About University of London
The University of London is the oldest, biggest and most diverse university in the United Kingdom. Set up by Royal Charter in 1836, the University is recognized worldwide as a world leader in Higher Education.
The University of London was founded for public benefit, to promote education and knowledge, and was a pioneering institution in making higher education available to women and those unable to pursue traditional forms of study. From its establishment, the federal University was committed to awarding degrees irrespective of a student’s religious affiliation. In 1878 the University became the first in the UK to admit women on the same terms as men, and the first female graduates received their degrees in 1880. In 1858 the University established its ‘External Program’, administering exams and awarding qualifications to students learning at other institutions or pursuing self-directed courses of study. This activity continues to this day through the International Program, run as a collaboration between the University and a number of the Colleges. Through its external awards and through a number of special relationships, the University has also encouraged the development of educational institutions across the UK and around the world.
The University is a federal institution consisting of self-governing Colleges of outstanding reputation and a number of highly acclaimed Central Academic Bodies and activities. Federally, there are 170,000 scholars in the Colleges and University, including the Global Program. The University gives a suite of innovative high-class academic support and professional services and manages a valuable property portfolio.
London and the world – London is the global hub for academic excellence and the University of London is a renowned mark of excellence, differentiating its members from an increasingly crowded field. The federal University is at the intellectual heart of this hub, enabling us to play a key regional role in promoting learning and knowledge via our partnerships and networks. While our roots are in London, we have a national and global reach through our academic work and have a brand that is the envy of others. Internationally, the Federation plays a significant role through its academic Endeavour and as a UK ambassador.
Access and the student experience – Widening access to education and knowledge creation, promotion and facilitation, have always been at the heart of our mission since our foundation. Our International Program extends across 180 countries providing access to an excellent education at affordable prices, and our School of Advanced Study and Libraries have a unique national remit in Humanities Research, Promotion, and Facilitation (RPF). The central University plays a vital role in enhancing student life, through high-quality services and facilities that provide an excellent learning environment, the development of employability skills and job opportunities, and essential services. The University is, therefore, well-placed to enhance the student experience through its distinctive combination of academic activity, services, and facilities.
Public benefit – The University was founded for the purpose of public benefit, and that mission continues to shape our activities, not least in the provision of affordable higher education around the world delivered by the International Program. The University also promotes learning and scholarship, and its research seminars are open to the public and available online. The federal University contributes to London communities through public engagement projects and offers local access to its facilities.
Collaboration – The relationship between the central University and the federal Colleges and Institutes is fundamental to our success and this Federation is a focal point for networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. It is a partnership whereby each institution can fulfill its own distinctive activities and also act together for mutual benefit, as and when appropriate, creating a potency that is more than the sum of its parts. The development of our work will be complementary to the activities of the Colleges and there will be an underlying principle that Federation membership is recognized in our academic development, service offer, and property strategy. This Strategy reflects an increasingly transparent and mature relationship of equals with a good balance of shared risk and reward. Flexibility and innovation are core attributes of this partnership, and the nature of how the University engages with its members will necessarily change over time.
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