Imperial College London
|Imperial College London|
|Motto||Scientia imperii decus et tutamen
Knowledge is the adornment and protection of the Empire
|Established||8 July 1907|
|Endowment||£79.1 million (as of 31 July 2012)|
|Rector||Sir Keith O'Nions|
|Visitor||The Lord President of the Council ex officio|
|Admin. staff||Approximately 7,170 (2011)|
|Location||London, United Kingdom|
|Affiliations||Association of Commonwealth Universities
Association of MBAs
European Quality Improvement System
League of European Research Universities
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Imperial College London (officially The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine) is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, medicine and business. Formerly a constituent college of the federal University of London, Imperial became fully independent in 2007, the 100th anniversary of its founding.
Imperial's main campus is located in the South Kensington area of central London on the boundary between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster. It has additional campuses in the Chelsea, Hammersmith and Paddington areas of central London. With a total of 525,233 square metres of operational property, it has one of the largest estates of any higher education institution in the UK. Imperial is organised into four main academic units – Imperial College Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College Faculty of Engineering and the Imperial College Business School – within which there are over 40 departments, institutes and research centres.
Imperial has around 13,500 full-time students and 3,330 academic and research staff and had a total income of £705 million in 2010/11, of which £299 million was from research grants and contracts. Imperial is a major centre for biomedical research and is a founding member of the Imperial College Healthcare academic health science centre. It is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world, ranking 24th in the world (and 5th in Europe) in the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities, 6th in the world (and 4th in Europe) in the 2012 QS World University Rankings and 8th in the world (and 3rd in Europe) in the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. There are currently 14 Nobel Prize winners and two Fields Medal winners amongst Imperial's alumni and current and former faculty.
Imperial is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, the European University Association, the G5, the IDEA League, the League of European Research Universities, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the Russell Group. It forms part of the 'golden triangle' of British universities.
The origins of the constituent elements of Imperial can be traced back as far as the 15th century. The College of St Gregory and St Martin at Wye was originally founded in 1447 as a seminary, with an agricultural college being established at Wye in the 1890s after the removal of the theological college. The medical schools of Charing Cross Hospital, Westminster Hospital and St Mary's Hospital were opened in 1823, 1834 and 1854 respectively. The Royal School of Mines was founded by Sir Henry de la Beche in 1851, laying one of the foundation stones for scientific teaching in Britain. The Royal College of Science was established in 1881 and the City and Guilds College in 1884.
20th century 
In 1907, the newly established Board of Education found that greater capacity for higher technical education was needed and a proposal to merge the City and Guilds College, the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science was approved and passed, creating The Imperial College of Science and Technology as a constituent college of the University of London. Imperial's Royal Charter, granted by Edward VII, was officially signed on 8 July 1907. The main campus of Imperial College was constructed beside the buildings of the Imperial Institute in South Kensington.
The Imperial College Boat Club was founded on 12 December 1919. Imperial acquired Silwood Park in 1947, to provide a site for research and teaching in those aspects of biology not well suited for the main London campus. Felix, Imperial's student newspaper, was launched on 9 December 1949. On 29 January 1950, the government announced that it was intended that Imperial should expand to meet the scientific and technological challenges of the 20th century and a major expansion of the College followed over the next decade. In 1959 the Wolfson Foundation donated £350,000 for the establishment of a new Biochemistry Department. A special relationship between Imperial and the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) was established in 1963. The Department of Management Science was created in 1971 and the Associated Studies Department was established in 1972. The Humanities Department was opened in 1980, formed from the Associated Studies and History of Science departments.
In 1988 Imperial merged with St Mary's Hospital Medical School, becoming The Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine. In 1995 Imperial launched its own academic publishing house, Imperial College Press, in partnership with World Scientific. Imperial merged with the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1995 and the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Royal Postgraduate Medical School (RPMS) and the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1997. In that year the Imperial College School of Medicine was formally established. In 1998 the Sir Alexander Fleming Building was opened in order to provide purpose-built headquarters for the College's medical and biomedical research.
In 2000 Imperial merged with both the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and Wye College, the University of London's agricultural college in Wye, Kent. It agreed to keep Agricultural Sciences at Wye, but closed them in 2004. In December 2005, Imperial announced a science park programme at the Wye campus, with extensive housing; however, this was abandoned in September 2006 following complaints that the proposal infringed on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and that the true scale of the scheme, which could have raised £110m for the College, was known to Kent and Ashford Councils and their consultants but concealed from the public. Wye College will now be run by the University of Kent from September 2007 in association with Imperial College London and Wye College, graduates will receive a degree from the University of Kent and an Imperial Associateship of Wye College.
