The University of London is a federal research university located in London, England. As of March 2020, the university consists of 17 member institutions and three central academic bodies.The university has around 48,000 distance learning external students and 178,735 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom.
The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awarding examination board for students holding certificates from University College London and King's College London and "other such other Institutions, corporate or unincorporated, as shall be established for the purpose of Education, whether within the Metropolis or elsewhere within our United Kingdom", allowing it to be one of three institutions to claim the title of the third-oldest university in England,and moved to a federal structure in 1900.
University College London (UCL) was founded under the name “London University” (but without recognition by the state) in 1826 as a secular alternative to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which limited their degrees to members of the established Church of England. As a result of the controversy surrounding UCL's establishment, King's College London was founded as an Anglican college by royal charter in 1829.
The university owns a considerable central London estate 12 hectares freehold land in Bloomsbury, near Russell Square tube station.Some of the university's colleges have their main buildings on the estate. The Bloomsbury Campus also contains eight Halls of Residence and Senate House, which houses Senate House Library, the chancellor's official residence and previously housed the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of University College London (UCL) and housed in its own new building. Almost all of the School of Advanced Study is housed in Senate House and neighbouring Stewart House.
Additionally, over 50,000 students are part of University of London Worldwide.The ULU building on Malet Street (close to Senate House) was home to the University of London Union, which acted as the student union for all University of London students alongside the individual college and institution unions. The building is now re-branded as "Student Central, London", offering full membership to current University of London students, and associate membership to students at other universities, and other groups. The union previously owned London Student, the largest student newspaper in Europe, which now runs as a digital news organisation.
Though most sports teams are organised at the college level, ULU ran several sports clubs of its own, some of which (for example the rowing team) compete in BUCS
leagues. The union also organised leagues for college teams to
participate in. These leagues and sports clubs are supported by Friends
of University of London Sport which aims to promote them.
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