Media - Global community

Our global community of former students and alumni include many exceptional people who have made their mark on the world.

Seven Nobel Prize Winners:

  • Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins
  • Ronald Coase
  • Wole Soyinka
  • Derek Walcott
  • Rolph Payet
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Sir Charles Kao.

This list also includes academics (Asa Briggs, Kwasi Wiredu, Sir Geoffrey Elton); engineers (Sir Barnes Wallis); politicians (Dr Luisa Diogo, Gisela Stuart MP); and writers (H.G. Wells, Chinua Achebe, Malcolm Bradbury).

Today, our worldwide reputation continues to ensure our graduates are to be found in leading positions around the world.

Dr Dipu Moni

Dr Dipu Moni - graduated 2005

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Another powerful female graduate of the University of London International Programmes is Dr Dipu Moni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Bangladesh since 2009. She is the first woman to become the foreign minister of a South Asian country. A doctor by profession, Dipu Moni gained a Master of Laws from the University of London International Programmes in 2005. Since entering politics, her focus has been women’s rights and entitlements, health legislation and human rights.

ANR Robinson: Alumni

ANR Robinson - graduated 1949

Former President of Trinidad and Tobago

Between 1946 and 1970, the University of London had ‘special relationships’ with a number of universities across the Commonwealth, enabling them to award University of London degrees. One such example was the University College of the West Indies, which created a number of well-known graduates, including the Honourable ANR Robinson, who graduated with an LLB in 1949. Arthur Robinson was Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago between 1986 and 1991 and President from 1997 to 2003. He is also credited with helping to establish the International Criminal Court, by proposing the creation of a permanent international court to deal with the illegal drug trade during the UN General Congress in 1989.

ANR Robinson died 9 April 2014.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela - studied 1960s and 1970s

Nobel Peace Prize

Arguably our most famous former student is Nelson Mandela. Mandela spent many of his 27 years of imprisonment studying law through the University of London International Programmes. He passed the London Intermediate exams in 1963, but the conditions imposed by the South African authorities prevented him from completing his degree in the 1960s and 70s. In his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom (1994), Mandela wrote of studying during the Rivonia trial in 1963-4.

“In the days before we were to reconvene, I wrote papers for a set of University of London examinations for my LLB…. I had continued my studies throughout the trial and I wanted to make the examination. I was single-minded about it, and I later realised that it was a way to keep myself from thinking negatively. I knew I would not be practising law again very soon, but I did not want to consider the alternative. I passed the exams.”

Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected President of South Africa the following year. He has received more than 250 awards, including many honorary degrees.

Nelson Mandela died on the 5th of December 2013.

Sir Charles Kao

Sir Charles Kao - graduated 1956

Nobel Prize for Physics

Chinese-born Sir Charles Kao was awarded half of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for his groundbreaking use of fibre optics in telecommunications. He was awarded a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of London in 1965, after studying via distance learning while working at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL) in England. It was here in 1966 that Sir Charles made a discovery that led to a breakthrough in fiber optics, which are the glass fibres that facilitate global broadband communication such as the Internet. Sir Charles spent much of his life in Hong Kong, founding the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and later serving as Vice-Chancellor.

Shyamala Devi Alagendra

Shyamala Devi Alagendra - graduated 1995

Prosecution Trial Lawyer with the International Criminal Court in The Hague

Shylamala is an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya and is currently acting as defence counsel for the Head of the Public Service of Kenya in relation to allegations before the International Criminal Court for Crimes Against Humanity,  a court set up following a proposal by another of our alumni ANR Robinson, the former President of Trinidad and Tobago.  Alegandra is a member of a team defending crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

She was only 19 years’ old when she achieved her Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours from the University of London International Programmes in 1995.

At 25 she was sworn in as an International Prosecutor with the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor. Another high profile case she worked on was  the Charles Taylor trial, in which she served as a Prosecution Trial Lawyer heard before the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“I have always wanted to be involved in any process, in any capacity, to do with justice for gross human rights violations…. The resilience of the victims and their unending quest for justice has both humbled and motivated me to strive to seek justice on their behalf.”