The central portion and the east wing of the Imperial Institute Building are the present headquarters of the University of London. Here are the administrative offices and the University Library (circa 160,000 volumes), including the Goldsmiths' Library of Economics (50,000 volumes); otherwise the University work of instruction and research is carried on in various entirely distinct institutions (see below). Strangers are admitted to the privileges of the library on conditions obtainable on application to the Librarian. From 1870 until 1900 the central office of the University was in Burlington Gardens.
London was the last of the great European capitals to obtain a university. Neither Gresham College nor University College rose to that rank, but in 1836 a charter was granted constituting a University of London, with the power of granting academical degrees, without religious tests, to students of University College, King's College, and certain other affiliated institutions. In 1858 the examinations were thrown open to all students without restriction, and twenty years later (in 1878) the University of London became the first academical body in the United Kingdom to admit women as candidates for degrees on equal terms with men. Hitherto a purely examining body, it was reconstituted in 1898-1900 as a teaching university and the principal London colleges and medical schools were given a larger share in its government. In 1907 University College, and in 1910 King's College were incorporated in the University, while numerous other institutions are 'schools of the University' or have teachers recognized by the University. Students attending these colleges and schools are known as 'internal students'; those presenting themselves for examination only are 'external students.' In 1925-26 there were 9323 internal students. An important phase of the University's usefulness is its University Extension work, an attempt, by means of lectures at various centres, to supply instruction to those unable to undertake a regular academic course. The University returns one member, elected by the graduates, to Parliament.
The 'integral parts' of the UNIVERSITY are University College. King's College, and King's College for Women. The first two each have faculties of arts, law, medicine, science, engineering, and economics; the last, faculties of arts and science. The following are University institutions or departments: Goldsmiths' College at New Cross, for the training of teachers, engineering, and building; the Brown Animal Sanatory Institution, 149 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, S. W., with a veterinary hospital and laboratory; the Physiological Laboratory; the Francis Gallon Laboratory for National Eugenics, and the Bartlett School of Architecture, and the School of Librananship (all three at University College); the Institute of Historical Research, Malet St., Bloomsbury.
The SCHOOLS OF THE UNIVERSITY are as follows: In the faculty of theology: New College and Hackney College, both at Hampstead; Regent's Park College; King's College (Theological Department; Wesleyan College, Richmond; and St. John's Hall, Highbury. In the faculties of arts and science: Royal Holloway College for Women, at Egham; Bedford College for Women; Birkbech College (evening and part-time students). In the faculties of arts, science, and engineering: East London College. In the faculty of arts: Westfield College (for women), Hampstead; School of Oriental Studies; London Day Training College (in pedagogy only). In the faculties of science and engineering: Imperial College of Science and Technology. In agriculture: South-Eastern Agricultural College, at Wye, Kent. In the faculty of medicine: the Medical Schools attached to the twelve chief London hospitals; London School of Tropical Medicine; Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine; Royal Army Medical College; Royal Dental Hospital; Naval Medical School, Greenwich; and National Dental Hospital. In the faculty of economics and political science: London School of Economics.
In addition there are 26 other institutions with teachers recognized by the University. These include several polytechnic institutes, fire training colleges, and the four chief schools of music.