University of London
All universities are different, but some are more different than others. The University of London is the most different of them all.
The university established by the charters of 1836 and 1837 was essentially an examining board with the right to award degrees in arts, laws and medicine. However, the university did not have the authority to grant degrees in theology, considered the senior faculty in the other three English universities. In medicine, the university was given the right to determine which medical schools provided sufficient medical training. In arts and law, by contrast, it would examine students from UCL, King's College, or any other institution granted a royal warrant, effectively giving the government control of which institutions could submit students for examination by the university. Beyond this right to submit students for examination, there was no other connection between the colleges and the university.
The London University should stand to the British empire as the great technological institution in Berlin, the Charlottenburg, stood to the German empire.
The previous provision for colleges outside London was not abandoned on federation, instead London offered two routes to degrees: "internal" degrees offered by schools of the university and "external" degrees offered at other colleges (now the ).
There was also a tendency in the late 20th century for smaller colleges to be amalgamated into larger "super-colleges". Some of the larger colleges (most notably UCL, King's College, LSE and Imperial) periodically put forward the possibility of their departure from the university, although no steps were taken to actually putting this into action until the early 21st century.
The university also has several properties outside London, including a number of residential and catering units further afield and the premises of the University of London Institute in Paris, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in French and historical studies.
The university's board of trustees, the governing and executive body of the university, comprises eleven appointed independent persons – all of whom are non-executive; the vice-chancellor, the deputy vice chancellor and four heads of member institutions, appointed by the Collegiate Council.
The board of trustees is supported by the Collegiate Council, which comprises the heads of the member institutions of the university, the deputy vice-chancellor, the dean and chief executive of the School of Advanced Study, the chief executive of the University of London Worldwide and the Collegiate Council's chair, the vice-chancellor.
The chancellors of the University of London since its founding are as follows:
Some colleges and schools of the University of London have been amalgamated into larger colleges, closed or left the University of London. Those amalgamated with larger colleges include (listed by current parent institution):
A number of major universities originated as university colleges teaching external degrees of the University of London. These include:
Some of the colleges which were in special relation are listed below, along with the year in which their special relation was established.Argent, the Cross of St George, thereon the Union Rose irradiated and ensigned with the Imperial Crown proper, a Chief Azure, thereon an open Book also proper, Clasps gold
The University of London had established a rudimentary code for academic dress by 1844. The university was the first to devise a system of academic dress based on faculty colours, an innovation that was subsequently followed by many other universities.
Colleges that award their own degrees have their own academic dress for those degrees.
In recent years the University of London has seen much controversy surrounding its treatment of staff and students.