University of London

The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a collegiate[a] federal research university located in London, England. As of October 2018, the university contains 18 member institutions,[6] central academic bodies and research institutes.[7] The university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of 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",[8] allowing it to be one of three institutions to claim the title of the third-oldest university in England,[9][b][10] and moved to a federal structure in 1900.[11] It is now incorporated by its fourth (1863) royal charter[12] and governed by the University of London Act 1994.[13] It was the first university in the United Kingdom to introduce examinations for women in 1869[14] and, a decade later, the first to admit women to degrees.[15] In 1948 it became the first British university to appoint a woman as its vice chancellor (chief executive).[c] The university's colleges house the oldest teaching hospitals in England.

For most practical purposes, ranging from admissions to funding, the constituent colleges operate on an independent basis, with many awarding their own degrees whilst remaining in the federal university. The largest colleges by enrolment as of 2016/17 are[16] UCL, King's College London, City, Queen Mary, Birkbeck, the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway, and Goldsmiths, each of which has over 9,000 students. Smaller, more specialist, colleges are the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), St George's (medicine), the Royal Veterinary College, London Business School, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Institute of Cancer Research. Imperial College London was formerly a member from 1907 before it became an independent university in 2007,[17] and Heythrop College was a member from 1970 until its closure in 2018.[18] City is the most recent constituent college, having joined on 1 September 2016.[19]

As of 2015, there are around 2 million University of London alumni across the world,[20] including 12 monarchs or royalty, 52 presidents or prime ministers, 84 Nobel laureates,[d] 6 Grammy winners, 2 Oscar winners, 3 Olympic gold medalists and the "Father of the Nation" of several countries.[e]

University of London
Latin: Universitas Londiniensis
ChancellorThe Princess Royal
Vice-ChancellorPeter Kopelman[1]
VisitorThe Lord President of the Council ex officio
Students213,270 (161,270 internal[2]
and 52,000 external)[3]
Undergraduates92,760 internal (2016/17)[2]
Postgraduates68,500 internal (2016/17)[2]
Deputy Vice ChancellorEdward Byrne[4]
Chair of the Board of TrusteesSir Richard Dearlove[5]
University of London logo


19th century

All universities are different, but some are more different than others. The University of London is the most different of them all.
— Negley Harte, Historian[21]

University College London (UCL) was founded under the name “London University” (but without recognition by the state) in 1826 as a secular alternative to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which limited their degrees to members of the established Church of England.[22] As a result of the controversy surrounding UCL's establishment, King's College London was founded as an Anglican college by royal charter in 1829.[23][24]

In 1830, UCL applied for a royal charter as a university which would allow it to confer degrees. This was rejected, but renewed in 1834.[25] 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.[26] and in evidence taken by the Select Committee on Medical Education.[27][28] 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,[29][30][31] particularly as the degrees of the new University of Durham were also to be closed to non-Anglicans.[32]

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".[33]

Following the issuing of its charter on 28 November 1836, the new University of London 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.[34] 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".[35]

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.[36] 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".[37] 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.[38]

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.[39] 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.

Alice Mary Marsh University of London General Examination for Women certificate 1878
General Examination for Women certificate from 1878. These were issued 1869–1878, before women were admitted to degrees of the university.

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.[40]

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.[41]


Somerset House in 1836. The university had its offices here from 1837 to 1870.

William IV

King William IV, who granted the University of London its original royal charter in 1836.

University of London illustration 1867

An illustration of 6 Burlington Gardens, home to the university administration from 1870 to 1900.

20th century

The London University should stand to the British empire as the great technological institution in Berlin, the Charlottenburg, stood to the German empire.
— Lord Rosebery in 1903[42]

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 (Theological) 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 flexible and distance learning 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.[43]

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.[44] 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".[45] Holden responded by designing Senate House, the current headquarters of the university, and at the time of completion the second largest building in London.[46]

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.[47]

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,[48] subsequent to which it was acquired by Continuum publishing.[49] 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.[50] One the largest shifts in power of this period came in 1993, when HEFCE (now the Office for Students, OfS[51]) 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.[41]

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.

