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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.
In 1891, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, one of the City of London Livery Companies, founded Goldsmiths’ Technical and Recreative Institute (more commonly referred to simply as the “Goldsmiths’ Institute”). The Goldsmiths’ Company was established in the 12th century as a medieval guild for goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers. The Livery Company dedicated the foundation of its new Institute to “the promotion of technical skill, knowledge, health and general well-being among men and women of the industrial, working and artisan classes”. The original Institute was based in New Cross at the former Royal Naval School building. (This building, which was designed by the architect John Shaw Jr, is now known as the Richard Hoggart Building and remains the main building of the campus today.)
In 1904, the Institute was merged with the University of London and was re-established as Goldsmiths’ College. (The apostrophe was removed in 1993, and the word ‘College’ dropped in a rebranding in 2006). At this point Goldsmiths was the largest teacher training institution in the country. Training functions were later expanded to include refresher courses for teachers, the University Postgraduate Certificate in Education and an Art teacher’s Certificate course. The College also ran its own Nursery School.