University of London

University of London
University of London Coat of Arms
Latin: Universitas Londiniensis
Type Public
Established 1836 (1836)
Chancellor The Princess Royal
Vice-Chancellor Sir Adrian Smith[1]
Visitor The Lord President of the Council ex officio
Students 213,270 (161,270 internal[2]
and 52,000 external)[3]
Undergraduates 92,760 internal (2016/17)[2]
Postgraduates 68,500 internal (2016/17)[2]
Location London, England, United Kingdom
51°31′16″N 0°07′44″W / 51.52111°N 0.12889°W / 51.52111; -0.12889Coordinates: 51°31′16″N 0°07′44″W / 51.52111°N 0.12889°W / 51.52111; -0.12889
Deputy Vice Chancellor Edward Byrne[4]
Chair of the Board of Trustees Sir Richard Dearlove[5]
Website University website

The University of London (abbreviated as Lond. or more rarely Londin. in post-nominals) is a collegiate[lower-alpha 1] and a federal research university located in London, England. The university was incorporated originally by royal charter in 1836, which also allows it to be one of three institutions to claim[6] the title of the third-oldest university in England.[lower-alpha 2][6] The university is, at present, incorporated by royal charter granted in 1863[7] and is now governed by the University of London Act 1994.[8] The university currently consists of 18 constituent colleges, nine research institutes and a number of central bodies.[9] The collegiate university houses the second-oldest medical school in London,[10] and was the first to admit women[11][12] as degree candidates in the United Kingdom and also the first to appoint a female as its Vice Chancellor in the United Kingdom.[lower-alpha 3]

The university is the largest university in the United Kingdom by total number of enrolled students (internal and external) from more than 190 countries, with over 52,000 distance learning students in external mode and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making largest university by number of full-time students in the United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awarding examination board for students holding certificates from University College London and King's College London and "other such other Institutions, corporate or unincorporated, as shall be established for the purpose of Education, whether within the Metropolis or elsewhere within our United Kingdom".[13] The university moved to a federal structure in 1900.[14]

In year 2013, Times Higher Education World University Rankings[15] ranked University of London in top 50 under World's top 100 universities for producing millionaires.[16] Most constituent colleges rank in the top 50 universities in the United Kingdom and for most practical purposes, ranging from admissions to funding, the constituent colleges operate on an independent basis, with some recently obtaining the power to award their own degrees whilst remaining in the federal university. The ten largest colleges of the university are University College London, King's College London, Queen Mary, City, Birkbeck, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, SOAS, and St George's. The specialist colleges of the university include the London Business School, the Royal Veterinary College and Heythrop College, specialising in philosophy and theology. Imperial College London was formerly a member, before leaving the university a century later in 2007.[17] City is the most recent constituent college, having joined on 1 September 2016.[18]

As of 2015, there are a total of around 2 million[19] University of London alumni across the world, which include 12 monarchs or royalty, 52 presidents or prime ministers, 84 Nobel laureates, 6 Grammy winners, 2 Oscar winners and 3 Olympic gold medalists. The collegiate research university has also produced Father of the Nation for several countries,[lower-alpha 4] including several members of Colonial Service, Ceylon Civil Service and Imperial Civil Service during the British Raj and the British Empire.[lower-alpha 5] In post-nominals, the University of London is commonly abbreviated as Lond. or, more rarely, Londin., from the Latin Universitas Londiniensis, after its degree abbreviations.


19th century

University College London (University College London) was founded under the name “London University” in 1826 as a secular alternative to the religious universities of Oxford and Cambridge.[20] In response to the theological controversy surrounding such educational establishment, King's College London (KCL) was founded and was the first to be granted a royal charter (in 1829).[21][22]

Yet to receive a royal charter, UCL in 1834 renewed its application for a royal charter as a university (originally applied for in 1830), which would grant it the power to confer degrees.[23] In response to this, opposition to "exclusive" rights grew among the London medical schools. The idea of a general degree awarding body for the schools was discussed in the medical press.[24] and in evidence taken by the Select Committee on Medical Education.[25][26] However, the blocking of a bill to open up Oxford and Cambridge degrees to dissenters led to renewed pressure on the Government to grant degree awarding powers to an institution that would not apply religious tests,[27][28][29] particularly as the degrees of the new University of Durham were also to be closed to non-Anglicans.[30]

