Richmond, The American International University in London

Richmond, The American International University in London
Motto Unity in Diversity
Type Private (Registered charity)
Established 1972 (The original Richmond College, University of London, was founded in 1843)[1]
Endowment £9 million[2]
Chairman Michael Hoffman
Chancellor Sir Cyril Taylor[3] GBE
President John Annette
Provost Phil Deans
Academic staff
290 (2017)[4]
Students 1,554 (2016)[5]
Location London, England
Campus Richmond Hill, Kensington

Navy blue & gold

Affiliations Independent Universities Group
Association of American International Colleges and Universities[6]
Mascot Stag

Richmond, The American International University in London, is a private non-profit, American liberal arts and business studies university located in London, United Kingdom, and established in 1972. It is one of nine private universities (and one of six non-profit) in the country. The university has over 1,500 students, representing over 100 nationalities, with an average student-to-faculty ratio of sixteen to one. 52% of its students come from the US, 23% from the UK and the rest from across the world.

The University's degrees are accredited in the United States by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education,[7] and Richmond has also been granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in the UK, enabling the University to award its own degrees. Students will be able to receive two degree certificates as they can gain two degrees in one. Richmond is the first and only University to achieve this combination of US and UK degree-awarding powers. Richmond's Business School is an accredited Higher Education Partner of the Chartered Management Institute while its psychology degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society giving Richmond graduates the opportunity to gain graduate and/or chartered membership of the society and access to the widest range of training, development and employment opportunities.

It is one of eight members of the Independent Universities Group, whose objective is to differentiate between their academic credentials and the more commercial elements of the alternative sector.[8]


Richmond was founded in 1972 by the social entrepreneur and politician Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), as Richmond College, The American College in London. It began teaching on the site of the former Richmond Theological College, part of the University of London founded in 1843 as a Methodist theological college. AIFS had been previously using the college site for a number of years for their London study abroad programmes. AIFS purchased half of the College's 10 acre site for £300,000 (equivalent to £3.82 million in 2015), including the majority of its building and front lawns to form a new American liberal arts college.[9] A second campus was opened in Kensington in 1978 for third and fourth year students as well as the college's US Study Abroad Programme, its buildings located on St Albans Grove and Ansdell Street.

In its early years Richmond served mainly to house study abroad programmes to US students, however this changed in 1981 when Richmond obtained a license to award US undergraduate degrees from the Washington DC Board of Education and formal accreditation from the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (now the Middle States Commission on Higher Education).[9] With this licence it became a fully accredited independent liberal university. Following the closure of the Washington DC Board of Education, Richmond moved its accreditation to Delaware where it still issues degrees.

The university's Kensington campus expansion on Young Street was officially opened by Diana, Princess of Wales, in March 1988 and attracted a number of high-profile students including the daughter of NATO commander Alexander Haig and members of the Tata family.

In 1995 AIFS, which had owned Richmond up until then, spun-off the University as a non-profit educational institution. Richmond inaugurated its first postgraduate degree in 1998 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

The UK Privy Council recognised Richmond's right to award degrees in 1990 and from 1996 to 2018 it had accreditation by the Open University to issue British validated degrees in addition to its US accreditation.[9] In May 2018, the University was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in the UK, enabling students to receive two degree certificates, from the US and UK.



The board of trustees is responsible for the stewardship of the university's assets, strategic decision-making and ensuring compliance with its objectives. The board is chaired by Michael A. Hoffman, co-founder and chairman of Palamon Capital Partners, while the university's founder, Sir Cyril Taylor, a former chairman, serves as chancellor in a ceremonial figurehead role.[10] Day-to-day operational management is delegated to the president and other senior management employees of the executive team and the university board. The current president of Richmond, since August 2011, has been John Annette.[11]


In the financial year ending July 2014, Richmond had a total income of £25.14 million (2012/13 – £22.31 million) and total expenditure of £24.97 million(2012/13 – £22.6 million). Nearly 97% of the total income generated was from either tuition fees or room and board at the university's dormitory buildings, and 50% and 30.5% of total expenditure were for operational costs and staff costs respectively. At year end Richmond had total net assets of £9.08 million (July 2013 – £6.33 million). Cash surplus for the period was £171,691 versus a £291,384 deficit in the previous year. The University benefits from a £9 million endowment from The Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation, awarded in 2016.

The university offers both means-tested bursaries and merit awards with varying amounts based on student geography. In 2013/14 over £2.12 million was granted to individuals versus £1.57 million the previous year.


