UCL was founded in 1826 to open up higher education in England to those who had been excluded from it – becoming the first university in England to admit women students on equal terms with men in 1878.
Academic excellence and research that addresses real-world problems inform our ethos to this day and are central to our 20-year strategy, UCL 2034.
A UCL education
UCL has the best academic to student ratio in the UK (1:10), enabling small class sizes and outstanding individual support (Times 2013).
- UCL is one of the top two universities in the UK for the number of professors, which means that our students are taught by the most highly qualified experts in their field (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2011).
- UCL provides an environment that encourages students to be ambitious yet idealistic. In 2013 alone, UCL students participated in 41,500 hours of voluntary work and set up 80 social enterprises and 25 student businesses.
Discover what makes a UCL education distinctive.
- UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength. (REF2014)
- According to independent analysis, UCL won the largest funding allocation from the UK research councils in 2013 (£135m). UCL also has the greatest number of prestigious Doctoral Training Centres.
- UCL attracts the third highest number of academic citations per faculty member in the UK showing the high esteem and relevance of the institution's research. (QS 2013)
- All of UCL’s research, subject to permissions, is placed in Discovery − UCL’s online repository, available to everyone.
Find out more about our research.
Image (right): Zebrafish retina
Local and global impact
- Research conducted at UCL has profound benefits for society and the wider world. See examples of UCL research impact.
- UCL uses its expansive expertise to support start-ups and foster local businesses. To date it has helped strengthen more than 1,000 small businesses in London. Visit the UCL Enterprise website to see how we are helping to drive the global economy forward.
- See examples on the UCL and London website of how we share our resources and engage with the local community to enrich London’s social, cultural and academic life.
Images: James Xu, Shine! 2011 International Student of the Year (upper left); Universities Minister David Willetts visiting UCL (lower left)
Discover the achievements of UCL staff and students thoughout our history.
UCL is based in the heart of London. Watch the video to learn more about our unique location.