University of London International Programmes
|Chancellor||The Princess Royal|
|Students||More than 54,000 in over 180 countries|
The University of London International Programmes is a division of the University of London which manages external study programmes. Several colleges and institutes of the University of London offer degrees through the programme, including Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, Heythrop College, UCL Institute of Education, King's College London, London School of Economics, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Royal Veterinary College, School of Oriental and African Studies and University College London.
The System offers courses of study for undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas and degrees to more than 50,000 students around the world. A designated constituent institution of the University of London, called the 'lead college', creates materials to allow students to study at their own pace. Examinations take place at testing centres around the world on specified dates. Hallmarks of the programme are its low cost in comparison to attendance in London, and the possibility of pursuing either full-time or part-time study. As stated in the University of London Statutes, International Programmes students are graded on the same standard as internal students to ensure a uniform credentialing process. A student who completes a course of study under the programme is awarded a University of London degree with a notation specifying which lead college provided the instruction.
The institution that later became known as University College London was established in 1828, calling itself "London University", although without official recognition of university status. The institution – following the Scottish model in curriculum and teaching – was non-denominational and, given the intense religious rivalries at the time, there was an outcry against the "godless" university. The issue soon boiled down to which institutions had degree-granting powers and which institutions did not. The compromise solution that emerged in 1836 was that the sole authority to conduct the examinations leading to degrees would be given to a new officially recognised entity called the "University of London", which would act as examining body for the University of London colleges, originally University College London and King's College London, and award their students University of London degrees. As Sheldon Rothblatt states, "thus arose in nearly archetypal form the famous English distinction between teaching and examining, here embodied in separate institutions." With the state giving examining powers to a separate entity, the groundwork was laid for the creation of a programme within the new university that would both administer examinations and award qualifications to students taking instruction at another institution or pursuing a course of self-directed study.
Referred to as "People's University" by Charles Dickens because it provided access to higher education to students from less affluent backgrounds, the External Programme was chartered by Queen Victoria in 1858, making the University of London the first university to offer distance learning degrees to students. Several current degree-awarding universities started as colleges presenting candidates for University of London degrees, such as Owens College which later became part of the University of Manchester.
Enrolment increased steadily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and during the Second World War there was a further increase in enrolments from soldiers stationed abroad as well as soldiers imprisoned in German POW camps. Because the Geneva Convention (1929) stipulated that every prisoner of war, in addition to being entitled to adequate food and medical care, had the right to exchange correspondence and receive parcels, many British POWs took advantage of this opportunity and enrolled in the University of London External Programme. The soldiers were sent study materials by mail, and at specified intervals sat for proctored exams in the camps. Almost 11,000 exams were taken at 88 camps between 1940 and 1945. Though the failure rate was high, substantial numbers of soldiers earned degrees while imprisoned.
With the advent of inexpensive airmail services after the war, the number of external students taking University of London courses increased dramatically. According to relevant Regulations, until 2000 University of London external students could pursue research leading to the award of MPhil or PhD albeit the completion rate had been rather low. The University of London International Programmes commemorated its 150th anniversary in 2008. A specially commissioned anniversary book was produced to mark the occasion.
The system offers courses of study for undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas and degrees to more than 50,000 students around the world. A designated constituent institution of the University of London, called the "lead college", creates materials to allow students to study at their own pace. Examinations take place at testing centres around the world on specified dates. Hallmarks of the programme are its low cost in comparison to attendance in London, and the possibility of pursuing either full-time or part-time study. As stated in the University of London Statutes, International Programmes students are graded on the same standard as internal students to ensure a uniform credentialing process. A student who completes a course of study under the program is awarded a University of London degree with a notation specifying which lead college provided the instruction.
Students enrolled in the University of London International Programmes are members of the University of London. International Programmes Students however, have very limited student representation within the University. There are also differences over the status International Programmes Students have with respect to their lead college. Some institutions co-register their International Programmes Students as college members (e.g. SOAS, LSHTM), in addition to their status as University of London member. However, other colleges deny International Programmes Students membership status and privileges when they are present in London (e.g. LSE). Academics at the University of London are responsible for the academic direction of the International Programmes. When the International Programmes was audited in 2005 by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), the auditors concluded that 'broad confidence' could be placed in the University's management and the awards made through the External System ('broad confidence' is "the best verdict any institution can be given by the auditors"). The 'confidence' was once again reiterated in the QAA's 2011 Institutional Audit, attesting to the quality of the program provision.
Most International Programmes Students are in former territories of the British Empire. There are more than 9,000 students enrolled in the programme in Singapore, 5,000 in Hong Kong, 3,000 in Trinidad and Tobago, 2,000 in Malaysia, 1,900 in Pakistan, 1,200 in Bangladesh, 800 in Sri Lanka, 1,000 in Canada, between 1,000 and 1,999 in the United States, 300 in Malta, more than 200 in Australia, more than 200 in South Africa, more than 30 in New Zealand and many hundreds in India, among other countries. Furthermore, there are around 1, 000 students in Russia participating in this programme.
