Queen's University Belfast has been invited to join the "ivy league" of UK universities.
The university recently launched an international recruitment drive
The university has been accepted for membership of the elite Russell Group.
It will join 19 research-intensive universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Edinburgh and University College London.
The vice chancellor of Queen's, Professor Peter Gregson, said the invitation was "tremendous news" and the university was delighted by it.
"It enhances our role as an attractive destination for postgraduate students, businesses and investment," Prof Gregson said.
"It also establishes Queen's and Northern Ireland as one of the main learning centres in the UK.
"Russell Group membership is recognition of the outstanding contributions of our staff over many years and it will enhance the Queen's Experience for future generations of students."