21st century 
In May 2001 a new faculty structure was established, with all departments being assigned to the Faculties of Engineering, Medicine, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. A merger with University College London was proposed in October 2002, but was abandoned a month later following protests from staff over potential redundancies. In 2003 Imperial was granted degree-awarding powers in its own right by the Privy Council. The London Centre for Nanotechnology was established in the same year as a joint venture between UCL and Imperial College London. In 2004 the Tanaka Business School (now named the Imperial College Business School) and a new Main Entrance on Exhibition Road were opened by Her Majesty The Queen. In November 2005 the faculties of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences merged to become the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
On 9 December 2005, Imperial College announced that it would commence negotiations to secede from the University of London. Imperial College became fully independent of the University of London in July 2007 and the first students to register for an Imperial College degree were postgraduates beginning their course in October 2007, with the first undergraduates enrolling for an Imperial degree in October 2008.
In May 2012 Imperial, UCL and the IT company Intel announced the establishment of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities, a London-based institute for research into the future of cities.
In August 2012 it was announced that Imperial would be the lead institution for the MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre, a new research centre for personalised medicine to be based at GlaxoSmithKline's research and development facility in Harlow, Essex, inheriting the anti-doping facilities used to test samples during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Imperial's main campus is located in the South Kensington area of central London. It is situated in an area of South Kensington known as Albertopolis which has a high concentration of cultural and academic institutions, including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal College of Music, the Royal College of Art, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Albert Hall. The expansion of the South Kensington campus in the 1960s absorbed the site of the former Imperial Institute, designed by Thomas Collcutt, of which only the 287 foot (87 m) high Queen's Tower remains among the more modern buildings.
Imperial has two other major campuses – at Silwood Park (near Ascot in Berkshire) and at Wye (near Ashford in Kent). The Wye campus, some of it dating back to the 15th century, is currently vacant and available for sale or rent. The Imperial College NHS Trust has multiple hospitals throughout Greater London and various lectures for medical students are conducted within these hospitals, including St. Mary's Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital & St. Mark's Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital. In 1997, the parliamentary Imperial College Act 1997 officially transferred all of the property of Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, the National Heart and Lung Institute and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School to Imperial.
Recent major projects include the Imperial College Business School, the Ethos sports centre, the Southside hall of residence and the Eastside hall of residence. Current major projects include the reconstruction of the south-eastern quadrant of the South Kensington campus.
Organisation and administration 
Faculties and departments 
Imperial’s research and teaching is organised within a network of faculties and academic departments. Imperial currently has the following three constituent faculties:
- Imperial College Faculty of Engineering
- Imperial College Faculty of Medicine
- Imperial College Faculty of Natural Sciences.
The Imperial College Business School, the Centre for Co-Curricular Studies and Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine exist as academic units outside of the faculty structure.
The Centre For Co-Curricular Studies provides elective subjects and language courses outside the field of science for students in the other faculties and departments. Students are encouraged to take these classes either for credit or in their own time, and in some departments this is mandatory. Courses exist in a wide range of topics including philosophy, ethics in science and technology, history, modern literature and drama, art in the 20th century, film studies. Language courses are available in French, German, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. The Centre For Co-Curricular Studies also runs a full-time course in scientific translation, and is home to the Science Communication Unit which offers Masters degrees in Science Communication and Science Media Production for science graduates.
In the financial year ended 31 July 2011, Imperial had a total net income of £704.2 million, the fifth-highest of any British university, (2009/10 – £693.2 million) and total expenditure of £660.4 million (2009/10 – £651.2 million). Key sources of income included £299.2 million from research grants and contracts (2009/10 – £296.8 million), £168.6 million from Funding Council grants (2009/10 – £172.2 million), £137.9 million from academic fees and support grants (2009/10 – £120.9 million) and £5.6 million from endowment and investment income (2009/10 – £15.0 million). During the 2010/11 financial year Imperial had a capital expenditure of £76.9 million (2009/10 – £115.0 million).
At 31 July 2011 Imperial had endowments of £75.6 million (2009/10 – £58.8 million) and total net assets of £843.2 million (2009/10 – £744.6 million).
Imperial has over 6,000 academic staff, including 2 Fields Medallists, 66 Fellows of the Royal Society, 71 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 62 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Imperial had a total income from research grants and contracts in 2010/11 of £299 million, the second-highest of any British university in that year (after the University of Oxford).