Imperial Institute
The Imperial Institute Building in South Kensington, home to the university from 1900 to 1937

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.[52]

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.[53] 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.[54] 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".[55]

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.[56] This was followed on 2 December 2014 by the Institute of Education also merging with UCL, becoming the UCL Institute of Education.[57]

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.[58] 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.[59] It was subsequently announced in July 2015 that City would join the University of London in August 2016.[19] It will cease to be an independent university and become a college as "City, University of London".[60]

In 2016 reforms were proposed that would see the colleges become member institutions and be allowed to legally become universities in their own right. A bill to amend the university's statutes was introduced into the House of Lords in late 2016. The bill was held up by procedural matters in the House of Commons, with MP Christopher Chope objecting to it receiving a second reading without debate and no time having been scheduled for such debate. Twelve of the colleges, including UCL and King's, have said that they will seek university status once the bill is passed.[61][62] The bill was debated and passed its second reading on 16 October 2018.[63] It received royal assent on 20 December 2018.[64]

In 2018, Heythrop College became the first major British higher education institution to close since the medieval University of Northampton in 1265.[18] Its library of over 250,000 volumes was moved to the Senate House Library.[65]


Senate House, University of London
Senate House, the headquarters of the University of London since 1937

The university owns a considerable central London estate 12 hectares freehold land in Bloomsbury, near Russell Square tube station.[66]

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.[67]

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 Worldwide and the Collegiate Council’s Chair, the Vice-Chancellor.


William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire by Barraud, c1880s
William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire, first Chancellor of the University of London
Princess Anne October 2015
The Princess Royal, current Chancellor of the University of London

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

Member institutions

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.[68]

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 flexible and distance learning 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:[69]

College Name Year Entered Photograph Students
Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) 1920
Birkbeck College, University of London
City, University of London (CUL)[19] 2016 The Grade II listed College Building 19,405
Courtauld Institute of Art (CIA) 1932
Somerset House, Strand
Goldsmiths, University of London (GUL) 1904
Goldsmiths Main Building
Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) 2003
Institute of Cancer Research
King's College London (KCL) 1836 (Founding College)
King's College London Bush House Building 3
London Business School (LBS) 1964
London Business School facade
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 1900
LSE main entrance
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) 1924
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine building
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) 1915
Queens' Building (2899476115)
Royal Academy of Music (RAM) 2003
Royal Academy of Music London
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) 2005
Embassy Theatre London
Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) 1900
Founder's Building, Royal Holloway, University of London - Diliff
Royal Veterinary College (RVC) 1915
SOAS, University of London (SOAS) 1916
School of Oriental & African Studies, London 03
St George's, University of London (SGUL) 1838
St-George s-Hospital
University College London (UCL) 1836 (Founding College)
University College London -quadrant-11Sept2006 (1)
University of London Founded University
Senate House UoL
161,270 (internal)^ + 50,000 (external)

Central academic bodies

University of London Worldwide 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

Stewart House, University of London (front entrance)
University of London Paris

Former colleges and schools

Some colleges and schools of the University of London have been amalgamated into larger colleges, closed or left the University of London. Those amalgamated with larger colleges include (listed by current parent institution):

King's College London
Queen Mary, University of London
  • Westfield College – Kidderpore Avenue, Hampstead; now part of Queen Mary and Westfield College (the registered Royal Charter title of Queen Mary, University of London)
Royal Holloway, University of London

Institutions that have closed or left the university include:

University colleges in the external degree programme

A number of major universities originated as university colleges teaching external degrees of the University of London. These include:

A number of other colleges had degrees validated and awarded by the University of London.[74]

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 received a grant of arms in April 1838.[9] 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[9]

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 many other universities.

Colleges that award their own degrees have their own academic dress for those degrees.

