University of Westminster

University of Westminster

Infobox University
name = University of Westminster
type = Public

image_size = 180px
motto = "Educating for professional life"
established = 1838 (as The Royal Polytechnic Institution)
chancellor = Lord Paul
vice_chancellor = Professor Geoffrey E Petts
students = 24,710cite web|url=|title= Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07|accessdate= 2008-04-12|format= Microsoft Excel spreadsheet|publisher= Higher Education Statistics Agency]
undergrad = 17,850
postgrad = 6,860
city = London
country = England, UK
website =

The University of Westminster is a university in London, England, formed in 1992 as a result of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, which allowed the London Polytechnic (Polytechnic of Central London or "PCL") to rename itself as the university of westminster. The London Polytechnic itself was formed from the merger of the Holborn College of Law, Languages and Commerce and the Regent Street Polytechnic in 1971. Its antecedents, the Royal Polytechnic Institution (RPI) dates back to 1838, making it one of the oldest post-school higher educational institutions in Britain.


. It has evolved over 160 years from the first institution in the UK to provide post-school education for working people to a multi-faceted modern university. There are plans to celebrate 170 years by publishing a new History of the University in 2008. There are more than 23,800 students from 132 countries studying at the University of Westminster on a variety of programmes. These range from undergraduate and postgraduate courses to tailored professional programmes and short courses. Many Westminster students study part-time; courses are available both during the day and in the evening.

The University of Westminster ranked 55th out of 122 university-level institutions in the United Kingdom in 2005, according to the Guardian newspaper. [ [,,-5163901,00.html Univ2005~subject~subjects~Institution-wide~Institution-wide | University guide | ] ]

The University of Westminster Students' Union [] provides a wide range of activities for its members. It is based at the Marylebone campus, next to Baker Street tube station, where 'Inter:Mission', a new social venue, costing £750,000 was launched in 2006. [ [ YouTube - Inter:mission ] ] The Union also has another bar, The Undercroft, and a night club, Area 51, located on the University's Harrow Campus [ [ Harrow Campus] ] .

The Union was founded in 1966 as The Polytechnic Students' Union. Its first four Presidents were Owen Spencer-Thomas (1966-1967), [ [ Biography, Owen Spencer-Thomas] Accessed 2007-05/09 ] Roger Beavil (1967-1968), Alan Smith (1968-1969) and Dick Dixon (1969-1970) [ [ Student Revolution in 1960s Britain: Myth or Reality?] Patrick Smith, Accessed 2008/07/31.] .

The University of Westminster is home to the Diplomatic Academy of London, which operates postgraduate degrees on international politics and diplomacy.


The University has had four different names during its long history ["A History of the Polytechnic" (by Ethel M. Wood (a daughter of Quintin Hogg) was published in 1965 (Macdonald & Co.). ] :

* The Royal Polytechnic Institution (1838-1881)
* Regent Street Polytechnic (1881-1970)
* The Polytechnic of Central London - known as PCL (1970-1992)
* The University of Westminster (1992 to present)

1838-1881 Royal Polytechnic Institution

The first polytechnic ["The first polytechnic": however the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society started in 1832 and is still in existence. It did and does not have the same educational aims and processes as the Regent Street Poly. Of course "Polytechnique" is a French term, predating both institutions.] - The Polytechnic Institution- opened to the public at 309 Regent Street on 6th August 1838, under the chairmanship of the distinguished scientist and aeronautical engineer Sir George Cayley. Its aim was to demonstrate new technologies and inventions to the public. The Polytechnic played a significant role in the popularisation of science & engineering, and it became a major tourist attraction in Victorian London.


The Polytechnic was the first institution in London to demonstrate the new invention of photography, and in 1841 the first photographic studio in Europe opened on the roof of the building.


The name changed to The Royal Polytechnic Institution when Prince Albert - the husband of Queen Victoria - became Patron.


A new theatre was added to the building and became known for its spectacular magic lantern shows.


