Our history in brief
About the University of London International Programmes
- The University of London was established in 1836 and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the United Kingdom.
- The University’s founding principle is to provide education for all, irrespective of race, creed or political belief.
- In 1858, the University of London was granted its fourth Charter, which paved the way for the establishment of the University of London International Programmes.
- The University of London International Programmes is a unique global network of 50,000 students in 190 countries, on 100+ study programmes.
- The External System has been instrumental in the formation of British higher education – all English and Welsh universities founded between 1849 and 1949 offered University of London degrees before obtaining Royal Charters to award their own degrees.
- Between 1946-1970, the External System played a significant role in establishing many Commonwealth universities under a unique scheme of ‘special relations’.
- Through the External System higher education was made available to a much wider range of social classes; it pre-empted 20th Century developments in open, flexible and distance learning by more than 100 years.
- Famous former students and alumni of the External System include six Nobel Prize Winners: Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, Professor Ronald Coase, Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott, ex-President Nelson Mandela and joint winner Dr Rolph Payet.