Student life

University of London Union, Malet Street, London-22April2008
The main building of the University of London Union (now rebranded as 'Student Central, London')

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[80][81]

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:[82]

The Garden Halls

Notable people

Notable alumni, faculty and staff

Achim Steiner-IMG 0835

Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UNDP

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health, Ethiopia, speaking at the London Summit on Family Planning (7556214304) (cropped)

Tedros Adhanom, 8th Director-General of the World Health Organization

Florence Nightingale headshot

Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing

Elton John 2011 Shankbone 2

Elton John, English singer and composer.

Mick Jagger Deauville 2014

Mick Jagger, English singer and composer.

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, B. R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi. 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy filed an application and paid fees[89] for a year's study at the LSE, but later fell ill and left the university without taking a single class.[89]

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.[90][91] 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.[91] Honorary degrees are approved by the Collegiate Council, part of the University’s governance structure.[91]

Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret (D.Mus. 1957),[94] Member of British royal family

René Cassin nobel

René Cassin (1969), Recipient of Nobel Peace Prize in 1968

Lars Ahlfors - MFO

Lars Ahlfors (1978), Finnish mathematician Recipient of Fields Medal in 1936.[95][96]


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.[97]

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.[98] 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.[99]

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.[100] Video footage later emerged of university managers harassing students and harming their property on top of this.[101] 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.[102] As of June 2018 no staff are known to have been reprimanded for these actions.

In December 2018, the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain called for a boycott of events at the university's central administration buildings, including Senate House, with the aim of putting pressure on the University of London to bring outsourced cleaning, catering and security staff in-house by targeting a revenue stream worth around £40 million per year.[103][104][105]

The federal model elsewhere

In 1850, Queen's University of Ireland[9] was created on the model of the University of London to provide degrees for students from the colleges established at Belfast, Cork and Galway.[9] When the University of New Zealand was constituted in 1874,[106] it was a federal university modelled on the University of London, functioning principally as an examining body.[106] University of the Cape of Good Hope, when it was constituted in 1875 and authorised to be responsible for examinations throughout South Africa.[106] In Canada, similar structures were adopted, but on a regional basis.[106] 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.[106]

In India, to satisfy the urge for higher education and learning,[107] three universities were set up at three presidency towns in 1857 on the model of University of London[107] as affiliating universities, viz., University of Calcutta, University of Mumbai and University of Madras.[107][108]

The University of Wales was established in 1893 on a similar model to the University of London, as the universities examined and awarded degrees, while the colleges recruited students and taught them.[109]

Literature and popular culture


Dr. Watson, a fictional character in the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, received his medical degree[110][111][112] from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (now part of QMUL) and met Sherlock Holmes in the chemical laboratory there.[110][113] Jim Hacker, a fictional character in the 1980s British sitcom Yes Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister, received his degree, a third, from the university (LSE).[114]

Films and others

A lecturer at the university (SOAS) named William McGovern was one of the real-life inspirations of the film character Indiana Jones.[115]

Senate House and the constituent colleges of the University of London have been featured in Hollywood and British films.[116][117][118][119]

See also


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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 Worldwide.
  2. ^ following the establishment of the universities of Oxford (by 1167) and Cambridge (1209); the title is also claimed by UCL (established 1826 but not recognised as a university) and Durham (established as a university in 1832 but not incorporated by royal charter until 1837).
  3. ^ Dame Lillian Penson served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of London 1948–1951, becoming the first woman in the United Kingdom to be appointed to lead a university.
  4. ^ The total number of Nobel Prize winners is inclusive of all current constituent colleges, central bodies and research institutes. The total number excludes any member associated with and alumni of Imperial College London, as it is no longer a constituent college.
  5. ^ These include Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Lee Kuan Yew, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah.
  6. ^ Muhammad Ali Jinnah graduated from Inns of Court School of Law, which is now City Law School. In 2016, City University London became one of the constituent college of the University of London as City, 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.

