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London University

London University was founded largely on the initiative of Lord Brougham. Opening in 1828, University College had no religious entrance requirements and became known as ‘the godless institution of Gower Street’. In the following year, in contrast, King's College was founded to promote ‘the doctrines and duties of Christianity’. By a charter of 1836, the university, consisting of King's, University College, and some medical schools, became an examining body, offering degrees to students who had studied elsewhere. From 1858, matriculation examinations were added, which required candidates to pass five subjects at the same examination. Women were admitted to examinations from 1867 and three colleges were opened for them in 1870 and the 1880s.

The Selborne royal commission (1889–90) recommended that teaching powers were needed for London. The Gresham royal commission (1892–4) favoured a single university authority. These changes were implemented in 1900 and a federal structure adopted. London has a vice-chancellor and a principal, and consists of schools of the university, medical schools, postgraduate medical schools, and senate institutes. Senate House and a nucleus of colleges were built in Bloomsbury in the late 1930s.

Peter Gordon

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