University of London Council agrees withdrawal arrangement for Imperial College London

5 October 2006
Imperial College London’s formal request to withdraw from the University of London was accepted at last night's meeting of the University of London Council. The terms of the withdrawal were agreed by the Councils of both institutions during the summer.

Imperial expects to become wholly independent in July 2007, to coincide with its Centenary year. It will now apply to the Privy Council to make the necessary changes to the Charter, Statutes and the Medical Act. 

The first students to register for an Imperial College degree will be postgraduates beginning their course in October 2007, with the first undergraduates enrolling for an Imperial degree in October 2008. All continuing students registered for a University of London degree at the time of withdrawal will be able to choose whether to switch to an Imperial degree.

Sir Graeme Davies, Vice Chancellor of the University of London said: “Like any other institution, and in keeping with its own history, the University of London continues to evolve.  After nearly 100 years as a member of the federation, Imperial has now considered it appropriate to withdraw, while only last year the Central School of Speech and Drama successfully sought membership”.

Rector of Imperial College Sir Richard Sykes said: “This is a major step on our road to full independence and I’m particularly pleased that we are able to manage it in time for our 100th birthday. My thanks go to the University of London for their cooperation, which has enabled us to quickly reach an agreement that is good news for all at the College.”


For further information contact:

Binda Rai
Head of Communications
Tel: 020 7862 8005
Mobile: 0792 047 6483

Abigail Smith 
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701 University of London

Notes to editors:

Under the agreement, Imperial staff and students will continue to have access to the University of London’s Senate House Library and the University of London Union’s sport leagues for a set institutional fee.

Imperial’s current allocation of 250 places in intercollegiate student accommodation will remain for 2007-08 and gradually decline to zero in 2013-14. The College is currently constructing new high quality student accommodation and will continue to guarantee a place in halls to every first year undergraduate.

Imperial applied for and received degree-awarding powers from the Privy Council in 2003, which are as yet unused.

The College’s governing Council agreed to begin negotiations to leave the University of London on 9 December 2005.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

The University of London

  • The University of London was established by Royal Charter in 1836 and recognised globally as a world leader in Higher Education.
  • The University of London has been central in helping establish other Universities, through its scheme of special relationships.  Examples of this include Exeter, Southampton, Leicester and Hull Universities. 
  • The University of London is a federal University; following Imperial’s withdrawal it now comprises 19 member Colleges with more than 90,000 students in London.   The Colleges include many of the UK’s top institutions.
  • The University of London has a further 41,000 students studying worldwide through its External System.
  • The Central School of Speech and Drama, founded in 1906, is the most recent member of the federation for the University of London.  (Joined 1 September 2005).  The Courtauld Institute of Art, the Royal Academy of Music, London Business School, and the Institute of Cancer Research have all joined the federation as Colleges in the past 10 years. 
  • Through its remaining 19 Colleges and the Institutes of the School of Advanced Study the University continues to offer more than 3,700 courses each year.
  • In 2004/05, the Colleges of the University of London awarded more than 37,000 degrees.
  • More than one in four students studying at the University of London are from outside the UK.
  • Further information