External links

Bear Grylls

Edward Michael Grylls (born 7 June 1974), better known as Bear Grylls, is a British former SAS serviceman, survival instructor, and honorary lieutenant-colonel, and, outside his military career, an adventurer, writer, television presenter and businessman. He is widely known for his television series Man vs. Wild (2006–2011), originally titled Born Survivor: Bear Grylls for the United Kingdom release. Grylls is also involved in a number of wilderness survival television series in the UK and US. In July 2009, Grylls was appointed the youngest-ever Chief Scout of the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories at age 35, a post he has held for a second term since 2015.

Bedford College, London

Bedford College was founded in London in 1849 as the first higher education college for women in the United Kingdom. In 1900, it became a constituent of the University of London. Having played a leading role in the advancement of women in higher education and in public life in general, it became fully coeducational in the 1960s. In 1985, Bedford College merged with Royal Holloway College, another constituent of the University of London, to form Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC). This remains the official name, but it is commonly called Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL).

Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London (formally Birkbeck College), is a public research university located in Bloomsbury London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Established in 1823 as the London Mechanics' Institute by its founder, Sir George Birkbeck, and its supporters, Jeremy Bentham, J. C. Hobhouse and Henry Brougham, Birkbeck has been one of the few institutions to specialise in evening higher education.

Birkbeck's main building is based in the Bloomsbury zone of Camden, in Central London, alongside a number of institutions in the same borough. In partnership with University of East London, Birkbeck has an additional large campus in Stratford, next to the Theatre Royal.

Birkbeck offers over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all lectures are given in the evening. Birkbeck's academic activities are organised into five constituent faculties which are subdivided into nineteen departments. It also offers many continuing education courses leading to certificates and diplomas, foundation degrees, and short courses. Research at Birkbeck in 11 subject areas is rated as ‘internationally excellent’ and ‘world leading’ while over 90 percent of Birkbeck academics are research-active. Birkbeck, being part of the University of London, shares the University's academic standards and awards University of London degrees. In common with the other University of London colleges, Birkbeck has also secured its own independent degree awarding powers, which were confirmed by the Privy Council in July 2012. The quality of degrees awarded by Birkbeck was confirmed by the UK Quality Assurance Agency following institutional audits in 2005 and 2010.Birkbeck has been shortlisted by the Times Higher Education Awards as University of the Year. Birkbeck is a member of academic organisations such as the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the European University Association. The university's Centre for Brain Function and Development was awarded The Queen's Anniversary Prize for its brain research in 2005.Birkbeck has produced many notable alumni in the fields of science, law, politics, economics, literature, media, art and drama. Alumni include four Nobel laureates, numerous political leaders, members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and a British prime minister among its former students and faculty.

City, University of London

City, University of London is a public research university in London, United Kingdom. It has been a constituent college of the University of London since 2016.

It was founded in 1894 as the Northampton Institute, and became a university when The City University was created by royal charter in 1966. The Inns of Court School of Law, which merged with City in 2001, was established in 1852, making it the then City University's oldest constituent part. City joined the federal University of London on 1 September 2016, becoming part of the eighteen colleges and ten research institutes that make up that university. The university has strong links with the City of London, and the Lord Mayor of London serves as the university's rector.The university has its main campus in central London in the London Borough of Islington, with additional campuses in Islington, the City, the West End and East End. It is organised into five schools, within which there are around forty academic departments and centres, including the Department of Journalism, the Cass Business School, and City Law School which incorporates the Inns of Court School of Law.The annual income of the institution for 2016–17 was £227.0 million, of which £11.6 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £221.4 million. The Cass Business School is ranked 5th in the UK, and in the top 40 in the world, in the Financial Times' 2017 Global MBA Rankings. City, University of London is a member of the Association of MBAs, EQUIS and Universities UK.

