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  1. An Early History of City University London
About City

An Early History of City University London

City's history of providing high quality education in London - not just for Londoners - dates back more than 150 years. Many of our graduates went on to become household names. For some there has even been a clear path from City to 10 Downing Street...

nullCity has gone from strength to strength in the nearly 50 years since gaining University title and we are now among the top five per cent of universities in the world. Our students benefit from City's commitment to academic excellence and focus on business and the professions. Therefore it is unsurprising that the University is among the top ten universities in the UK for both graduate employability and graduate starting salaries.

  • 1852 The Inns of Court School of Law was founded. It subsequently became the City Law School.
  • 1876 Herbert Henry Asquith graduated from what is now The City Law School.
  • 1877 St. Bartholomew's College of Nursing was founded and was subsequently incorporated into the School of Health Sciences.
  • 1891 Mahatma Gandhi graduated from what is now The City Law School.
  • 1894 The main part of the University, The Northampton Institute, was founded as a result of the City of London Parochial Charities Act of the previous year and the generosity of the Earl of Northampton. The Institute aimed to provide education and welfare for local people with the objective of 'the promotion of the industrial skill, general knowledge, health and well being of young men and women belonging to the poorer classes.'
  • 1900 The Northampton Engineering College was created.
  • 1903 The Technical Optics Department was established.
  • 1906 Clement Attlee graduated from what is now The City Law School.
  • 1908 The University Great Hall was used to host the boxing competition in the first London Olympic Games.
  • 1909 The first students to earn BSc degrees, validated by the University of London, graduated from the Northampton Engineering College. Aeronautical engineering education also began at City, the first UK university to offer it.
  • 1912 Jawaharlal Nehru graduated from what is now the City Law School.
  • 1927 Through the Department of Optometry and Visual Science, City became one of the first institutions in the world to train optometrists. 
  • 1954 Margaret Thatcher graduated from what is now The City Law School.
  • 1957 The Northampton Institute was designated a College of Advanced Technology and ground-breaking computer science and liberal studies courses were introduced as well as mathematics. 
  • 1961 Social Sciences courses started.
  • 1966 The University was created by Royal charter. City University London's objectives were and remain today: 'To advance knowledge, wisdom and understanding by teaching, research and professional training, particularly in science and technology, both within the University and in close association with industry and commerce and by the example and influence of its corporate life to benefit society'.