In 1835, the government announced the response to UCL's petition for a charter. Two charters would be issued, one to UCL incorporating it as a college rather than a university, without degree awarding powers, and a second "establishing a Metropolitan University, with power to grant academical degrees to those who should study at the London University College, or at any similar institution which his Majesty might please hereafter to name".[31]

Following the issuing of its charter on 28 November 1836, the university started drawing up regulations for degrees in March 1837. The death of William IV in June, however, resulted in a problem – the charter had been granted "during our Royal will and pleasure", meaning it was annulled by the king's death.[32] Queen Victoria issued a second charter on 5 December 1837, reincorporating the university. The university awarded its first degrees in 1839, all to students from UCL and King's College.

The university established by the charters of 1836 and 1837 was essentially an examining board with the right to award degrees in arts, laws and medicine. However, the university did not have the authority to grant degrees in theology, considered the senior faculty in the other three English universities. In medicine, the university was given the right to determine which medical schools provided sufficient medical training. In arts and law, by contrast, it would examine students from UCL, King's College, or any other school or college granted a royal warrant, effectively giving the government control of which colleges could affiliate to the university. Beyond the right to submit students for examination, there was no other connection between the affiliated colleges and the university.

In 1849 the university held its first graduation ceremony at Somerset House following a petition to the senate from the graduates, who had previously received their degrees without any ceremony. About 250 students graduated at this ceremony. The London academic robes of this period were distinguished by their "rich velvet facings".[33]

The list of affiliated colleges grew by 1858 to include over 50 institutions, including all other British universities. In that year, a new charter effectively abolished the affiliated colleges system by opening up the examinations to everyone whether they attended an affiliated college or not.[34] This led the Earl of Kimberley, a member of the university's senate, to tell the House of Lords in 1888 "that there were no Colleges affiliated to the University of London, though there were some many years ago".[35] The reforms of 1858 also incorporated the graduates of the university into a convocation, similar to those of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham, and authorised the granting of degrees in science, the first BSc being awarded in 1860.[36]

The expanded role meant the university needed more space, particularly with the growing number of students at the provincial university colleges. Between 1867 and 1870 a new headquarters was built at 6 Burlington Gardens, providing the university with exam halls and offices.

In 1863, via a fourth charter, the university gained the right to grant degrees in surgery.[37] This 1863 charter remains the authority under which the university is incorporated, although all its other provisions were abolished under the 1898 University of London Act.

In 1878, the university set another first when it became the first university in the UK to admit women to degrees, via the grant of a supplemental charter. Four female students obtained Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1880 and two obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in 1881, again the first in the country.[38]

In the late 19th century, the university came under criticism for merely serving as a centre for the administration of tests, and there were calls for a "teaching university" for London. UCL and KCL considered separating from the university to form a separate university, variously known as the Albert University, Gresham University and Westminster University. Following two royal commissions the University of London Act 1898 was passed, reforming the university and giving it a federal structure with responsibility for monitoring course content and academic standards within its institutions. This was implemented in 1900 with the approval of new statutes for the university.[39]

20th century

The reforms initiated by the 1898 act came into force with the approval of the new federal statutes in 1900. Many of the colleges in London became schools of the university, including UCL, King's College, Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics. Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841, became an official divinity school of the university in 1901 (the new statutes having given London the right to award degrees in theology) and Richmond College followed as a divinity school of the university in 1902; Goldsmiths College joined in 1904; Imperial College was founded in 1907; Queen Mary College joined in 1915; the School of Oriental and African Studies was founded in 1916; and Birkbeck College, which was founded in 1823, joined in 1920.

The previous provision for colleges outside London was not abandoned on federation, instead London offered two routes to degrees: "internal" degrees offered by schools of the university and "external" degrees offered at other colleges (now the University of London International Programmes).

