Imperial College London

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Imperial College London
Image:Imperial logo.gif
Motto Scientia imperii decus et tutamen
Knowledge is the adornment and protection of the state
Established 1907
Type Public
Endowment £47 million [1]
Rector Sir Richard Sykes
Staff 5,764 (2004/5)
Students 11,152 (2004/5)
Undergraduates 7,843
Postgraduates 3,309
Location London, England
Campus Urban
Affiliations University of London, Russell Group, AMBA, IDEA League, ACU, 'Golden Triangle'

Imperial College London is a prestigious British academic institution focusing on science, engineering and medicine, complemented by a business school. Its main campus is located on the boundary between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster in London, with its front entrance on Exhibition Road. Imperial is currently a constituent college of the University of London, although it is in the process of withdrawing and will become independent in time for its centenary celebrations in 2007.[2].


[edit] History

Royal School of Mines Entrance

Imperial College was founded in 1907, with the merger of the City and Guilds College, the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science (all of which had been founded between 1845 and 1878) with these entities continuing to exist as constituent colleges. The college was granted a Royal Charter by Edward VII in July 1907.

In later years, St Mary's Hospital Medical school (1988), the National Heart and Lung institute (1995), and the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (1997) merged into the Imperial College School of Medicine, the fourth constituent college. The size of the Medical School was increased in 1997 with the merger of Royal Postgraduate Medical School and the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and again in 2000 with a merger with the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology.

Also in 2000, Imperial merged with Wye College, the University of London's agricultural college in Wye, Kent. It has been claimed that the merger may have been due to Imperial's wish to obtain the significant amount of land owned by Wye College, rather than for academic reasons; Wye College accepted the merger because it was in financial difficulties. In December 2005, the college announced a science park program at the Wye campus however this was abandoned in September 2006 following local complaints that this would impact upon the surrounding countryside.

In 2002, the constituent colleges were abolished in favour of a new faculty structure. A merger with University College London was proposed in October that year, but was called off a month later after protests from staff and students of both colleges.

In 2003, the college was granted degree-awarding powers in its own right by the Privy Council. Exercising this power would be incompatible with remaining in the federal University of London, and on 9 December 2005 Imperial announced that it was beginning negotiations to withdraw from the University [3]. It is anticipated that the college will become independent in time for its centenary celebrations in 2007. The first group of students to be awarded the Imperial College degree by default will start studies in 2008, but all current students will be offered the option of choosing to be awarded a London degree or an Imperial degree.

Imperial College is a member of the Russell Group of Universities, AMBA, and the Golden Triangle, and is one of the five members of the IDEA League. The college's official title is Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, which it used in public relations up to 2002.

[edit] Campus

Image:Queen's Tower.jpg
The Queen's Tower

Imperial College's activity is centered on its South Kensington campus which is located in the area with a high concentration of cultural and academic institutions known as Albertopolis; the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal College of Music, the Royal College of Art and the Royal Albert Hall are all nearby. Imperial College has two other major campuses – at Silwood Park (near Ascot in Berkshire) and at Wye (near Ashford in Kent). It also has medical campuses associated with various hospitals in Greater London, including St. Mary's Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, Northwick Park & St. Mark's Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital. The expansion of the South Kensington campus in the 1960s absorbed the site of the former Imperial Institute, designed by Thomas Colcutt, of which only the 287-foot (85-metre) high Queen's Tower remains among the more modern buildings.

Currently there are extensive renovations being performed on many College buildings, particularly in time for the centenary celebrations in 2007. A £27m financial contribution to the college from alumnus Gary Tanaka in 2000 allowed the construction of a new building for the management school (now renamed the Tanaka Business School). The business school building provides the college with an official and imposing "Main Entrance" and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.

In late 2005 the Southside hall of residence on Prince's Gardens was demolished to make way for a new, more modern, building which will be more in keeping with the surrounding buildings. This is part of an ongoing redevelopment of Prince's Gardens which will see other halls of residence on the square replaced and the gardens redeveloped.

In January 2006 the College's new sports centre, named Ethos, was opened for use by students and staff. The state-of-the-art centre was built at a cost of £17.5m and is currently free for all students to use the gym and pool facilities.

The College Library has locations across all campuses and gives students and staff access to a vast amount of information much of which is supplied through a large number of electronic resources, including databases and e-books. The Central Library, on the South Kensington Campus, has recently embarked on phase one of a major refurbishment project to upgrade the quality of the study environment and create spaces fit for 21st century library use.

[edit] Medical School & North West Thames Foundation School

The 3 main London teaching hospitals associated with the medical school are:

Also attached to the faculty are 6 more district general hospitals:

[edit] Academic Structure

Imperial offers both undergraduate and postgraduate education, with its research and teaching organised into three faculties, each headed by a principal. The faculties are: Engineering, Medicine and Natural Sciences. In addition to the three faculties, a Business school exists as well as a Humanities department. However, the humanities department's main purpose is to provide elective subjects and language courses outside the fields of science for students in the other faculties and departments. Students are encouraged to take these classes either for credit or in their own time. Courses exist in a wide range of topics including philosophy; ethics in science and technology; history; modern literature and drama; art in the twentieth century; film studies. Language courses are available in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, Mandarin Chinese and Urdu.