Access programme for the BSc Business Administration
International Foundation Programme
- BA History
- BA, DipHE and CertHE English with Computing, Philosophy or Theology
- BA, DipHE and CertHE in English
- BA, DipHE and CertHE in Philosophy
- BA, DipHE, CertHE Philosophy with Computing, English or Theology
- BA, DipHE, CertHE Theology with Computing, English or Philosophy
- Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Diploma in Law
- BSc Accounting and Finance
- BSc Accounting with Law
- BSc Banking and Finance
- BSc Business Administration
- BSc Business Administration with Human Resource Management
- BSc Business Administration with International Business
- BSc Business Administration with Marketing
- BSc Business Management
- BSc Computing and Information Systems (BSc, Diploma and Work Entry Route)
- BSc Creative Computing (BSc, Diploma and Work Entry Route)
- BSc Development and Economics
- BSc Economics
- BSc Economics and Finance
- BSc Economics and Management
- BSc Information Systems and Management
- BSc International Development
- BSc International Relations
- BSc Management
- BSc Management with Law
- BSc Mathematics and Economics
- BSc Politics and International Relations
- BSc Sociology
- BSc Sociology with Law
- Certificate of Higher Education in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics
- Diploma in Economics
- Diploma in Social Sciences
- Diploma in The Common Law
- Undergraduate programmes in Divinity and Theology
- Graduate Diploma in Accounting
- Graduate Diploma in Banking
- Graduate Diploma in Economics
- Graduate Diploma in Finance
- Graduate Diploma in Information Systems
- Graduate Diploma in International Development
- Graduate Diploma in International Relations
- Graduate Diploma in Management
- Graduate Diploma in Mathematics
- Graduate Diploma in Politics
- Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences
- Graduate Diploma in Sociology
- Agricultural Economics (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- Applied Educational Leadership and Management (MA, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- Applied Environmental Economics (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- Banking (MBA and Postgraduate Diploma)
- Clinical Trials (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, & Postgraduate Certificate)
- Economic Policy (Postgraduate Diploma)
- Education (MA)
- Educational and Social Research (MRes, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
- Environmental Management (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- Epidemiology (Msc, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
- Finance and Financial Law (MSc and Postgraduate Diploma)
- Financial Sector Management (Postgraduate Diploma)
- Global Health Policy (Msc, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
- Human Resource Management (MSc and Postgraduate Diploma)
- Infectious Diseases (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
- Information Security (MSc and Postgraduate Diploma)
- International Business (MSc and Postgraduate Diploma)
- Livestock Health and Production (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
- LLM – Postgraduate Laws (LLM, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- MA Global Diplomacy
- Managing Rural Development (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- MBA International Management (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, and Certificate)
- MSc Finance (major: Economic Policy)
- MSc Finance (major: Financial Sector Management)
- MSc Finance (major: Quantitative Finance)
- MSc International Business Administration
- Organizational Psychology (MSc and Postgraduate Diploma)
- Petroleum Geoscience (MSc and Postgraduate Diploma)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Policy Studies
- Postgraduate Diploma in Public Financial Management
- Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management
- Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- Public Health (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
- Public Policy and Management (MSc)
- Quantitative Finance (Postgraduate Diploma)
- Sustainable Development (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate)
- Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health (MSc, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
In November 2007, the University of London External Programme became known as the University of London External System. In August 2010, the name was once again changed to University of London International Programmes in response to feedback that the programme needed a clear, simpler and more inclusive name that described what the University of London offered to almost 50,000 students in 180 countries.
Participating colleges and institutes of the University of London
- Heythrop College
- UCL Institute of Education
- King's College London
- London School of Economics
- London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
- Queen Mary
- Royal Holloway
- Royal Veterinary College
- School of Oriental and African Studies
- University College London
One of the lead colleges, Imperial College London, left the University in July 2007. The School of Oriental and African Studies has become the lead college for the external degrees previously led by Imperial, while Imperial will offer its own distance learning MBA in competition with the two MBAs offered by International Programmes, led by SOAS and Royal Holloway.
Independent teaching institutions
In Europe, North America, the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia many students participating in University of London International Programmes seek out tuition at one of the more than 150 private or non-profit institutions that prepare students for University of London examinations. Such institutions may be audited and, if found to meet quality standards, may become "recognised" by the University for the support offered.
Starting August 2010, the External System programmes were renamed University of London International Programmes. The central academic body of the university, collaborating with the colleges of the University of London, is renamed University of London International Academy, term mainly used internally.
