner.
The University of Glasgow ranked as the second worst university in the UK for falling in love, with just 8.26% saying they had a relationship at university–and of those, only 6.61% got married. This makes the University of Glasgow not only the second-worst university in the UK to find love, but also the second-worst university to find a partner to marry.
Coming in as the third worst university in the UK for falling in love is the University of Reading, with only 13.22% of alumni polled saying they had a relationship at the university. However, of those who said they had a university relationship, 11.57% eventually got married.
When calculating the average of all universities we surveyed, the overall percentage of those who found love at university was just over one in three—with 35.63% of individuals polled saying they had a relationship at university.
Unfortunately, our research suggests that many of these relationships don’t last until marriage. Of all individuals polled, just 12.17% said they eventually got married to their university relationship.
1. The Knowledge Academy wanted to find out which UK university is the best for falling in love with Valentine's Day approaching.
3. Respondents were asked which university they attended, whether they met a romantic partner at university and if they married their university partner.
4. Each university was subsequently ranked in descending order of the number of respondents answering ‘Yes’ to the latter two questions.
5. Data was collected on 26th January 2023 and is subject to change.