University of the Arts London

University of London LogoUniversity of the Arts London

University of the Arts London is a large university based in London, England. It specialises in art, design, fashion and the performing arts. It is a collegiate university; a federation of six world-renowned colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, the London College of Communication, the London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts.

History

The university has its origins in seven previously independent art, design, fashion and media colleges, which were brought together for administrative purposes to form the London Institute in 1986. They were: Saint Martin’s School of Art; Chelsea School of Art; the London College of Printing; the Central School of Art and Design; Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts; the College for Distributive Trades; and the London College of Fashion. The colleges were originally established from the mid 19th century to the early 20th century.

Under the Education Reform Act 1988, the London Institute became a single legal entity, and the first court of governors were instated the following year in 1989. The first appointed Rector was John McKenzie. The London Institute was incorporated as a higher education body in 1991 and was later granted academic degree awarding powers in 1993 by the Privy Council. Will Wyatt was appointed Chairman of Governors during the same year. Sir William Stubbs was appointed the second Rector after the retirement of McKenzie in 1996. A coat of arms was granted to the London Institute in 1998. Lord Stevenson was appointed the first chancellor in 2000.

On the retirement of Sir William Stubbs, Sir Michael Bichard was appointed as Rector in 2001 and encouraged the London Institute to apply for university status. The London Institute originally chose not to apply because its individual colleges were internationally recognised in their own right. In 2003, the London Institute received Privy Council approval for university status and was renamed University of the Arts London in 2004.

Wimbledon School of Art joined the university as a sixth college in 2006, and was renamed Wimbledon College of Art. Sir John Tusa was appointed as the new Chairman, replacing Will Wyatt, in 2007. Nigel Carrington was appointed rector in 2008, replacing Sir Michael Bichard.

From 2008 to 2010, staff were made redundant and courses closed. At the London College of Communication, where 16 of the 19 courses were discontinued in 2009, staff resigned and students demonstrated and staged a sit-in in protest at the cuts in budget and staff numbers.

Central Saint Martins moved to a purpose-built complex in King’s Cross in June 2011.

In 2015 Grayson Perry was appointed to succeed Kwame Kwei-Armah as chancellor of the university.