Daisy Ridley

Daisy Jazz Isobel Ridley (born 10 April 1992) is an English actress. Born in Westminster and brought up in Maida Vale, Ridley trained in drama at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. She began acting in minor guest roles on television and in short films, making her film debut in the independent horror film Scrawl (2015).

Ridley rose to international prominence for playing the lead role of Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, starring in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), and the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019). She has also appeared in the mystery film Murder on the Orient Express (2017) and provided her voice to the animated film Peter Rabbit (2018).

Goldsmiths, University of London

Goldsmiths, University of London, is a public research university in London, England, specialising in the arts, design, humanities, and social sciences. It is a constituent college of the University of London. It was founded in 1891 as Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in New Cross, London. It was acquired by the University of London in 1904 and was renamed Goldsmiths' College. The word College was dropped from its branding in 2006, but Goldsmiths' College, with the apostrophe, remains the institution's formal legal name.Nearly 20% of students come from outside the UK, and 52% of all undergraduates are mature students (aged 21 or over at the start of their studies). Around a third of students at Goldsmiths are postgraduate students.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London (legally Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine) is a public research university located in London, England. In 1851, Prince Albert built his vision for a cultural area composed of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Colleges, and the Imperial Institute. In 1907, Imperial College was established by Royal Charter, bringing together the Royal College of Science, Royal School of Mines, and City and Guilds College. In 1988, the Imperial College School of Medicine was formed through a merger with St Mary's Hospital Medical School. In 2004, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Imperial College Business School.

The main campus is located in South Kensington, with a new innovation campus in White City. The college also has a research centre at Silwood Park, and teaching hospitals throughout London. Imperial is organised through faculties of natural science, engineering, medicine, and business. Its emphasis is on the practical application of science and technology. The university has a notably international community, with more than 140 countries represented on campus and 59% of students from outside the UK.In 2018–19, Imperial is ranked 8th globally in the QS World University Rankings, 9th in the THE World University Rankings, 24th in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 8th in Reuters Top 100: World's Most Innovative Universities. Student, staff, and researcher affiliations include 14 Nobel laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, 1 Turing Award winner, 74 Fellows of the Royal Society, 87 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and 85 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

King's College London

King's College London (informally King's or KCL) is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding constituent college of the federal University of London. King's was established in 1829 by King George IV and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when it received its first royal charter (as a university college), and claims to be the fourth oldest university institution in England. In 1836, King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. In the late 20th century, King's grew through a series of mergers, including with Queen Elizabeth College and Chelsea College of Science and Technology (in 1985), the Institute of Psychiatry (in 1997), the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals and the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery (in 1998).

King's has five campuses: its historic Strand Campus in central London, three other Thames-side campuses (Guy's, St Thomas' and Waterloo) and one in Denmark Hill in south London. In 2017/18, King's had a total income of £841.1 million, of which £194.4 million was from research grants and contracts. It is the 12th largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment. It has the fifth largest endowment of any university in the United Kingdom, and the largest of any in London. Its academic activities are organised into nine faculties, which are subdivided into numerous departments, centres, and research divisions.

King's is generally considered part of the 'golden triangle' of research-intensive English universities alongside the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College London, and The London School of Economics. It is a member of academic organisations including the Association of Commonwealth Universities, European University Association, and the Russell Group. King's is home to six Medical Research Council centres and is a founding member of the King's Health Partners academic health sciences centre, Francis Crick Institute and MedCity. It is the largest European centre for graduate and post-graduate medical teaching and biomedical research, by number of students, and includes the world's first nursing school, the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery.Globally, it was ranked 31st in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, 36th in the 2018 CWTS Leiden Ranking, 36th in the 2018 The World University Rankings, and 46th in the 2017 ARWU. King's was ranked 42nd in the world for reputation in the annual Times Higher Education survey of academics for 2018. Nationally it was ranked 26th in the 2019 Complete University Guide, 35th in the 2019 Times/Sunday Times University Guide, and 58th in the 2019 Guardian University Guide.King's alumni and staff include 12 Nobel laureates; contributors to the discovery of DNA structure, Hepatitis C and the Higgs boson; pioneers of in-vitro fertilisation, stem cell/mammal cloning and the modern hospice movement; and key researchers advancing radar, radio, television and mobile phones. Alumni also include heads of states, governments and intergovernmental organisations; nineteen members of the current House of Commons and seventeen members of the current House of Lords; and the recipients of three Oscars, three Grammys and an Emmy.