The Director of the Polytechnic, Professor John Pepper, was internationally known as a showman and popular science lecturer; he invented the popular theatrical illusion known as Pepper's ghost.Fact|date=October 2008


The Royal Polytechnic closed in 1881. In 1881 the Regent Street Polytechnic was founded. It was then known in full as "The Polytechnic Young Men's Christian Institute, Regent Street". [ [ "The Independent", 27 July 2007] ] The Polytechnic was subsequently to have a significant influence on English higher education and perhaps an even greater one on sport. []

The University's founder was Quintin Hogg who is described on a memorial plaque in the rebuilt flagship building (1911) as an "Education and Christian Benefactor", who "expanded his work by founding the Polytechnic in 1881-2". In Portland Place, is his statue, a memorial to both him and to those staff and students who died during the First World War. The imagery of Hogg's statue conveys the values and priorities of his Polytechnic, because he is depicted giving equal value to book learning and sporting activity. In essence, it reflects the ethos of muscular Christianity, a popular strain in Victorian culture. In the Fyvie Hall in the main building, a plaque explains that the reconstruction in 1911 was a memorial to the late Edward VII and it refers to the commitment of the Polytechnic to the "physical and moral development of youthful subjects".

Degrees offered

The University offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees via its departments:
*School of Architecture and the Built Environment
*School of Biosciences
*School of Law
*School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages
*School of Media, Arts and Design
*School of Integrated Health
*School of Informatics ("formerly the Cavendish School of Computing Science")
*Harrow School of Computer Science
*Westminster Business School

Fashion Design

A number of notable fashion designers have attended The University of Westminster. These include both Vivienne Westwood and Christopher Bailey, who have each been awarded British Fashion Designer of the Year in the past. Vivienne Westwood in 1990, 1991 and 2006, and Christopher Bailey in 2005.

Other notable alumni include Katie Hillier, accessories designer for Marc Jacobs; Stuart Vevers, the Creative Director of Loewe and Carrie Munden the Creative Director of Cassetteplaya.

Additionally, a number of Fashion Designers have also been awarded honorary doctorates from The University of Westminster. These include Christopher Bailey 2006, Jeff Banks in 1992, and Zandra Rhodes in 1999.

The graduates from the BA fashion design course stage a runway shows every June during Graduate Fashion Week in London. In June 2006 The Daily Telegraph wrote "“Central St Martins, the London fashion college that produced Britain's brightest design talents of the last decade, lost its place on the cutting edge at Graduate Fashion Week last night. It was usurped dramatically by Westminster University in a show that featured the work of only 17 students, compared with CSM's roll-call of 40 BA graduates.

"This is what British fashion is really about," said Christopher Bailey, Westminster graduate and now creative director of Burberry.” It was rebellious, rude and individual. Most fashion colleges are too afraid to shock.” "cite web
title = Saint Martins finds itself out of fashion By Hilary Alexander, Fashion Director
publisher = []
url =
date = 2006-07-06
accessdate = 2007-01-03

The BA Fashion Design course also has its own website at [ westminsterfashion]

Westminster Film School

The University of Westminster has been at the forefront of film education since the Lumiere Brothers chose the Great Hall on Regent Street for the UK's first screening of moving pictures in 1896. As Britain's first film school, Westminster offers a creative and collaborative environment for emerging film-makers, industry professionals and film theorists interested in ideas, research, production and discovery. Established courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level are offered, and its location forms a unique bridge between Europe and Hollywood.


The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages is well noted for its excellence in teaching modern foreign languages, including Arabic, Russian and Chinese. The BA (Honours) courses take four years and require a year spent in a country where the language studied is spoken (six months in each country when two languages are taken), during which time a dissertation is prepared by the student.

Smoke Radio

Infobox Radio Station
name = Smoke Radio

area = flagicon|United Kingdom UK
airdate = 2004
frequency = [ Live Stream] Quicktime
format = Contemporary
owner = UWSU & University of Westminster
website = []
Smoke Radio is the student radio station of the University of Westminster. It was brought about in late 2004. After the intake of new students in September 2005 the station took to running a 24 hour playout system and running live programmes during the week.

By 2006 Smoke Radio had established itself as a leading UK Student station, winning awards at the Student Radio Awards. These included the Gold Award for 'Best Journalistic Programming' and two Bronze Awards for 'Best Marketing and Station Sound' and 'Best Station 2006'. During 2006/2007 the station was run by three ‘editors’ whose job it was to look after the day to day running of the station. Ricky Marshall was editor for Programming & Music, whilst Ross Tilley was editor for News & Online Content, and Ross Goodlass was editor for Marketing & Events. At the Student Radio Awards 2007 Smoke was awarded the Silver Award for 'Best Station 2007'.

