University of London History

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University of London History

The University of London was founded by Royal Charter on 28 November 1836 and is the third oldest university in England.

The two founding Colleges of the University, UCL (founded 1826) and King’s College London (founded 1829), both predate the University, as do many other of the University’s constituent institutions. For example, St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School (now part of Queen Mary) and St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School (now part of King’s College London) both have twelfth-century origins.

The University of London was initially established to act as an examining body for its Colleges and other ‘approved institutions’. It acted solely in this capacity until 1858.

The University awarded its first degrees back in 1839 to 29 students. Today more than 170,000 students studying at its 18 prestigious Colleges and through its distance learning programme in 180 countries receive University of London degrees each year.

University of London History

The University of London is a collegiate research university located in London, England, consisting of 18 constituent colleges, nine research institutes and a number of central bodies.

The university is the largest university by number of full-time students in the United Kingdom, with 161,270 campus-based students and over 50,000 distance learning students in the University of London International Programmes. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awarding examination board for students holding certificates from University College London (UCL) (previously called London University) 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”. The university moved to a federal structure in 1900.

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 UCL, 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. City is the most recent constituent college, having joined on 1 September 2016.

As on 2015, there are a total of around 2 million University of London alumni across the world, which include 7 monarchs or royalty, 52 presidents or prime ministers, 84 Nobel laureates, include several diplomats and civil servants across the world and staff associated with the collegiate research university.

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.