UCL and King's College, whose campaign for a teaching university in London had resulted in the university's reconstitution as a federal institution, went even further than becoming schools of the university and were actually merged into it. UCL's merger, under the 1905 University College London (Transfer) Act, happened in 1907. The charter of 1836 was surrendered and all of UCL's property became the University of London's. King's College followed in 1910 under the 1908 King's College London (Transfer) Act. This was a slightly more complicated case, as the theological department of the college (founded in 1846) did not merge into the university but maintained a separate legal existence under King's College's 1829 charter.[41]

The expansion of the university's role meant that the Burlington Garden premises were insufficient, and in March 1900 it moved to the Imperial Institute in South Kensington.[42] However, its continued rapid expansion meant that it had outgrown its new premises by the 1920s, requiring yet another move. A large parcel of land in Bloomsbury near the British Museum was acquired from the Duke of Bedford and Charles Holden was appointed architect with the instruction to create a building "not to suggest a passing fashion inappropriate to buildings which will house an institution of so permanent a character as a University." This unusual remit may have been inspired by the fact that William Beveridge, having just become director of LSE, upon asking a taxi driver to take him to the University of London was met with the response "Oh, you mean the place near the Royal School of Needlework".[43] Holden responded by designing Senate House, the current headquarters of the university, and at the time of completion the second largest building in London.[44]

During the Second World War, the colleges of the university (with the exception of Birkbeck) and their students left London for safer parts of the UK, while Senate House was used by the Ministry of Information, with its roof becoming an observation point for the Royal Observer Corps. Though the building was hit by bombs several times, it emerged from the war largely unscathed; rumour at the time had it that the reason the building had fared so well was that Adolf Hitler had planned to use it as his headquarters in London.[45]

The latter half of the last century was less eventful. In 1948, Athlone Press was founded as the publishing house for the university, and sold to the Bemrose Corporation in 1979,[46] subsequent to which it was acquired by Continuum publishing.[47] However, the post-WWII period was mostly characterised by expansion and consolidation within the university, such as the acquisition as a constituent body of the Jesuit theological institution Heythrop College on its move from Oxfordshire in 1969.

The 1978 University of London Act saw the university defined as a federation of self-governing colleges, starting the process of decentralisation that would lead to a marked transference of academic and financial power in this period from the central authorities in Senate House to the individual colleges. In the same period, UCL and King's College regained their legal independence via acts of parliament and the issuing of new royal charters. UCL was reincorporate in 1977, while King's College's new charter in 1980 reunited the main body of the college with the corporation formed in 1829. In 1992 centralised graduation ceremonies at the Royal Albert Hall were replaced by individual ceremonies at the colleges.[48] One the largest shifts in power of this period came in 1993, when HEFCE switched from funding the University of London, which then allocated money to the colleges, to funding the colleges directly and them paying a contribution to the university.[39]

There was also a tendency in the late 20th century for smaller colleges to be amalgamated into larger "super-colleges". Some of the larger colleges (most notably UCL, King's College, LSE and Imperial) periodically put forward the possibility of their departure from the university, although no steps were taken to actually putting this into action until the early 21st century.

21st century

In 2002, Imperial College and UCL mooted the possibility of a merger, raising the question of the future of the University of London and the smaller colleges within it. Subsequently, considerable opposition from academic staff of both UCL and Imperial led to a rejection of the merger.[49]

Despite this failure, the trend of decentralising power continued. A significant development in this process was the closing down of the Convocation of all the university's alumni in October 2003; this recognised that individual college alumni associations were now increasingly the centre of focus for alumni.[50] However, the university continued to grow even as it moved to a looser federation, and, in 2005, admitted the Central School of Speech and Drama.

On 9 December 2005, Imperial College became the second constituent body (after Regent's Park College) to make a formal decision to leave the university. Its council announced that it was beginning negotiations to withdraw from the university in time for its own centenary celebrations, and in order to be able to award its own degrees. On 5 October 2006, the University of London accepted Imperial's formal request to withdraw from it.[51] Imperial became fully independent on 9 July 2007, as part of the celebrations of the college's centenary.

The Times Higher Education Supplement announced in February 2007 that the London School of Economics, University College London and King's College London all planned to start awarding their own degrees, rather than degrees from the federal University of London as they had done previously, from the start of the academic year starting in Autumn 2007. Although this plan to award their own degrees did not amount to a decision to leave the University of London, the THES suggested that this "rais[ed] new doubts about the future of the federal University of London".[52]

The School of Pharmacy, University of London, merged with UCL on 1 January 2012, becoming the UCL School of Pharmacy within the Faculty of Life Sciences.[53] This was followed on 2 December 2014 by the Institute of Education also merging with UCL, becoming the UCL Institute of Education.[54]

Since 2010, the university has been outsourcing support services such as cleaning and portering. This has prompted industrial action by the largely Latin American workforce under the "3Cosas" campaign (the 3Cosas – 3 causes –being sick pay, holiday pay, and pensions for outsourced workers on parity with staff employed directly by the university). The 3Cosas campaigners were members of the UNISON trade union. However, documents leaked in 2014 revealed that UNISON representatives tried to counter the 3Cosas campaign in meetings with university management.[55] The 3Cosas workers subsequently transferred to the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain.

