Our history

Our history -a section of the charter

The story of the University of London is one of innovation, expansion and open access. In 2018 the University of London will mark the 150th anniversary of the enrolment of its first woman students, and in 2008 the University of London International Programmes celebrated its 150th anniversary. The University is constantly seeking new ways of reaching out to students around the world, recently celebrating the 1 millionth enrolment onto a University of London MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

The University prides itself on its prestigious worldwide reputation. As a federal university, it is made up of 18 Colleges and 10 specialist research institutes. Among these Colleges are some of the best ranked universities worldwide, including University College London, King’s College London, and the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1858, the University of London established the University of London International Programmes to give students around the world access to first class higher education. This makes the International Programmes the world’s oldest provider of distance and flexible learning. Currently, the International Programmes support over 50,000 students in more than 180 countries worldwide.

Our alumni have shaped the world in which we live, from technological advancements to civil rights campaigns, to cultural treasures. They include leaders of business and industry, judges, authors, scientists and politicians. Seven past students have won Nobel Prizes ranging from the Peace Prize to Literature to Economics.