UCL News


UCL IOE celebrates 120th anniversary

6 October 2022

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society (IOE) is today marking its official anniversary, celebrating 120 years of transforming lives, education, and society.

IOE c1930

Since its inception, IOE has grown from a small teacher training college to a world-renowned global institution - ranked as first in the world for education in the QS World Rankings every year since 2014.

IOE Dean and Director Professor Li Wei said: "Today marks IOE’s 120th birthday. Across those decades, it has grown into a world-recognised research powerhouse on education and the lives of children and families.

“Against a backdrop of momentous social change, IOE has championed education and social justice, both through its research helping to build understanding for policy and practice, and through having the privilege of graduating dedicated and inspiring students who change lives for the better.

“Thank you to staff, students, funders and supporters, past and present, for their part in IOE’s contribution thus far, and to all those who will be part of IOE’s future.”

Established on 6 October 1902 as the London Day Training College (LDTC), IOE was founded by the London County Council and University of London. Its original role was to train teachers for London’s elementary schools, starting out with just 58 students.

In its journey to becoming UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, IOE has been known by five different names, merging with UCL on 2 December 2014. Together, they created a new institution with more than 35,000 students - the biggest higher education institution in London.

Over the course of its history, IOE has evolved under the leadership of 15 directors, including Sir John Adams - the first professor of education at the University of London - Sir Fred Clarke, Sir William Taylor, Sir Peter Newsam and Professor Geoff Whitty CBE.

IOE has been recognised for its excellence in education and social science research, engagement, and impact, notably when it was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for higher and further education in 2015 to celebrate its "world leading contribution to the policy and practice of education with international reach around innovative social research". The Prizes are the most prestigious form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution, recognising work by universities and colleges judged to be of world-class excellence.

To celebrate its anniversary, UCL’s President & Provost, Dr Michael Spence AC, has recorded a congratulatory message.

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  • Caption: London Day Training College Southampton Row. Reproduced photograph of students in lecture theatre, c1930.

Media Contact 

Evie Calder

Tel: +44 20 7679 8557
E: e.calder [at] ucl.ac.uk