Following good results in the Research Excellence Framework in December 2014, City University London said that they were exploring the possibility of joining the University of London.[56] It was subsequently announced in July 2015 that City would join the University of London in August 2016.[18] It will cease to be an independent university and become a college as "City, University of London".[57]


The university owns a considerable central London estate 12 hectares freehold land in Bloomsbury, near Russell Square tube station.[58]

Some of the university's colleges have their main buildings on the estate. The Bloomsbury Campus also contains eight Halls of Residence and Senate House, which houses Senate House Library, the chancellor's official residence and previously housed the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of University College London (UCL) and housed in its own new building. Almost all of the School of Advanced Study is housed in Senate House and neighbouring Stewart House.[59]

The university also owns many of the squares that formed part of the Bedford Estate, including Gordon Square, Tavistock Square, Torrington Square and Woburn Square, as well as several properties outside Bloomsbury, with many of the university's colleges and institutes occupying their own estates across London:

The university also has several properties outside London, including a number of residential and catering units further afield and the premises of the University of London Institute in Paris, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in French and historical studies.

Organisation and administration

The University’s Board of Trustees, the governing and executive body of the University, comprises eleven appointed independent persons – all of whom are non-executive; the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellor and four Heads of member institutions, appointed by the Collegiate Council.

The Board of Trustees is supported by the Collegiate Council, which comprises the Heads of the member institutions of the University, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Dean and Chief Executive of the School of Advanced Study, the Chief Executive of the University of London International Programmes and the Collegiate Council’s Chair, the Vice-Chancellor.


William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, first Chancellor of the University of London
The Princess Royal, current Chancellor of the University of London

The Chancellors of the University of London since its founding are as follows:

Constituent colleges and Central academic bodies

The ten largest institutions of the federal university, usually termed the colleges, are Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, King's College London, the London Business School, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, SOAS, City, LSE and UCL. Formerly a constituent college, Imperial College London left the University of London in 2007.

For most practical purposes, ranging from admission of students to negotiating funding from the government, the 18 constituent colleges are treated as individual universities. Legally speaking they are known as Recognised Bodies, with the authority to examine students and award them degrees of the university. Some colleges have the power to award their own degrees instead of those of the university; those which exercise that power include:

Most decisions affecting the constituent colleges and institutions of the University of London are made at the level of the colleges or institutions themselves. The University of London does retain its own decision-making structure, however, with the Collegiate Council and Board of Trustees, responsible for matters of academic policy. The Collegiate Council is made up of the Heads of Colleges of the university.[60]

The 12 institutes, or Listed Bodies, within the University of London offer courses leading to degrees that are both examined and awarded by the University of London. Additionally, twelve universities in England, several in Canada and many in other Commonwealth countries (notably in East Africa) began life as associate colleges of the university offering such degrees. By the 1970s, almost all of these colleges had achieved independence from the University of London. An increasing number of overseas and UK-based academic institutes offer courses to support students registered for the University of London International Programmes's diplomas and degrees and the Teaching Institutions Recognition Framework enables the recognition of these institutions.


The current constituent colleges of the University of London are as follows:

College Name Year Entered Photograph Students
Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) 1920 12,915
City, University of London (CUL)[18] 2016 19,405
Courtauld Institute of Art (CIA) 1932 495
Goldsmiths, University of London (GUL) 1904 9,345
Heythrop College, University of London (HEY) 1971 425
Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) 2003 275
King's College London (KCL) 1836 (Founding College) 30,565
London Business School (LBS) 1964 2,060
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 1900 11,210
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) 1924 1,345
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) 1915 18,890
Royal Academy of Music (RAM) 2003 820
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) 2005 1,100
Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) 1900 10,325
Royal Veterinary College (RVC) 1915 2,375
SOAS, University of London (SOAS) 1916 6,360
St George's, University of London (SGUL) 1836 (Joined after founding) 4,855
University College London (UCL) 1836 (Founding College) 37,905
University of London Founded University 161,270 (internal)^ + 50,000 (external)

Central academic bodies

International Programmes Administrative Building, Stewart House, University of London. Also seen here is the University of London Institute in Paris, located on the Esplanade des Invalides in central Paris

Former colleges and schools

Some colleges and schools of the University of London have been amalgamated into larger colleges or left the University of London. These include:

Imperial College London – became independent in July 2007[61]

Royal Holloway, University of London

King's College London

University College London

Queen Mary, University of London


University colleges in the external degree programme

A number of major universities originated as university colleges teaching the degrees of (what is now) the International Programmes.

