University of London

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University of London
Image:UoL Logo.gif
Latin: Universitas Londiniensis
Established 1836
Type Public
Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal
Vice-Chancellor Sir Graeme Davies
Students 159,000 total
Location London, United Kingdom

The University of London is a university based primarily in London. It is the second-largest university in the United Kingdom, with 125,000 campus-based students and a further 34,000 in the University of London External Programme. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the university includes some of the most prestigious colleges and institutes of higher education in the world.


[edit] Overview

Image:Senate House UoL.jpg
Senate House designed by Charles Holden, home to the university's central administrative offices and its library.

The university is a federal body made up of 31 highly autonomous affiliates (18 colleges and 13 institutes). The most famous colleges are University College London (UCL), King's College London, Imperial College London, the Royal Academy of Music, the London School of Economics (LSE), the London Business School, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths' College and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

For most practical purposes, ranging from admission of students to negotiating funding from the government, the 18 constituent colleges are treated as individual universities. Within the university federation they are known as Recognised Bodies, with the authority to examine students and have the university award them degrees. One of the conditions of membership of the University of London federation is that colleges do not award degrees of their own. At present Imperial College and UCL retain this power, but have yet to use it.

The thirteen 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, the university licenses the awarding of its degrees to universities outside of the system. 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, but in recent years this aspect of its work has revived due to the globalisation of the higher education market, and an increasing number of overseas academic institutes are once again offering University of London diplomas and degrees.

It is the second-largest university in the United Kingdom, after the Open University.

[edit] Location

The University of London owns a considerable estate of 160 buildings centred on the Bloomsbury district of central London[1]. 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 the Senate House Library, the chancellor's official residence and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. By 2008, almost all of the School of Advanced Study will be in Senate House and neighboring Stewart House[2].

The estate includes several properties outside Bloomsbury, including the University Marine Biological Station, Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae, a boathouse on the Chiswick embankment, a number of self-catering units further afield, which together house nearly 3,000 students, and the full premises of the University of London Institute in Paris.

Many of the University's college and institutes are outside Bloomsbury: those normally own their own estates.

[edit] History

Image:The London University by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd 1827-28.JPG
The London University as drawn by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd and published in 1827/28. This building is now part of University College London, which today is just one of the many constituent colleges and institutes of the University of London.

Founded in 1836, the university at first comprised just two colleges: University College London, which previously had no official chartered status and did not apply religious tests to its students, and King's College London, which had been chartered since 1829 and which admitted only members of the Church of England. Both King's (founded 1829) and University College London (founded 1826) pre-date the University of London, which initially served solely as an examining body for the constituent colleges.

In 1858 the university expanded its role by offering the University of London External Programme to candidates outside of the colleges, the first of its kind in the country. A new headquarters at 6 Burlington Gardens, providing the university with exam halls and offices, was built to accommodate the new role. In 1878 the university set another first when it became the first university in the UK to admit women on equal terms with men. 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. <ref>University of London:Brief history</ref>

In 1898, in part as a response to criticisms of universities which merely served as centres for the administration of tests, and calls for research and education to be more central functions of universities, the first University of London Act was passed, reforming the university and giving it responsibility for monitoring course content and academic standards within its institutions. The monitoring was conducted through newly formed centralised faculties and Boards of Studies, and King's and UCL now became constituent parts of the University of London. A symbolic element to the new centralisation of the university was the fact that UCL property became property of the University of London. <ref>Japanese Students at Cambridge University in the Meiji Era, 1868-1912: Pioneers for the Modernization of Japan, Noboru Koyama. Lulu Press, September 2004.</ref>

Image:University of London illustration 1867.jpg
An illustration of 6 Burlington Gardens, home to the university administration from 1870 to 1899.

This significant expansion of role meant the university again needed more space, and so 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated in 1899. Shortly after the 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated the university went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Goldsmith's 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 joined in 1920. This rapid expansion meant that the university's new premises would prove insufficient 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". <ref> City of Sound</ref> Holden responded by designing Senate House, the current headquarters of the university, and at the time of completion the second largest building in London.<ref> Emporis Buildings</ref>

During the Second World War the colleges of the university (with the exception of Birkbeck) and their students left London in favour of 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. <ref> The Twentieth Century Society</ref>The latter half of the last century was less eventful, mostly characterised by expansion and consolidation within the university, with the only significant threat to the university being some of the larger colleges (most notably UCL, King's, LSE and Imperial) periodically putting forward the possibility of their departure from the university, though this usually only happened when the colleges were negotiating for more powers. On 9 December 2005, however, Imperial College became the first 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. The University of London accepted Imperial's formal request to withdraw from the federation on 5 October 2006 [3]. Imperial is set to become fully independent by 2007 in time for the college's centenary celebrations. The University of London has begun to plan for the contingency that its other high-profile colleges will also move for independence. It is unclear what role, if any, the federated university would have for the remaining institutions in such an event.