[edit] Academic Reputation

Imperial has been consistently ranked in the top three universities in the UK by newspaper league tables. Recent tables show that - despite being science-based - it is third overall, whilst topping most of the engineering and medicine tables. The Sunday Times and The Guardian both placed Imperial 3rd in the UK in 2005. The Financial Times placed Imperial College's Business School within the top 10 in Europe [4]. Imperial College's FT MBA is ranked number 1 in Europe, and within the top 3 globally, for Entrepreneurship.

UK League Table Positions

UK Times 2007 Guide 3rd
UK Times 2006 Guide 3rd
UK Sunday Times 2007 Guide 4th
UK Sunday Times 2006 Guide 3rd
UK Daily Telegraph 2003 3rd
Financial Times 2003 3rd

Worldwide League Table Positions

World Position
European position
THES 2006 Overall position
THES 2005 Overall position
THES 2006 Technology position
THES 2005 Technology position
THES 2006 Biomedicine position
THES 2005 Biomedicine position
THES 2006 Science position
THES 2005 Science position

Academic and research staff number around 3,000. Of these, 53 are Fellows of the Royal Society, 57 are Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and one Fields Medallist. Distinguished past members of the College include 14 Nobel Laureates and one Fields Medallist.

Teams from Imperial College won University Challenge in both 1996 and 2001.

[edit] Research

Coat of arms of Imperial College London (no longer used officially)

Imperial's research income is among the largest in the UK – £167.2 million for 2002–03. This includes Research Council grants, grants from charities and a larger sum from industry than any other British university. It also received the highest amount of total research income out of all the UK universities in 2003, at £153 million.

In the December 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, 75 per cent of staff achieved a 5* rating, the highest proportion in any UK university. The College was second in the country with an overall score of 6.68 out of 7.

[edit] Graduates

Imperial College graduates have by far the highest average starting salaries among British graduates. According to The Sunday Times 2005 table, the average starting salary for Imperial graduates was £24,247.

[edit] Undergraduate Courses

A full list of undergraduate courses offered by the College can be found here.

[edit] Postgraduate Courses

Information on postgraduate courses offered by the College can be found here

[edit] Students' accommodation

Imperial College owns and manages over thirty halls of residence in Central London, Ealing, Ascot and Wye. Additionally, students are eligible for places in eight University of London Intercollegiate Halls situated in Central London. Over three thousand rooms are available, guaranteeing first year undergraduates a place in College residences.

The majority of halls offer self catered single or twin accommodation with some rooms having en suite facilities. Study bedrooms are provided with basic furniture and with access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Most halls are self-catered.

Most students in college or university accommodation are first-year undergraduates. The majority of older students and postgraduates find accommodation in the private sector, help for which is provided by the College private housing office.

A full list of halls of residence for Imperial students can be found here.

[edit] Students' Union

Main article Imperial College Union

The Students' Union (ICU) is run by five full-time sabbatical officers elected from the student body for a tenure of one year, as well as many permanent members of staff. The Union is given a large subvention by the College, much of which is spent maintaining clubs and societies.

Formed from the merger of St Mary's Hospital (London) Medical School and Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School, the Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union looks after the social, academic and welfare needs of the 2000 medical students within the faculty.

[edit] Clubs & Societies at Imperial

Imperial College Union has around 300 clubs and societies, the largest number of any student union in the United Kingdom.

Imperial Entrepreneurs is backed by support from venture capitalists, entrepreneurship networks and Imperial Alumni. The club aims to encourage entrepreneurship within the student body of Imperial College and provide the members with opportunities to meet with prominent entrepreneurs. The launch event of the club was held at the Tanaka Business School, and was attended by Alex Tew, founder of, Michael Smith, founder of, and Charlie Osmond, founder of The club also runs the SparkACompany programme together with LSE Entrepreneurs. The programme aims to launch 6 successful student startups within the year.

Imperial College Boat Club is one of the most consistently successful rowing clubs in the country. Under coach Bill Mason, it achieved many wins at Henley Royal Regatta and provided many internationals and Olympians, including members of the gold medal winning eight at the Sydney Olympics: Simon Dennis and Louis Attrill.

Imperial College Big Band is one of the leading university big bands in the UK. Despite Imperial College not having a taught music department the band won the gold award at the 2005 National Concert Band Festival.

Imperial College LGBT, also known as the I.Q., represents Imperial College's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender student and staff. The I.Q. organises both social and political events open to all members of the college.

Imperial College Leonardo Society is the fine art society and is mostly referred to as LeoSoc.

