Skip to main content

Facts and figures

Key facts and figures about the University of London.

Delivering for our students

  • The University of London has over 80 Recognised Teaching Centres worldwide.
  • Around 40,000 students are studying our courses in 190 countries, and 210,000 on campus in London.


  • In 1858 we became the birthplace of long distance learning, allowing students to study for degrees outside of London, spreading higher education across the globe. 
  • The University of London was the first UK university to introduce exams for women, in 1869. A decade later, it became the first to open full degrees up to women.
  • In 1948, with the appointment of Dame Lillian Penson, the University of London became the first UK university to have a female Vice-Chancellor.
  • Each year, our ‘Foundation Day’ celebrates the anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone and since 1903 honorary degrees have been bestowed to, among others, Prince of Wales and Winston Churchill.
  • Senate House Library celebrated its 150th birthday
  • The Institute of Historical Research is 100 years old
  • HRH Princess Anne has been our Chancellor for 42 years

Notable alumni

  • The University of London counts Nobel Prize winners Charles K. Kao, Derek Walcott and Rolph Payet among its alumni.
  • Nelson Mandela studied law with the University of London, passing his intermediate exams while in prison awaiting trial.

Our building

  • The University of London is based at Senate House, an art deco skyscraper designed by Charles Holden, who also designed many London Underground stations.
  • Senate House Library is one of the UK's largest academic libraries for the arts, humanities and social sciences, housing over two million books.
  • Senate House has been the location for many films and TV shows.