The current strategic plan lasts until 2017, by which time it aims to have increased FTE student enrolment from all sources, including undergraduate and postgraduate degree students, study abroad and increased retention to a total of 2000 students. It also aims improve the research profile of the university through developing a "research strategy" for the university and to establish at least two research centres in its two academic schools.[12] Richmond hopes to replace its OUVS validation in the UK taught degree awarding powers (TDAP) by 2016 on top of its existing accreditation in the US by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In the longer term by 2020 it hopes to open a Shanghai study centre in addition to its existing ones in the UK and Italy.


Richmond had an average of 305 full-time equivalent staff including 141 academic staff during the year ending 5 May 2015.[13] The faculty members are supported by a large number of management and administration staff in property services, student affairs, marketing and admissions along with IT and catering.

Academic profile


Richmond, The American International University in London is composed of three specialist schools and a sports academy.

  • Richmond Business School
  • Richmond School of Communications, Arts & Social Sciences (CASS)
  • Richmond School of General Education & Centre of Modern Languages
  • Richmond International Academic Soccer Academy (RIASA)


Richmond offers a wide range of majors and minors at undergraduate level in business, economics, political science, international relations, media, the arts and humanities.[14] Undergraduate fees are currently about £9,000 for UK/EU students and between £14,500 and £23,800 for International and US students per annum.[15] Students may pay their tuition in either US Dollars or British Pounds. Standard degrees are four-years long though may be completed earlier through either transfer credits from US Advanced Placement classes, UK A-Levels and International Baccalaureates or through optional summer sessions.

All degrees at Richmond follow the liberal arts curriculum that encourages students to reach across disciplines and build connections between different academic areas. Richmond degrees offer the flexibility to learn about what interests individual students while still maintaining an organised structure. In their first year students takes a variety of classes in math, writing and research, the sciences and creative arts before specializing in their major. Despite the specialization students will continue to take elective liberal arts classes outside of their majors at each academic level to provide a rounded education.[16][17] Each student has a dedicated academic advisor who guides them through course selection, declaring majors and minors and how to get the best out of their time in the classroom while at Richmond.

In addition it offers postgraduate degrees in business (MBA), Journalism, International Relations, Art History, Visual Arts Management and Public Relations & Advertising.[18] Its MA and MBA degrees currently last one year September to September. Postgraduate fees currently range from about £7,000 for MA courses and £12,000 for the MBA to UK/EU students and between £12,000 and £15,000 for International and US students.[19]

Applications can be made either via the Common Application, directly on-line to the University or through UCAS.For all programmes there is a September and a January in-take every year.


Institutions that have degree-awarding powers in the UK are known as "recognised bodies". There are also "listed bodies" which do not have degree awarding powers but provide complete courses leading to recognized UK degrees, validated by institutions which have degree-awarding powers.[20] The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has Richmond University as a "listed body".[21]

The UK Privy Council recognised Richmond's right to award degrees in 1990 and from 1996 to 2018 it also had accreditation by the Open University to issue British validated degrees in addition to its US accreditation.[9] In May 2018, the University was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in the UK, enabling students to receive two degree certificates, from the US and UK. .

Richmond is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools,[22] an institutional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. Richmond is licensed to award Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master and PhD of Arts, and the Master of Business Administration degrees by the Department of Education in the State of Delaware.[23]

Library Services

Richmond's library facilities across both the Hill and Kensington Campuses include over 60,000 books and DVDs, 39,000 e-journal titles and 36,000 newspapers and newswires. There are PCs and networked printer-copiers for producing works located in both. The purpose built Taylor Library, named after Sir Cyril Taylor on the Richmond Hill Campus offers a range of space for study including an open space for group work on the ground floor and both public and private individual study stations upstairs.

The Kensington campus library located in Atlantic House offers large open-plan public study spaces across both of its floors. In addition to its library facilities both campuses offer extensive PC and Mac computer Labs. The PC Labs are located in the Main Building (Hill Campus) and Atlantic House (Kensington) while Macs are available in Red House (Hill Campus) and Asa Briggs Hall (Kensington).


The university's main hub is split between two campuses, both in the Greater London area: the Richmond campus, located near the crest of Richmond Hill and approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Richmond station, and the Kensington campus, located at a point equidistant between Kensington High Street and Cromwell Road.

Richmond Hill

The Richmond campus is the primary residence of undergraduate students in their first two years of study and its façade is a major symbol of the school promotional literature. The school's headquarters and admissions department are also located here. The main building and surrounding subsidiary buildings occupy the site of the former Richmond College, University of London, purchased by Sir Cyril Taylor. It features a multi-purpose sports court, spacious front lawns and a variety of historic forest land. It sits close to one of the main gates of Richmond Park. The campus is served by the London Buses 371 route, which also provides ready access to the town of Kingston.


