Our history

Our history -a section of the charter

A history of academic excellence

The University of London is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the UK. Founded in 1836, the University of London is a federal university, made up of 18 Colleges and 10 specialist research Institutes. Among these Colleges are some of the best universities in the United Kingdom, including University College London (UCL), 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 top British education. This makes the International Programmes the world’s oldest provider of distance and flexible learning.

Distinguished alumni

The International Programmes now has over 54,000 students and 100,000 alumni in more than 180 countries. Our alumni include many people who have shaped the world we live in, such as leaders of business and industry, judges, authors, scientists and politicians. Seven past students have also won Nobel Prizes, including Nelson Mandela, British economist Ronald Coase, the eminent Caribbean writer Derek Walcott, and Hong Kong-born Charles Kao, who is a pioneer in the development of fibre optics.