[edit] Organisation

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 a senate, responsible for matters of academic policy, and an estates committee, responsible for managing University of London property, underneath a council, which act as the primary executive body of the university. The council is made up of the chancellor (who does not attend meetings), the vice-chancellor, the heads of all the colleges and institutes of the university, 18 academics elected from the senate, five student representatives, various lay members (appointed by the council or the government) and various vice-chancellors of different departments. <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] Recognised bodies

The constituent members of the university are divided as follows:

[edit] Listed bodies

[edit] Colleges no longer in existence

Some colleges of the University of London have been amalgamated into larger colleges. These include

[edit] 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.

[edit] Academic Dress

For a full discussion and classification of this subject, please follow this link: Academic dress of the University of London.

[edit] Student life

Some 125,000 students (approximately 5% of all UK students) attend one of the University of London's affiliated schools. Additionally, over 34,000 students follow the University of London External Programme <ref name="about_us"/>.

The ULU building on Malet Street (adjacent to Senate House) is home to the University of London Union, which acts as the student union for all University of London students alongside the individual college and institution unions. As well as representing students, the union plays host to a number of shops and bars (including a nightclub and live music venue), runs the London Student (the largest student newspaper in Europe<ref> London Student</ref>) and offers its own gym and swimming pool for student use.

The university also runs eight intercollegiate halls of residence, accommodating students from most of the colleges and institutions of the university:

[edit] Sports, clubs, and traditions

Though most sports teams are organised at the college level, ULU does run a number of sports clubs of its own, some of which (for example the basketball team) compete in BUSA leagues. The union also organises 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.

ULU also organises 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.

[edit] University of London people

A portrait of Gandhi, age 21, at The Vegetarian (1891).

A number of famous individuals have passed through the University of London, either as staff or students, including 3 monarchs, 33 presidents or prime ministers, 54 Nobel laureates, 6 Grammy winners, 2 Oscar winners and 2 Olympic gold medalists. 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, Henry Gray who wrote the ever so famous "Gray's Anatomy". In addition, the discovery of the structure of DNA (Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin), the discovery of penicillin (Alexander Flemming and Ernest Chain), the development of X-Ray technology (William Henry Bragg and Charles Glover Barkla), 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 of London include Romano Prodi, Junichiro Koizumi, Aung San Su Kyi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mohsen Sazegara, John F. Kennedy and Mahatma Gandhi. In the arts field the university has produced the novelists Malcolm Bradbury, G. K. Chesterton, H. G. Wells and Arthur C. Clarke, many of the leading figures in the Young British Artists movement (including Ian Davenport, Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst) and musicians ranging from the conductor Sir Simon Rattle, the soprano Felicity Lott and both members of Gilbert and Sullivan to Mick Jagger, Elton John and members of the bands Coldplay, Suede, The Velvet Underground, Blur, Iron Maiden, Placebo, The Libertines and Queen. The University of London has also played host to film directors (Christopher Nolan, Derek Jarman), philosophers (Karl Popper, Roger Scruton), explorers (David Livingstone), West End Theatre producers (Dominic Madden), leading businessmen (Michael Cowpland, George Soros), pornographers (David Sullivan) and international terrorists (Carlos the Jackal).

[edit] Trivia

[edit] References

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[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] External links

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

Universities in London

University of the Arts | Brunel | City | East London | Greenwich | Kingston | University of London | London Metropolitan | London South Bank | Middlesex | Roehampton | Royal College of Art | Thames Valley | Westminster

de:Universität London

es:Universidad de Londres fr:Université de Londres gd:Oilthigh Lunnainn ko:런던 대학교 it:Università di Londra ms:Universiti London nl:Universiteit van Londen ja:ロンドン大学 no:University of London pl:University of London pt:Universidade de Londres tr:Londra Üniversitesi zh:倫敦大學

University of London

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