In September 2007, Smoke Radio's management was passed down to a new committee of seven members, selected by the former station editors. Sam Impey and Phil Landers became Heads of Programming, Phil Harris and Peter Cooper became Heads of Marketing and Events, Chris Chilvers became Head of Music, Steven McIntosh Head of News and Stewart Paske Head of Web.

Over these years, the station has explored numerous genres of music both in specialist programmes and in the main playlist, increased the regularity of news bulletins and covered numerous University events. There have also been a succession of popular events with either music provided by Smoke Radio DJ's or the event arranged by the station. These include UWSU's Doctors and Nurses party and School Disco.

Smoke Radio is the sister media of The Smoke Newspaper and Smoke Screen (TV).

The Smoke

The Smoke is the newspaper of the University of Westminster. It was originally brought about in 1992 as a magazine. In 2006 The Smoke was switched to a newspaper, initially being published fortnightly during term time. The Newspaper currently features News, Comment, Politics, Media Business, Film, Music, Arts and Culture, Fashion, Sports, Science and Technology, Listings and Comic Strips.

Campuses and halls

This University is divided into four campuses; three of these are in central London and the fourth is in Harrow. The nearest Tube station to the Harrow Campus is Northwick Park, on the Metropolitan Line, which takes 18 minutes from Baker Street, however Kenton is only an extra 5 minutes walk. The campus includes a Business School, Computer School and Media School. Each campus contains a set of architecturally distinctive buildings and has its own library, IT and catering facilities.

The English language section has 14 classes and 200 students who come from every part of the world (Japan, China, France etc.). There is also a Learning Advice Centre in the library.

There are several Halls of Residence dispersed throughout London, including Furnival House in Highgate and Alexander Fleming situated near Old Street, one based at the Marylebone campus and as of September 2005 there are two based at the Harrow campus.

The University helped to establish Westminster International University in Tashkent in 2002 at the invitation of and with the co-operation of the government of Uzbekistan.

porting achievements

This twin commitment to education and sport is further exemplified by a double set of honours boards which show that, from 1898 until the establishment of what was to become the University of Westminster, it awarded an annual trophy for the best educational achievement, and for the best sports performance. The latter award was the Studd Trophy. Over the years, the awards have been given to sportsmen from various disciplines, such as swimming, boxing and cycling, but the majority of awards have been given to athletes. Six names stand out: Willie Applegarth (1912/13), Olympic medallist and the greatest of the pre-First World War sprinters; Albert Hill (1919/20), Olympic gold medallist and the greatest middle-distance runner of his time; Harry Edward (1922), Olympic sprint bronze medallist; McDonald Bailey (1950), the greatest sprinter of the immediate post-World War II years; Colin Campbell (1968 and 1970), a great quarter miler; and Alan Pascoe (1971/72/73/74/75), one of the greatest hurdlers of all time.

This roll of honour explains why, of the many sports clubs that arose from the Regent's Street Polytechnic, the Polytechnic Harriers were the most remembered and celebrated. The Polytechnic Harriers became associated with the Chiswick track, but their name confirmed that they were connected to this important educational and sporting institution. However, the Polytechnic Marathon [] , founded after the London Olympic Marathon of 1908, has ceased. Indeed, even the Polytechnic Harriers have been subsumed into another club. Although the club, as Kingston and Polytechnic A.C., still compete, at their Kingston home, for their Kinnaird and Sward Trophies every April against the famous Achilles Club and others. Nevertheless, the achievements of this unique establishment, especially in athletics, still stand the test of comparison with modern activities and clubs.

The other two sports with which the Polytechnic has a strong association are cycling and water polo.

