The University of London is one of the oldest and largest universities in the UK. It is a federal University, comprising institutions of varying size and academic profile in which teaching and research are carried out. Some are large multi-faculty Colleges, others are small specialised Institutes. Together, these Colleges and Institutes form the most diverse University in Britain. Students belong both to the College and Institute at which they study and to the University which awards the degree.
Through its Colleges and Institutes (i.e. London School of Economics and Political Science, King's College London, University College London, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, etc.), the University of London offers the widest range of higher education opportunities in Britain, with over two thousand courses and unparalleled facilities for advanced research.
- The University of London is committed to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in a research environment, which draws on many different traditions, practices and methods in a wide variety of institutions, offering unsurpassed opportunities to students from all countries who are able to benefit from its courses so that they attain the highest academic standards and develop to the most exacting intellectual level.
- The University of London is dedicated to the prosecution of research across all fields of study at the highest international standards.
- The University of London seeks to contribute to the public welfare in the work of its graduates and its staff and in the results of its research, enriching and advancing culture, education, the humanities and social sciences, the performing and creative arts, science, engineering, technology, medicine and public affairs
- The University of London, by its significant presence in London, seeks to make a major contribution to the economic, scientific and cultural life of the metropolis
- The University of London seeks to represent nationally and internationally the highest standards and enduring values of the university tradition, including academic freedom, intellectual integrity and equality.
The University of London was given its Royal Charter in 1836. The University has of course expanded and changed over the years, but it has maintained its founding principles which, in the words of its Charter, are "to hold forth to all classes and denominations, both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, without any distinction whatsoever, an encouragement for pursuing a regular and liberal course of education; and to promote research and the advancement of science and learning".
The University is proud of its role in academic life both at home and abroad. It has fostered the development of many colleges in the United Kingdom and overseas until they themselves reached university status.
The University of London: History
The University of London has its origins in the 1820s and 1830s with the creation of University College in Bloomsbury and King's College in the Strand. The only two English universities in existence at the time - Oxford and Cambridge - limited entrance. In contrast, the founders of University College set out to provide an institution open to all, irrespective of race, creed or political belief. In reaction to the foundation of University College, a group of 'Establishment' figures set up King's College. Both University College and King's College petitioned for the Royal Charter which would allow them to award degrees to their graduates. To solve its dilemma, the Government compromised by creating a third body - The University of London - to examine students of both Colleges and grant degrees. The University was given its Royal Charter in 1836.
The University of London today
The University's size and federal organisation is one of its major strengths. It can offer flexibility of courses, depth of specialisation, and a range of options unmatched by any other University in the United Kingdom. The federal system combines the advantages of size with the intimate living and working environments of the Colleges and Institutes. In the region of 120,000 students study at a College or Institute of the University. Most Colleges have their own sports grounds, in addition to the extensive facilities of the University of London's Students' Union (ULU). The variety of social provision throughout the University is immense.
But the University of London consists of more than its Colleges and Institutes. The University allows students who study privately, or at other institutions, anywhere in the world, to enter for examinations for some degrees and diplomas through the External Programme.
26,000 students study in over 150 countries world-wide. In addition to the extensive University facilities available, London students use the national libraries, museums and great artistic and scientific societies based in the capital. Learning to live and work in London is both a challenge and delight. Costs for students can be offset by unparalleled opportunities for vacation employment; and knowledge of London can give a head start in careers.
UOL website: www.lon.uk.ac