[ from the common use of red brick in constructing the buildings of recently founded universities ]: of, relating to, or being the British universities founded in the 19th or early 20th century — compare oxbridge, plateglass
Although red brick is a perfectly innocent building material in America, the British usage of redbrick is often potentially uncomplimentary. Redbrick is a British coinage created to denote the universities which were newer and perhaps less prestigious than Oxford and Cambridge (and sometimes the ancient universities of Scotland). These newer universities tended to be constructed of red brick, rather than the stone used for Oxford and Cambridge, and were most often created in industrial cities such as Liverpool. Sometimes the term is also used to distinguish these universities from those built after World War II. Limited evidence suggests that redbrick may be developing an extended meaning of "lower-class" or "working class," but this is not yet established enough to merit a dictionary entry.
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