In the December 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 75% of staff achieved a 5* rating, the highest proportion in any UK university. The College was second in the country with an overall score of 6.68 out of 7. The most recent RAE returned 26% of the 1225 staff submitted as being world-leading (4*) and a further 47% as being internationally excellent (3*).
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise five subjects – Pure Mathematics, Epidemiology and Public Health, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering – were assessed to be the best in terms of the proportion of internationally recognised research quality.
Imperial has a dedicated technology transfer company known as Imperial Innovations. Imperial actively encourages its staff to commercialise its research and as a result has given rise to a proportionally large number of spin-out companies based on academic research.
Imperial College, in conducting research on Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis, hosts a brain bank consisting of brains donated by individuals affected with either of these diseases. This brain bank is the largest in the world, consisting of 296 samples.
The Imperial Faculty of Medicine is one of the largest faculties of medicine in the UK. It was formed through mergers between Imperial and the St Mary’s, Charing Cross and Westminster, and Royal Postgraduate medical schools and has six teaching hospitals. It accepts more than 300 undergraduate medical students per year and has around 321 taught and 700 research full-time equivalent postgraduate students.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was formed on 1 October 2007 by the merger of Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust (Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital) and St Mary's NHS Trust (St. Mary's Hospital and Western Eye Hospital) with Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine. It is an academic health science centre and manages five hospitals: Charing Cross Hospital, Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, St Mary's Hospital, and Western Eye Hospital. The Trust is currently the largest in the UK and has an annual turnover of £800 million, treating more than a million patients a year.
Other (non-academic health science centres) hospitals affiliated with Imperial College include Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital, West Middlesex University Hospital, Hillingdon Hospital, Mount Vernon Hospital, Harefield Hospital, Ealing Hospital, Central Middlesex Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, St. Mark's Hospital, St. Charles' Hospital and St.Peter's Hospital (UK).
Imperial is among the most selective universities in the UK. From 1999 to 2009 (dates of all the online available records), the overall acceptance rate of Imperial College programmes has been consistently below 20% and, in 2009, the acceptance rate of the college for undergraduates was 15.3%. The acceptance rate for postgraduate courses was 19.5%.
Imperial, along with University College London and the University of Cambridge was one of the first universities in the UK to make use of the A* grade at A Level for admissions, with engineering and physics courses requiring an A* in Mathematics. Aeronautical Engineering is the course with the highest entry standards requiring an A* in Mathematics (A grades in every single module) and an A* in Physics and another A grade at A Level (Further Mathematics preferred). Mathematics courses themselves require A* grades in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, along with another A grade at A Level.
Imperial announced in summer 2008 that it was exploring the possibility of entrance exams to help it select the most suitable students. Since then, the College has been reviewing and piloting a range of assessment approaches, such as subject-specific tests, skills tests and motivation-based tests as part of enhanced interviews and will continue to do so during the 2009–10 academic year. The Cambridge Thinking Skills assessment (TSA) was one test trialled on existing Imperial College students. No date is set for the implementation of any entrance exam for applicants. Medicine and BioMedical Sciences at Imperial already uses the BMAT (BioMedical Attainment Test) as part of the selection process.
|The Sunday Times
Imperial College is consistently ranked one of the top universities in the world. Most rankings place it in the top 10 globally. In the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities, Imperial is ranked 24th overall in the world (and 5th in Europe). In the subject tables it is ranked 23rd in the world (and 5th in Europe) for clinical medicine and pharmacy, 30th in the world (and 3rd in Europe) for engineering/technology and computer sciences, 24th in the world (and 5th in Europe) for natural sciences and mathematics and 14th in the world (and 2nd in Europe) for physics. In the 2010 QS World University Rankings, Imperial is ranked 7th overall in the world (and 4th in Europe). In the subject tables it is ranked 6th in the world (and 2nd in Europe) for engineering and technology, 11th in the world (and 3rd in Europe) for life sciences and medicine and 11th in the world (and 4th in Europe) for natural sciences.
In the 2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Imperial is ranked 8th overall in the world (and 3rd in Europe). In the subject tables it is ranked 3rd in the world (and 2nd in Europe) for clinical, pre-clinical and health, 9th in the world (and 4th in Europe) for engineering and technology, 9th in the world (and 3rd in Europe) for life sciences and 13th in the world (and 4th in Europe) for physical sciences.