The Kensington campus is a closely grouped set of buildings located between Kensington High Street and Gloucester Road, with further buildings in Earls Court. It is where many of the upper-level undergraduate students reside during their last two year along with all postgraduate programmes. The campus is equipped with state of the art facilities for media production and graphic design including a video studio, edit suites, Macintosh computer lab and photography studios. Asa Briggs Hall features a psychology lab with several interview rooms for various experiments. Kensington is the housing location for many study abroad students at the university.

Richmond Soccer Academy and Italian Study Centers

In addition to its London Campuses Richmond also maintains three specialist study centres in Leeds, Florence and Rome. The Leeds centre, located on the campus of Leeds Beckett University focuses on a combination of soccer training and sports management[24] while Florence and Rome specializes in the study of history along with the studio and fine arts.[25] Richmond offers first year students studying business, communications, politics, international relations and art history the chance to study full-time at the Florence Study Centre for their Freshmen year before transferring back to the London campuses to complete their degree.[26]

Student life

Student Government

The RAIUL Student Government is the official Students Union of Richmond, The American International University in London under the Education Act 1994. It organises a range of social activities on both campuses throughout the year and orientation weeks. It also lobbies senior faculty, management staff and the Board of Trustees on behalf of students in relation to issues of welfare, discrimination and academic appeals. The Student Government also manages the annual student Raising and Giving (RAG) charity campaign on behalf of the university.[27]

Clubs and Societies

Richmond's Student Affairs Department offer a variety of clubs and societies for students to get involved in including Model United Nations, Gaming, Film production, journalism, Art Appreciation, Theatre, Finance and Investment, Cheer-leading, Debating, Fashion, Environmentalism, History, Politics, International Affairs, Journalism, Psychology, Community Service, Great British Bake Off and LGBTQ+. Throughout the year the Office of Student Leadership and Resident Life Team also organizes social events on and off campus such as Movie Nights, Comedy Nights, theatre trips, sports competitions and more.[28] Students may also join the Student Union of Richmond's partner institution Imperial College Union as associate members for £4.50 a month. They have access to all Imperial societies and facilities.


Sports facilities at the Richmond Hill campus include a gym and fitness studio and multi-purpose soccer, basketball, tennis and volleyball court. The University also hires out local gymnasiums throughout Richmond where volleyball and football (soccer) matches are held. It is free of charge to University students. Students on the Kensington campus may use either local private gyms or the nearby Imperial College gym at a discounted student price. Student sports teams currently include male and female soccer teams, a men's basketball team and the Mixed Martial Arts society open to both.[29] The men's soccer team 'The Richmond Stags' competes in the British Universities and Colleges Sport London soccer league.

Notable alumni


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  3. "Board of Trustees (Richmond website)".
  4. "View all Faculty(Richmond website)".
  5. "Admissions FAQ (Richmond website)".
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  7. Middle States Commission on Higher Education Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  8. "Student Right to Know - Richmond University".
  9. 1 2 3 4 Cyril Taylor. 2013. Sir Cyril: My Life as a Social Entrepreneur. Stroud: Amberley.
  10. "Board of Trustees - Richmond University".
  11. "President's Executive Team - Richmond University".
  12. "Strategic Plan - Richmond University".
  13. "Faculty & Research - Richmond University".
  14. "BA Degree Undergraduate courses in London - Richmond University".
  15. "Undergraduate Admissions Fees - Richmond University".
  16. "The art of liberal study - Richmond University".
  17. "Core Curriculum - Richmond University".
  18. "Postgraduate Programmes - Richmond University".
  19. "Postgraduate Study London, Masters Tuition Fees - Richmond University".
  20. "About UK degree awarding institutions". Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  21. Listed Bodies. UK Department for Universities, Innovation and Skills. Accessed April 27, 2008
  22. Institution Directory, Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Accessed April 27, 2008
  24. "Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy".
  25. "Study Abroad in London, Try Richmond Summer School - Richmond University".
  26. "Freshman Year in Florence, Italy - Richmond University".
  27. "Student Government - Richmond University".
  28. "Student Activities - Richmond University".
  29. "Sports - Richmond University".
  31. "Bobby Chinn - The chef with a difference".
  32. Desk, Entertainment (2015-04-03). "In memoriam: Nazia Hassan was born 50 years ago today". Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  33. "Richmond American International University: Prince Louis & Princess Tessy celebrate graduation in London". 16 May 2014.
  34. "Richmond, the American International University in London". 28 July 2014.
  35. "Sting to become a grandfather after his son's 'secret' wedding".
  36. "ADYP".
  37. "Yönetim Kurulu".

Coordinates: 51°27′08″N 0°17′48″W / 51.4523°N 0.2966°W / 51.4523; -0.2966

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