London School of Economics

The London School of Economics (officially The London School of Economics and Political Science, often referred to as the LSE) is a public research university located in London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas, and George Bernard Shaw for the betterment of society, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and established its first degree courses under the auspices of the University in 1901. The LSE started awarding its own degrees in 2008, prior to which it awarded degrees of the University of London.

LSE is located in Westminster, central London, near the boundary between Covent Garden and Holborn. The area is historically known as Clare Market. The LSE has more than 11,000 students and 3,300 staff, just under half of whom come from outside the UK. It had an income of £354.3 million in 2017/18, of which £31.6 million was from research grants. One hundred and fifty-five nationalities are represented amongst LSE's student body and the school has the second highest percentage of international students (70%) of all world universities. Despite its name, the school is organised into 25 academic departments and institutes which conduct teaching and research across a range of legal studies and social sciences.LSE is a member of the Russell Group, Association of Commonwealth Universities, European University Association and is sometimes considered a part of the "Golden Triangle" of universities in south-east England. For the subject area of social science, LSE places second in the world in the QS Rankings, tenth in THE Rankings, and eighth in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. LSE is ranked among the top fifteen universities nationally by all three UK tables, while internationally LSE is ranked in the top 50 by two of the three major global rankings. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the School had the highest proportion of world-leading research among research submitted of any British non-specialist university.LSE has produced many notable alumni in the fields of law, history, economics, philosophy, psychology, business, literature, media and politics. Alumni and staff include 53 past or present heads of state or government, 20 members of the current British House of Commons and 18 Nobel laureates. As of 2017, 26% (or 13 out of 49) of all the Nobel Prizes in Economics have been awarded or jointly awarded to LSE alumni, current staff or former staff, making up 16% (13 out of 79) of all laureates. LSE alumni and staff have also won 3 Nobel Peace Prizes and 2 Nobel Prizes in Literature. Out of all European universities, LSE has educated the most billionaires according to a 2014 global census of U.S dollar billionaires.

Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is a public research university in London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It dates back to the foundation of London Hospital Medical College in 1785. Queen Mary College, named after Mary of Teck, was admitted to the University of London in 1915 and in 1989 merged with Westfield College to form Queen Mary and Westfield College. In 1995 Queen Mary and Westfield College merged with St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College and the London Hospital Medical College to form the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Queen Mary's main campus is in the Mile End area of Tower Hamlets, with other campuses in Holborn, Smithfield and Whitechapel. In 2015/16 it had 17,140 students and 4,000 staff. Queen Mary is organised into three faculties – the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Queen Mary is a member of the Russell Group of British research universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and Universities UK. Queen Mary is a major centre for medical teaching and research and is part of UCLPartners, the world's largest academic health science centre. It has a strategic partnership with the University of Warwick, including research collaboration and joint teaching of English, history and computer science undergraduates. Queen Mary run programmes at the University of London Institute in Paris, taking over the functions provided by Royal Holloway. Queen Mary also collaborates with University of London to offer its Global MBA program. For 2017–18, Queen Mary had a turnover of £459.5 million, including £106.5 million from research grants and contracts.In the 2018/19 international university rankings, Queen Mary ranked 119th (QS World University Rankings), 130th (Times Higher Education World University Rankings), 110th (U.S. News and World Report) and 151–200 (Academic Ranking of World Universities). In the national rankings for UK universities, Queen Mary ranked 38th by The Complete University Guide 2019 and 46th by the The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.There are eight Nobel Laureates amongst Queen Mary's alumni, current and former staff.

