University constituency

A university constituency is a constituency, used in elections to a legislature, that represents the members of one or more universities rather than residents of a geographical area. These may or may not involve plural voting, in which voters are eligible to vote in or as part of this entity and their home area's geographical constituency.

When James VI inherited the English throne in 1603, the system was adopted by the Parliament of England. The system was continued in the Parliament of Great Britain (from 1707 to 1800) and the United Kingdom Parliament, until 1950. It was also used in the Parliament of Ireland, in the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1613 to 1800, and in the Irish Free State from 1922 to 1936.

Such constituencies have also existed in Japan and in some countries of the British Empire such as India.

At present there are four instances in two countries of university constituencies: two in the Seanad Éireann (the upper—and in general less powerful—house of the legislature of the Republic of Ireland) and two in the Senate of Rwanda.