In parallel to this change, the teaching institutions are now categorized into Registered and Affiliate centers (collectively known as recognised centres). Students can either decide to study entirely by themselves, or to enjoy the administrative and academic support of the institutions that are recognised by the University of London for the International Programmes. Registered Centres have demonstrated commitment to developing high standards in respect of teaching, support to students and administrative processes. Affiliate Centres have demonstrated a sustained commitment to developing excellence in respect of quality of teaching, support to students and administrative processes. Affiliate Centre status is the highest level of recognition awarded by the University of London. Recognition applies to specific programmes on named campuses. New College of the Humanities, a private college founded in London in 2011, though not affiliated with the University of London, also plans to register its students for degrees through the programme.
The University of London external system has played an important role in the development of higher education institutions in Britain. Many leading research universities in England started out as "university colleges" that prepared students for external degrees of the University of London. Some technical colleges in England and Scotland also awarded University of London degrees and certificates prior to becoming polytechnics and then universities. Examples include the University of Nottingham, the University of Leicester and the University of Exeter in England, Cardiff University and Bangor University prior to joining the University of Wales and becoming independent and Robert Gordon University in Scotland.
This was a common way of establishing new universities in Britain and around the British Empire during the first half of the twentieth century. Many universities in the Commonwealth began as extension institutions or a provider of the programme. Notable examples include Ceylon University College in Ceylon, University College Ibadan (now the University of Ibadan) in Nigeria, the former University of East Africa's three constituent institutions and the University of the West Indies in the Caribbean.
At least seven Nobel Prizes have been awarded to alumni of the University of London International Programmes:
- Ronald H. Coase (Economic Sciences, 1991)
- Frederick Gowland Hopkins (Physiology or Medicine, 1929)
- Charles K. Kao (Physics, 2009)
- Nelson Mandela (Peace, 1993)
- Wole Soyinka (Literature, 1986)
- Derek Walcott (Literature, 1992)
- Chinua Achebe, novelist, poet and critic
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, actor
- Ulli Beier, writer
- Malcolm Bradbury, British author and academic
- Asa Briggs, Baron Briggs, historian
- George John Beldecos, chartered architect and town planner
- Brian Laurence Burtt, English botanist
- Louis Charles Casartelli, fourth Bishop of Salford
- Jim Crace, English novelist
- Louise Creighton, British author and activist
- Glyn Davies, economist
- Nigel de Gruchy, former trade union official
- Luisa Diogo, Prime Minister of Mozambique
- Patrick du Val, mathematician
- Geoffrey Elton, historian
- Varun Gandhi, Indian politician with the Bharatiya Janata Party
- Professor Sir Roy Goode, British academic
- A.C. Grayling, British philosopher
- Frank Hansford-Miller, English politician and author
- Keith Hellawell, former British police officer
- Jack Higgins, English novelist
- Joseph Hotung, philanthropist and former director of HSBC Bank
- Alvan Ikoku, Nigerian politician
- Alec Issigonis, engineer and designer of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) Mini
- Harold Jeffreys, mathematician, statistician, geophysicist and astronomer
- Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera, Sri Lankan scholar and diplomat
- Charles Muguta Kajege, Member of Parliament, Tanzania
- Israel Kirzner, economist
- David Knox, former Member of Parliament for Leek, Staffordshire
- Kelvin Lancaster, economist
- D H Lawrence, British author and critic
- David Forbes Martyn, physicist
- Eleni Mavrou, mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus
- Loubo Siois – Dubai-based Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
- Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa
- Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe
- Kenneth Newman, former British Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
- Babatunji Olowofoyeku, Nigerian lawyer and politician
- Terence Patrick O'Sullivan, British civil engineer
- Paul Pearce, Member of Parliament, Australia
- Edgar Allison Peers, English Hispanist and educationist
- N. M. Perera, Sri Lankan politician
- Raj Persaud, British psychiatrist and author
- Ronald Piper, Vice-Principal (Governance and Planning) of the University of St Andrews
- Rolph Payet, an international policy expert on environment, climate and island issues, former President & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles and former Minister of Environment and Energy for Seychelles
- A. N. R. Robinson, former President of Trinidad and Tobago and advocate for the creation of the International Criminal Court
- Meir Shamgar, former President of the Israeli Supreme Court
- Frederic N. Smalkin, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland,
- Josiah Stamp, 1st Baron Stamp, economist and former Director of the Bank of England
- Ediriweera Sarachchandra, Sri Lankan playwright and novelist
- L. Dudley Stamp, geologist and geographer
- C. P. Snow, English physicist and novelist
- Gisela Stuart, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston
- Gordon Taylor, former professional footballer and current chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association
- Barbara Thiering, Australian writer and historian
- Barnes Wallis, scientist, engineer and inventor
- Alan Walters, economist
- H. G. Wells, writer
- Edward Williams, Supreme Court of Queensland Judge, Australia
- Kwasi Wiredu, philosopher
- Segun Toyin Dawodu,Physician and Attorney.
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