University of Westminster

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University of Westminster
Image:WMN logo.jpg
Motto Educating for professional life
Established 1992
Type University federation
Chancellor Lord Swraj Paul
Vice-Chancellor Dr Geoffrey Copland
Students 23,800
Location London, United Kingdom

The University of Westminster is a British university in London, formed in 1992 as a result of the Further and Higher Education Act, 1992, which allowed the London Polytechnic (Polytechnic of Central London or PCL ) to rename itself as a university. The London Polytechnic itself was formed from the merger of the Holborn College of Law, Languages and Commerce and the Regent Street Polytechnic in 1971. Its antecedents date back to the mid-1800s, making it one of the oldest post-school educational institutions in Britain.


[edit] Overview

The University of Westminster's headquarters is situated on Regent Street in the West End of London. It has evolved over 150 years from the first institution in the UK to provide post-school education for working people to a multi-faceted modern university.There are more than 23,800 students from 132 countries studying at the University of Westminster on a variety of programmes. These range from undergraduate and postgraduate courses to tailored professional programmes and short courses. Many Westminster students study part-time; courses are available both during the day and in the evening.

The University of Westminster ranked 55th out of 122 university-level institutions in the United Kingdom in 2005, according to the Guardian newspaper.[1]

The University of Westminster Students' Union:[2] provides a wide range of activities for its members. It is based at the Marylebone campus, next to Baker Street tube station, where there is an excellent new social venue, which cost over £1 million. The Union also has another bar and a night club, Area 51, located on the University's Harrow Campus.

The Union was founded in 1966 as The Polytechnic Students' Union. Its first three Presidents were Owen Spencer-Thomas 1966-1967, Roger Beavil 1967-1968 and Alan Smith 1968-1969. [3].

[edit] History

Although there had been an attempt to establish a polytechnic institute in Regent Street as early as 1838,it was not until 1881 that the Regent Street Polytechnic was founded. The Polytechnic was subsequently to have a significant influence on English higher education and perhaps an even greater one on sport.[4]

The founder was Quintin Hogg who is described on a memorial plaque in the rebuilt flagship building (1911) as an "Education and Christian Benefactor", who "expanded his work by founding the Polytechnic in 1881-2". In nearby Portland Place, amidst the traffic, is his statue, a memorial to both him and to those staff and students who died during the First World War. The imagery of Hogg's statue conveys the values and priorities of his Polytechnic, because he is depicted giving equal value to book learning and sporting activity. In essence, it reflects the ethos of muscular Christianity, a popular strain in Victorian culture. In the Fyvie Hall in the main building, a plaque explains that the reconstruction in 1911 was a memorial to the late Edward VII and it refers to the commitment of the Polytechnic to the "physical and moral development of youthful subjects".

This twin commitment to education and sport is further exemplified by a double set of honours boards which show that, from 1898 until the establishment of what was to become the University of Westminster, it awarded an annual trophy for the best educational achievement, and for the best sports performance. The latter award was the Studd Trophy. Over the years, the awards have been given to sportsmen from various disciplines, such as swimming, boxing and cycling, but the majority of awards have been given to athletes. Six names stand out: Willie Applegarth (1912/13), Olympic medallist and the greatest of the pre-First World War sprinters; Albert Hill (1919/20), Olympic gold medallist and the greatest middle-distance runner of his time; Harry Edward (1922), Olympic sprint bronze medallist; McDonald Bailey (1950), the greatest sprinter of the immediate post-Second World War years; Colin Campbell (1968 and 1970), a great quarter miler; and Alan Pascoe (1971/72/73/74/75), one of the greatest hurdlers of all time.

This roll of honour explains why, of the many sports clubs that arose from the Regent's Street Polytechnic, the Polytechnic Harriers were the most remembered and celebrated. The Polytechnic Harriers became associated with the Chiswick track, but their name confirmed that they were connected to this important educational and sporting institution. However, the Polytechnic Marathon [5], founded after the London Olympic Marathon of 1908, has ceased. Indeed, even the Polytechnic Harriers have been subsumed into another club. Although the club, as Kingston and Polytechnic A.C., still compete, at their Kingston home, for their Kinnaird and Sward Trophies every April against the famous Achilles Club and others. Nevertheless, the achievements of this unique establishment, especially in athletics, still stand the test of comparison with modern activities and clubs.

The other two sports with which the Polytechnic has a strong association are cycling and water polo.

The University of Westminster has the first Junior Enterprise in the UK, Westminster Business Consultants. Established in 1995, this student-run company does real-life projects for small companies and multinational corporations as a way to practise entrepreneurship.

[edit] Degrees offered

The University offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees via its departments:

  • School of Architecture and the Built Environment
  • School of Biosciences
  • School of Law
  • School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages
  • School of Media, Arts and Design
  • School of Integrated Health
  • School of Informatics (formerly the Cavendish School of Computer Science)
  • Harrow Business School
  • Harrow School of Computer Science
  • Westminster Business School

[edit] Campuses and halls

This University is divided into four campuses; three of these are in central London and the fourth is in Harrow. The nearest Tube station to the Harrow Campus is Northwick Park, on the Metropolitan Line, which takes 20 minutes from Baker Street. The campus includes a Business School, Computer School and Media School. Each campus contains a set of architecturally distinctive buildings and has its own library, IT and catering facilities.

The English language section has 14 classes and 200 students who come from every part of the world (Japan, China, France etc.). There is also a Learning Advice Centre in the library.

There are several Halls of Residence dispersed throughout London, including Furnival House in Highgate and Alexander Fleming situated near Old Street, and as of September 2005 there are two based at the Harrow campus.

The University established Westminster International University in Tashkent in 2002 at the invitation of and with the co-operation of the government of Uzbekistan.

[edit] List of notable lecturers and alumni

[edit] Notable lecturers

Cherie Blair, senior barrister, wife of Tony Blair

[edit] Notable alumni

[edit] External links

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

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University of Westminster

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