A number of other colleges had degrees validated and awarded by the University of London.[65]

Colleges in special relation

Between 1946 and 1970, the university entered into 'schemes of special relation' with university colleges in the Commonwealth of Nations. These schemes encouraged the development of independent universities by offering a relationship with the University of London. University colleges in these countries were granted a Royal Charter. An Academic Board of the university college negotiated with the University of London over the entrance requirements for the admission of students, syllabuses, examination procedures and other academic matters. During the period of the special relationship, graduates of the colleges were awarded University of London degrees.

Some of the colleges which were in special relation are listed below, along with the year in which their special relation was established.

In 1970, the 'Schemes of Special Relation' were phased out.

Coat of arms

The University of London first received a grant of arms in April 1838.[71] The arms depict a cross of St George upon which there is a Tudor rose surrounded by detailing and surmounted by a crown. Above all of this there is a blue field with an open book upon it.

The arms are described in the grant as:

Argent, the Cross of St George, thereon the Union Rose irradiated and ensigned with the Imperial Crown proper, a Chief Azure, thereon an open Book also proper, Clasps gold[71]

Academic dress

The University of London had established a rudimentary code for academic dress by 1844. The university was the first to devise a system of academic dress based on faculty colours, an innovation that was subsequently followed by most other universities.

Since their being granted autonomous degree awarding powers, King's College London, The London School of Economics and Political Science, The School of Oriental and African Studies and University College London have each introduced their own form of academic dress. Queen Mary, University of London, as of 2014, introduced its own form of academic dress to reflect its autonomous degree awarding powers.[72] The remaining colleges of the university continue to use the University of London academic dress.

Student life

In 2016/17, 170,670 students (approximately 5% of all UK students) attended one of the University of London's affiliated schools.[2] Additionally, over 50,000 students follow the University of London International Programmes.[3]

The ULU building on Malet Street (close to Senate House) was home to the University of London Union, which acted as the student union for all University of London students alongside the individual college and institution unions. The building is now rebranded as 'Student Central, London', offering full membership to current University of London students, and associate membership to students at other universities, and other groups. The union previously owned London Student, the largest student newspaper in Europe, which now runs as a digital news organisation[73][74]

Sports, clubs and traditions

Though most sports teams are organised at the college level, ULU ran a number of sports clubs of its own, some of which (for example the rowing team) compete in BUCS leagues. The union also organised its own leagues for college teams to participate in. These leagues and sports clubs are supported by Friends of University of London Sport which aims to promote them.

In addition to these, ULU catered for sports not covered by the individual colleges through clubs such as the University of London Union Lifesaving Club, which helps students gain awards and learn new skills in lifesaving as well as sending teams to compete throughout the country in the BULSCA league.

ULU also organised a number of societies, ranging from Ballroom and Latin American Dance to Shaolin Kung Fu, and from the University of London Big Band to the Breakdancing Society. Affiliated to the university is the University of London Society of Change Ringers, a society for bellringers at all London universities.

The university runs the University of London Boat Club.

Student housing

The university operates the following eight intercollegiate halls of residence, which accommodate students from most of its colleges and institutions:[75]

The Garden Halls

Notable people

Notable alumni, faculty and staff

A large number of famous individuals have passed through the University of London, either as staff or students, including at least 12 monarchs or royalty, 52 presidents or prime ministers, 84 Nobel laureates, 6 Grammy winners, 2 Oscar winners, 1 Ekushey Padak winner and 3 Olympic gold medalists. The collegiate research university has also produced Father of the Nation for several countries, including several members of Colonial Service and Imperial Civil Service during the British Raj and the British Empire.