Imperial College String Ensemble is the newest and most upcoming arts venture of Imperial College, dedicated to the performance of challenging and diverse music for strings.

Imperial College Science Fiction Society, known as "ICSF", maintains a collection of over 7000 books and 1000 videos related to science fiction, fantasy and horror. ICSF's library is believed to be the largest student-run library in Europe.

Imperial College Canoe Club is by far the most active student kayaking club in London, focusing on whitewater paddling and expeditions to far away places.

Imperial College Caving Club is the only University caving club in London.

Imperial College Cheese Society is a good example of the diversity of societies available at the college.

ICU Debating Society is the Union's debating society, which holds weekly debates and is a forum for student expression and discussion.

Imperial College Football Club is the Imperial College Football Club.

Imperial College Islamic Society is the one of the largest and most active societies at Imperial.

Imperial College Jewish Society is also actively involved at Imperial.

Imperial College Dramatic Society is one of the oldest and busiest societies, who in addition to traditional forms of drama provide technical services to the other clubs that wish to put on shows.

Imperial College Rifle and Pistol Club (ICRPC) is one of the largest student shooting clubs in the country and has roots back before Imperial College formed in 1907. ICRPC allows members to train and compete in a variety of disciplines including air pistol, fulbore target rifle and clay pigeon. It is the only clay pigeon student club in London. Imperial College Archery used to be part of ICRPC. ICRPC has close links with the University of London Rifle Club.

[edit] Clubs & Societies Links

[edit] Student Media

[edit] Imperial College Radio

Imperial College Radio (or ICRadio) was founded in November 1975 with the intention of broadcasting to the student halls of residence from a studio under Southside, actually commencing broadcasts in late 1976. It now broadcasts from the West Basement of Beit Quad over the internet and, since 2004, on 1134AM in Wye. The radio station has a library of over 51,000 tracks, which are searchable on their website.

In 2006 IC Radio received two nominations in the Student Radio Awards: Best Entertainment Show for Liquid Lunch and Best Male Presenter for Martin Archer.

Popular shows on IC Radio in recent years (2006/2007) include: Rocktopia with Nico Cousens and Nathan Cohen, School Daze' (pop), 'Instru(Mental)' (dance), 'VPT' (Entertainment/Shambles) and 'Moon Unit' and 'The Cornerstone' (both of which play rock and alternative).

[edit] stoic tv

stoic tv (Student Television of Imperial College) is Imperial College Union's TV station. In 2006 it was named Best Broadcaster at NaSTA and also won awards for Best On-Screen Male and Best On-Screen Female . It broadcasts from studios in the specially built media centre in the Student Union to the Junior Common Room and occasionally DaVinci's Bar. Programmes are also available to watch on their website.

There is also a non-student Imperial College organisation called Media Services, whose main activity is producing videos of College events.

[edit] Felix

Published weekly, Felix is the free student newspaper of Imperial College London. It aims to be independent of both the College itself and also the Student Union. The editor is elected from the student body for a full-time sabbatical position with a tenure of one year. There is also a non-student Imperial College newspaper called Reporter.

[edit] Live!

Live! is an online student news source and forum run by the City and Guilds College Union.

[edit] Commercialisation

Imperial College has a dedicated technology transfer company known as Imperial Innovations. Imperial actively encourages its staff to commercialise its research and as a result has given rise to a proportionally large number of spin-out companies based on academic research.

[edit] Student Body

For the 2004-05 academic year, Imperial College had a total full-time student body of more than 11,000. This comprised roughly 8,000 undergraduate students and 3,000 postgraduates. In addition there were over 900 part-time students, all postgraduates. 27% of students come from outside the European Union. [5]

Imperial's male:female ratio for undergraduate students is somewhat uneven at approximately 65:35 overall and 4:1 in some engineering courses.

[edit] Student and Staff Alumni

Also see the List of Imperial College London people

Imperial alumni include such noted scientists as physicist Abdus Salam, biologist T. H. Huxley and pharmacologist Alexander Fleming alongside such diverse alumni as Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, author H. G. Wells and Queen guitarist Brian May.

[edit] Related College links

[edit] References

Recognized bodies of the University of London

Birkbeck | Courtauld Institute of Art | Central School of Speech and Drama | Goldsmiths | Heythrop | Imperial | Institute of Cancer Research | Institute of Education | King's | London Business School | LSE | London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Queen Mary | Royal Academy of Music | Royal Holloway | Royal Veterinary College | St George's | SOAS | School of Pharmacy | UCL

Listed bodies

University of London Institute in Paris | School of Advanced Study | University Marine Biological Station, Millport

Russell Group
(of British research universities)
Birmingham | Bristol | Cambridge | Cardiff | Edinburgh | Glasgow | Imperial College London | King's College London | Leeds | Liverpool | London School of Economics | Manchester | Newcastle | Nottingham | Oxford | Queen's | Sheffield | Southampton | University College London | Warwick
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Imperial College London

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