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was founded by Elsie Fogerty in 1906 to offer a new form of training in speech and drama for young actors and other students. It became a constituent of the University of London in 2005 and its prominent alumni include Cush Jumbo, Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave, Judi Dench, Harold Pinter, Martin Freeman and Kit Harington.

Royal Holloway, University of London

Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL), formally incorporated as Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, is a public research university and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It has three faculties, 20 academic departments and c. 9,200 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 100 countries. The campus is located west of Egham, Surrey, 19 miles (31 km) from central London.

The Egham campus was founded in 1879 by the Victorian entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Holloway. Royal Holloway College was officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria as an all-women college. It became a member of the University of London in 1900. In 1945, the college admitted male postgraduate students, and in 1965, around 100 of the first male undergraduates. In 1985, Royal Holloway merged with Bedford College (another former all-women's college in London). The merged college was named Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC), this remaining the official registered name of the college by Act of Parliament. The campus is dominated by the Founder's Building, a Grade I listed red-brick building modelled on the Château de Chambord of the Loire Valley, France. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £173.6 million of which £13.9 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £169.4 million.Royal Holloway is ranked 24th in the UK according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 as well as ranked in the top 300 universities in the world as published byTimes Higher Education World University Rankings for 2019. In the category of ‘International Outlook’, Royal Holloway is ranked 20th in the UK as of 2019.

There are strong links and exchange programmes with institutions in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong, notably Yale University, the University of Toronto, the University of Melbourne and the University of Hong Kong. Royal Holloway was a member of the 1994 Group until 2013, when the group dissolved.

SOAS, University of London

SOAS University of London (; the School of Oriental and African Studies) is a public research university in London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1916, SOAS is located in the heart of Bloomsbury in central London.

SOAS is the world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It is home to the SOAS School of Law. SOAS offers around 350 undergraduate bachelor's degree combinations, more than 100 one-year master's degrees and PhD programmes in nearly every department. SOAS is ranked 4th globally in Development Studies by the 2018 QS World University Rankings.SOAS has produced several heads of states, government ministers, diplomats, central bankers, Supreme Court judges, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and many other notable leaders around the world.

Sarah Harrison (journalist)

Sarah Harrison is WikiLeaks section editor. She works with the WikiLeaks Legal Defense and is Julian Assange's closest adviser. Harrison accompanied National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden on a high-profile flight from Hong Kong to Moscow while he was sought by the United States government.

St George's, University of London

St George's, University of London (legally St George's Hospital Medical School, informally St George's or SGUL), is a medical school located in Tooting in South London and is a constituent college of the University of London. St George's has its origins in 1733, and was the second institution in England to provide formal training courses for doctors (after the University of Oxford). St George's affiliated with the University of London soon after the latter's establishment in 1836.St George's is closely affiliated to St George's Hospital and is one of the United Hospitals.

University College London

University College London, which has operated under the official name of UCL since 2005, is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. It is a constituent college of the federal University of London, and is the third largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment, and the largest by postgraduate enrolment.

Established in 1826 as London University by founders inspired by the radical ideas of Jeremy Bentham, UCL was the first university institution to be established in London, and the first in England to be entirely secular and to admit students regardless of their religion. UCL also makes the contested claims of being the third-oldest university in England and the first to admit women. In 1836 UCL became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London, which was granted a royal charter in the same year. It has grown through mergers, including with the Institute of Neurology (in 1997), the Royal Free Hospital Medical School (in 1998), the Eastman Dental Institute (in 1999), the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (in 1999), the School of Pharmacy (in 2012) and the Institute of Education (in 2014).

