UCL: London's global university

  • First English university to admit women as full degree students
  • First English university to admit students of all beliefs and ethnicities
  • 210 clubs and societies with 18,000 memberships sold
  • 49% of the student body volunteer on external community projects (2011-12)
  • Students from 150 countries and 100 staff nationalities
  • 20% of students study abroad as part of their degree
  • 21 modern languages taught at UCL
  • Central London location

UCL as Global Citizen

UCL is part of a radical tradition. We were founded in order to open higher education to all, regardless of religion, class, gender or sexuality. This commitment to an education that benefits a wider world underpins our commitment to education for global citizenship.

As London’s global university, simply studying and working here fosters a sense of the wider world beyond Bloomsbury. Our student community is diverse and global: the smallest seminar room can contain students from across the world. In the same way, our location in London gives our students and staff the experience of living in not just a capital city, but a world city.


As a multi-faculty institution with staff from across the world, what is taught at UCL is designed and delivered by as wide a range of lecturers and professors as the range of subjects we offer.

Our curriculum is moving towards a research-based education, with students involved in the same work as those who teach them. New models of cross-disciplinary study have been developed, including the innovative BASc degree programme – a distinctly UCL take on the liberal arts degree.

With such diversity on offer, we also seek to bring the individual strands of a student’s studies together within the framework of a ‘connected curriculum’.

Our research is not just world-leading, but world-changing. UCL has chosen to promote research that touches on the most important global questions of our age, which we call the UCL Grand Challenges. These are the mechanisms through which expertise from across UCL and beyond can be brought together to address the world's key problems. They support researchers to think about how their work relates to global issues.

Our place in London and the globe
As an institution we wish to display the same global citizenship that we promote within our teaching and research.

Conscious of our place as a major employer in London, we support and promote one of the country’s largest university volunteering departments, with ambitious targets to expand the number of students volunteering each year.  We have strong links with local schools, including the UCL Academy of which we are sole sponsor, as part of our work to improve education at all levels.

Our new Global Engagement Strategy, led by the Vice-Provost (International), sets out how we work in partnership with institutions around the world to promote collaborative research. This strategy is not about exporting our brand, but sharing our expertise and knowledge – and learning something ourselves in the process.

The impact we have on the world goes beyond the education of our students: we have a very physical impact as a research-intensive university employing thousands of staff with links around the world.

Our sustainability strategy sets out how we seek to reduce our impact on the environment and the world’s limited resources, while maintaining the positive impact of the work that we do.

Page last modified on 05 jan 15 15:49