List of notable lecturers and alumni

Notable lecturers

*Philip Bagwell, labour and transport historian
*Cherie Blair, senior barrister, wife of Tony Blair
*Chantal Mouffe, political theorist
*John Keane, political theorist
*David Greene, architect and founder of Archigram
*Ezra Pound
*Martin Rowson, political cartoonist and novelist

Notable alumni

*Sir Alexander Fleming, The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1945
*Carlos the Jackal, self-proclaimed leftist revolutionary and mercenary, terrorist
*Christopher Bailey Design Director, Burberry
*Arnis Balcus, photography and video artist
*Luke Busby, producer/songwriter
*Charlie Brooker, Commentator
*Sir Anthony Caro, OM, CBE,sculptor
*Wilfred Cass, CBE, businessman and philanthropist
*Caroline Cox, Baroness Cox of Queensbury, lobbyist
*Rob Diament, singer/songwriter
*Sam Dodwell, Cornish artist
*Mladen Dolar, Slovenian philosopher
*Emmy the Great, (Aka Emma Lee Moss) UK anti-folk artist
*John Fleming, writer and TV producer
*David Gascoyne, poet
*Jono Grant and Paavo Siljamäki, two-thirds of trance group Above & Beyond.
*Ann Guise, (Lubas) fashion designer
*Trisha Goddard, TV presenter/Chat show host
*Alan Heath - publisher and historian.
*Stephen Hesford, Labour politician
*Michael Jackson, Chairman, Universal Television Group USA
*Denis Jenkinson, motor racing journalist, Continental Correspondent of Motor Sport magazine and world champion sidecar passenger
*Asif Kapadia, director/screenwriter
*Irrfan Khan,Indian Bollywood actor
*Barry Laden, fashion entrepreneur and writer
*Markus Lupfer, fashion designer
*Iain MacMillan, photographer, famous for cover of Abbey Road (album)
*Dale Mills, Australian human rights activist and journalist
*Trevor Miller, author and screenwriter
*Jake Nava, music video and commercial director
*Hsiao-Hung Pai, Taiwan-born journalist and author
*Scarlet Page, photographer and daughter of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page
*Ian Ritchie, CBE
*Jon Ronson, journalist
*Alireza Sagharchi, architect
*William Shields, aka Jehst, UK rapper and poet
*Owen Spencer-Thomas, MBE, television journalist, Anglican clergyman and first president of the Students' Union
*Mousir Syed, actor/director
*Manish Sahi, radio broadcaster and columnist
*Anand Tucker, film director of "Shopgirl" and "And When Did You Last See Your Father?"
*Stuart Vevers, fashion designer
*Danny Wallace, TV presenter and author
*Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason of the rock group Pink Floyd studied architecture in the 1960s but only Roger and Nick graduated [ [] ] .
*Jamie Willcox, Jon Courtney and Chloe Alper of British Rock Group Pure Reason Revolution
*Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer
*Samit Basu, writer
*Seamus McGarvey, cinematographer
*Alec Carlin, writer, film director


External links

* [ University of Westminster] Official Homepage
* [ University of Westminster Students' Union] Official Homepage
* [ westminsterfashion] westminster fashion course homepage
* [ University of Westminster Illustration Graduates 2008 Exhibition Homepage]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • University of Westminster — Vorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Mitarbeiter fehltVorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Professoren fehlt University of Westminster Motto …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • University College London — Arms of University College London (no longer used in any official capacity) Motto Cuncti adsint meritaeque expectent praemia palmae (Latin) Motto in English Let all come …   Wikipedia

  • University of East London — Established 1992 – Gained University Status 1970 – North East London Polytechnic 1898 – West Ham Technical Institute Type Public Chancellor Lord …   Wikipedia

  • Westminster (disambiguation) — Westminster is a district within the City of Westminster in London.Westminster may also refer to:Government* Westminster , the Parliament of the United Kingdom * Westminster , the United Kingdom government, see Her Majesty s Government… …   Wikipedia

  • Westminster (London) — …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • University of Copenhagen — Københavns Universitet Latin: Universitas Hafniensis Motto Coelestem adspicit lucem ( …   Wikipedia

  • University of Porto — Universidade do Porto Motto Virtus Unita Fortius Agit Established 1911 Type …   Wikipedia

  • University of Oulu — Oulun yliopisto Latin: Universitas Ouluensis Established 1958 …   Wikipedia

  • University of Lisbon — Universidade de Lisboa Latin: Universitas Olisiponensis Motto ad lucem To the Light …   Wikipedia

  • University of Oviedo — Universidad de Oviedo Seal of the University of Oviedo Latin: Universitas Ovetensis Motto Sigillum Regiae Universitatis Ovetensis …   Wikipedia