UCL has its main campus in the Bloomsbury area of central London, with a number of institutes and teaching hospitals elsewhere in central London and satellite campuses in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London and in Doha, Qatar. UCL is organised into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centres. UCL operates several culturally significant museums and manages collections in a wide range of fields, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, and administers the annual Orwell Prize in political writing. In 2017/18, UCL had around 41,500 students and 15,100 staff (including around 7,100 academic staff and 840 professors) and had a total group income of £1.45 billion, of which £476.3 million was from research grants and contracts.In the most recent Research Excellence Framework rankings for research power, UCL was the top-rated university in the UK as calculated by Times Higher Education, and second as calculated by The Guardian/Research Fortnight. UCL had the 9th highest average entry tariff in the UK for students starting in 2016. UCL is ranked from tenth to twentieth in the four major international rankings, and from eighth to eleventh in the national league tables. UCL is a member of numerous academic organisations, including the Russell Group and the League of European Research Universities, and is part of UCL Partners, the world's largest academic health science centre, and the "golden triangle" of research-intensive English universities.UCL alumni include the 'Father of the Nation' of each of India, Kenya and Mauritius, the founders of Ghana, modern Japan and Nigeria, the inventor of the telephone, and one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. UCL academics discovered five of the naturally occurring noble gases, discovered hormones, invented the vacuum tube, and made several foundational advances in modern statistics. As of 2018, 33 Nobel Prize winners and 3 Fields medalists have been affiliated with UCL as alumni, faculty or researchers.

University of London (Worldwide)

The University of London is a central academic body that manages external study programmes within the University of London collegiate university system. It formerly had the subtitles External Programmes, External System or International Programmes, and the current internal name for the department is the University of London Worldwide. It is the world's oldest distance and flexible learning body, established in year 1858, chartered by Queen Victoria.

Several colleges and institutes of the University of London offer degrees through the programme, including Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, Heythrop College, UCL Institute of Education, King's College London, London School of Economics, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Royal Veterinary College, School of Oriental and African Studies and University College London.

The System offers courses of study for undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas and degrees to more than 50,000 students around the world. A designated constituent institution of the University of London, called the 'lead college', creates materials to allow students to study at their own pace. Examinations take place at testing centres around the world on specified dates. Hallmarks of the programme are its low cost in comparison to attendance in London, and the possibility of pursuing either full-time or part-time study. As stated in the University of London Statutes, International Programmes students are graded on the same standard as internal students to ensure a uniform credentialing process. A student who completes a course of study under the programme is awarded a University of London degree with a notation specifying which lead college provided the instruction.

As of 2017, there are over 100,000 University of London distance learning alumni across the world, which include 7 Nobel laureates, 6 presidents or prime ministers, current and former leaders of Commonwealth of Nations, government ministers and Members of Parliament, academicians and notable Judges. Currently, the global community of registered students in International Programmes number over 50,000 students in more than 180 countries worldwide.

University of Western Ontario

The University of Western Ontario (UWO), corporately branded as Western University as of 2012 and commonly shortened to Western, is a public research university in London, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on 455 hectares (1,120 acres) of land, surrounded by residential neighbourhoods and the Thames River bisecting the campus' eastern portion. The university operates twelve academic faculties and schools. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.

The university was founded on 7 March 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth of the Anglican Diocese of Huron as "The Western University of London Ontario". It incorporated Huron University College, which had been founded in 1863. The first four faculties were Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine. The Western University of London became non-denominational in 1908. Beginning in 1919, the university has affiliated with several denominational colleges. The university grew substantially in the post-World War II era, as a number of faculties and schools were added to university.

Western is a co-educational university, with more than 24,000 students, and with over 306,000 living alumni worldwide. Notable alumni include government officials, academics, business leaders, Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, and distinguished fellows. Western's varsity teams, known as the Western Mustangs, compete in the Ontario University Athletics conference of U Sports.

Varun Gandhi

Varun Sanjay Gandhi (born 13 March 1980) is an Indian politician. He is a member of Parliament for Lok Sabha from the Sultanpur constituency. He is also member of Bharatiya Janata Party and was inducted into Rajnath Singh's team in March 2012 as General Secretary. Varun Gandhi is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

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