Staff and students of the university, past and present, have contributed to a number of important scientific advances, including the discovery of vaccines by Edward Jenner and Henry Gray (author of Gray's Anatomy). Additional vital progress was made by University of London people in the following fields: the discovery of the structure of DNA (Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin); the invention of modern electronic computers (Tommy Flowers); the discovery of penicillin (Alexander Fleming and Ernest Chain); the development of X-Ray technology (William Henry Bragg and Charles Glover Barkla); discoveries on the mechanism of action of Interleukin 10 (Anne O'Garra); the formulation of the theory of electromagnetism (James Clerk Maxwell); the determination of the speed of light (Louis Essen); the development of antiseptics (Joseph Lister); the development of fibre optics (Charles K. Kao); and the invention of the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell).

Notable political figures who have passed through the university include Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, Romano Prodi, Junichiro Koizumi, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ramsay MacDonald, Desmond Tutu, Basdeo Panday, Taro Aso, Walter Rodney, Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi.

In the arts, culture and literature the university has produced many notable figures. Writers include novelists Malcolm Bradbury, G. K. Chesterton, H. G. Wells, Thomas Hardy, Arthur C. Clarke and J.G. Ballard. Futurologist Donald Prell. Artists associated with the university include Jonathan Myles-Lea, and several of the leading figures in the Young British Artists movement (including Ian Davenport, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst). Outstanding musicians across a wide range include the conductor Sir Simon Rattle, the soprano Felicity Lott and both members of Gilbert and Sullivan, to Mick Jagger, Elton John, Dido, Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan (known in South Asia as the "Queen of Pop"), and Hong Kong singer Karen Mok, and members of the bands Coldplay, Keane, Suede, The Velvet Underground, Blur, Iron Maiden, Placebo, The Libertines, and Queen.

The university has also played host to film directors (Christopher Nolan, Derek Jarman), philosophers (Karl Popper, Roger Scruton), explorers (David Livingstone), international academics (Sam Karunaratne), Riccarton High School Head of Commerce, Tom Neumann and leading businessmen (Michael Cowpland, George Soros).

Honorary Alumni

The University of London presented its first honorary degrees in June 1903.[82][83] This accolade has been bestowed on several members of British royal family and a wide range of distinguished individuals from both the academic and non-academic worlds.[83] Honorary degrees are approved by the Collegiate Council, part of the University’s governance structure.[83]


In recent years the University of London has seen lots of controversy surrounding its treatment of staff and students.

In 2012, outsourced cleaning staff ran the "3 Cosas" campaign, fighting for improvements in three areas - sick pay, holiday and pensions. After over a year of high profile strikes, protests and occupations, concessions were made by the university in terms of sick pay and holidays, however these improvements were nowhere near to the extent of what was being demanded by the campaign.[89]

In 2013, after a student occupation in favour of ten demands, including fair pay for workers, a halt to privatisation of the university and an end to plans to shut down the university's student union ULU, police were called, resulting in the violent eviction and arrests of over 60 students, as well as police violence towards students outside supporting the occupation.[90] After these events, a high profile "Cops Off Campus" demonstration was held against the university's use of police violence to crush student protest, with thousands in attendance.[91]

In 2018, a student occupation in support of a continued campaign to bring all workers in-house at the university gained national media attention after a video of university staff drilling shut a fire door to trap students in a room they had occupied, putting them at serious risk of harm, was viewed over 19,000 times.[92] Video footage later emerged of university managers harassing students and harming their property on top of this.[93] Later on in 2018, an article was published by Vice that reported the militarisation of the university campus at Senate House, where over 25 extra security had been brought in, with students known to be involved in political campaigns being barred from using university facilities, as well as being verbally, physically and sexually assaulted by temporary security staff.[94] As of June 2018 no staff are known to have been reprimanded for these actions.

When the University of New Zealand was constituted in 1874,[95] it was a federal university modelled on the University of London, functioning principally as an examining body.[95] University of the Cape of Good Hope, when it was constituted in 1875 and authorised to be responsible for examinations throughout South Africa.[95] In Canada, similar structures were adopted, but on a regional basis.[95] The University of Toronto acted as an examining and degree awarding body for the province of Ontario from 1853 to 1887, by utilising an operating model based on that of University of London.[95]

In India, to satisfy the urge for higher education and learning,[96] three universities were set up at three presidency towns in 1857 on the model of University of London[96] as affiliating universities, viz., University of Calcutta, University of Mumbai and University of Madras.[96][97]


Dr. Watson, a fictional character in the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, received his medical degree[98][99][100] from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (now QMUL) and met Sherlock Holmes in the chemical laboratory there.[98][101]

Films and others

The Senate House, London and constituent colleges of the University of London has been featured in Hollywood and British films.[102][103][104][105] Jay Sean was a medical candidate[106][107] at the university, before dropping out to become British singer and songwriter.[108] 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy filled an application and paid fees[109] at the University of London (LSE) for a year’s study, but later fell ill, and left the university without taking a single class.[109]

See also


  1. "UOL Vice-Chancellor - Professor Sir Adrian Smith". University of London. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Combined total of "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018. The listed institutions in the total are Birkbeck, Central School of Speech and Drama, City, University of London, Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, Institute of Cancer Research, Institute of Education, King's College, Business School, School of Economics, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Queen Mary, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Holloway, Royal Veterinary College, School of Oriental and African Studies, St George's, Central institutes & activities and Heythrop College.
  3. 1 2 "Financial Statements 2014-15" (PDF). University of London. p. 7. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  4. "UOL – Professor Ed Byrne AC". University of London. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  5. "UOL – Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE". University of London. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  6. 1 2 "Is Durham Really England's Third Oldest University? Well, it's Complicated". Durham Magazine. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  7. "Governance of the University of London". University of London. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  8. "University of London Act 1994". Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  9. "About us". University of London. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  10. "The spooky secrets of London's oldest medical school". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  11. "The first women at university: remembering 'the London Nine'". Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  12. "The spooky secrets of London's oldest medical school". University of London International Programmes. Archived from the original on 3 May 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  13. University of London (1912). University of London, the Historical Record: (1836–1912) Being a Supplement to the Calendar, Completed to September 1912. First Issue. University of London Press. p. 26. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  14. University of London (1912). University of London, the Historical Record: (1836-1912) Being a Supplement to the Calendar, Completed to September 1912. First Issue. University of London Press. p. 7. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  15. "World's top 100 universities for producing millionaires". Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
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  1. All students from all constituent colleges, central bodies and Institutes are members of their respective institutions and are also University of London students and alumni. The University of London has a Collegiate Council which advises the Board of Trustees on the strategic direction of the university, and is responsible for ensuring the proper discharge of its academic affairs. It is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, and its membership comprises the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (who is the Deputy Chair), all the Heads of the Colleges, the Dean and Chief Executive of the School of Advanced Study, and the Chief Executive of the University of London International Programmes.
  2. following the establishment of the universities of Oxford (by 1167) and Cambridge (1209).
  3. Dame Lillian Penson served as Vice-Chancellor of University of London collegiate system from 1948–1951. She became the first female, in the history of the United Kingdom, to be appointed to lead a university.
  4. The constituent colleges and central bodies of the University of London has graduated several "Father of the Nation or Founders" for several countries. Names include Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Lee Kuan Yew, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah.
  5. Constituent college such as SOAS was founded by the British state as an instrument to strengthen Britain's political, commercial and military presence in Asia and Africa. SOAS provided instruction to colonial administrators (Colonial Service and Indian Civil Service), commercial managers and military officers, but also to missionaries, doctors and teachers, in the language of that part of Asia or Africa to which each was being posted, together with an authoritative introduction to the customs, religion, laws and history of the people whom they were to govern or among whom they would be working.
  6. Muhammad Ali Jinnah graduated from Inns of Court School of Law, which is now City Law School. In year 2016, City University London (CUL) "later renamed to City, University of London" became self-governing and one of the constituent college of the University of London.
  7. See List of titles and honours of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
  8. See List of titles and honours of Queen Elizabeth II
  9. The University of London awarded honorary doctorate degree to Winston Churchill at the Foundation Day ceremony on 18 November 1948.

Further reading

  • Harte, Negley (2000). University of London: An Illustrated History: 1836–1986. London: A&C Black. ISBN 9780567564498. 
  • Thompson, F. M. L. (1990). The University of London and the World of Learning, 1836–1986. London: A&C Black. ISBN 9781852850326. 
  • Willson, F. M. G. (1995). Our Minerva: The Men and Politics of the University of London, 1836–58. London: Athlone Press. ISBN 9780485114799. 
  • Willson, F. M. G. (2004). The University of London, 1858–1900: The Politics of Senate and Convocation. London: Boydell Press. ISBN 9781843830658. 
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