Imperial is also consistently one of the highest ranked universities in the UK university rankings and is 3rd overall in the 2011 Complete University Guide, Sunday Times University Guide and Times Good University Guide and 7th in the 2011 Guardian University Guide. In the Complete University Guide subject tables Imperial is currently ranked 3rd for biological sciences, 2nd for chemical engineering, 1st for civil engineering, 3rd for computer science and 3rd for medicine. In the Guardian University Guide subject tables it is currently ranked 2nd for chemical engineering, 1st for civil engineering, 3rd for materials and mineral engineering and 3rd for mechanical engineering.
The Financial Times placed Imperial's Business School within the top 20 in Europe. The Business School is also consistently ranked in the top 10 worldwide for entrepreneurship. The business school also offers a full-time MBA that is ranked 17th in Europe by the Financial Times and a part-time Executive MBA programme that is ranked 4th in Europe.
Furthermore, in terms of job prospects, Imperial is one of the best in the UK. The average starting salary of an Imperial graduate is £25,780 which is the highest of any UK university. In 2009, the Sunday Times ranked Computing graduates from Imperial as earning the second highest average starting salary behind Cambridge economics graduates, £34,960, after graduation, over all universities and courses. In 2012, The New York Times ranked Imperial College as one of the top 10 most-welcomed universities by the global job market.
Student life 
Student body 
For the 2007–08 academic year, Imperial College had a total full-time student body of 12,319: 8,741 undergraduate students and 3,578 postgraduates. In addition there were 1,036 part-time students, all postgraduates. 39% of all full-time students come from outside the European Union, around 13% of the International students has the Chinese nationality. The Average age in Imperial College is 23 for Post Grad.
Imperial's male:female ratio for undergraduate students is uneven at approximately 64:36 overall and 5:1 in some engineering courses. However, medicine has an approximate 1:1 ratio with biology degrees tending to be higher.
Imperial College Union 
Imperial College Union, the students' union at Imperial College, is run by five full-time sabbatical officers elected from the student body for a tenure of one year, and a number of permanent members of staff. The Union is given a large subvention by the university, much of which is spent on maintaining around 300 clubs, projects and societies. Examples of notable student groups and projects are Project Nepal which sends Imperial College students to work on educational development programmes in rural Nepal and the El Salvador Project, a construction based project in Central America. The Union also hosts sports-related clubs such as Imperial College Boat Club and Imperial College Gliding Club.
The Union operates on two sites; Beit Quad, South Kensington and Reynold's, Hammersmith while the Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union additionally looks after the social, academic and welfare needs of the 2,200 students within the faculty of medicine.
Sports facilities at Imperial's London campuses include four gyms, two swimming pools and two sports halls. Imperial has additional sports facilities at the Teddington and Harlington sports grounds.
On the South Kensington campus, there are a total of six music practice rooms which consist of upright pianos for usage by people of any grade, and grand pianos which are exclusively for people who have achieved Grade 8 or above.
Student Media 
Imperial College Radio 
Imperial College Radio (or ICRadio) was founded in November 1975 with the intention of broadcasting to the student halls of residence from a studio under Southside, actually commencing broadcasts in late 1976. It now broadcasts from the West Basement of Beit Quad over the internet www.icradio.com and, since 2004, on 1134 AM in Wye. The radio station has a library of over 51,000 tracks, which are searchable on their website.
Popular shows on IC Radio in recent years (2006/2007) include: Rocktopia, School Daze (pop), Instru(Mental) (dance), VPT (Entertainment/Shambles), Peter and James'Moon Unit' and The Cornerstone (both of which play rock and alternative) and Album – A Discourse in Musical History (devoted to seminal albums).
Imperial College Radio is now best known for its specialist dance music shows, with the likes of Believe The Hype (Electro/Indie), Peer Pressure (Techno) and On Dancefloors (Electro/House) gaining critical acclaim and notoriety not just in college but throughout London.
stoic TV 
stoic TV (Student Television of Imperial College) is Imperial College Union's TV station, founded in 1969 and operating from a small TV studio in the Electrical Engineering block. The department had bought an early AMPEX Type A 1-inch videotape recorder and this was used to produce an occasional short news programme which was then played to students by simply moving the VTR and a monitor into a common room. A cable link to the Southside halls of residence was laid in a tunnel under Exhibition Road in 1972. Besides the news, early productions included a film of the Queen opening what was then called College Block and interview programmes with DJ Mike Raven, Richard O'Brian and Monty Python producer Ian MacNaughton.
In 2006 it was named Best Broadcaster at NaSTA and also won awards for Best On-Screen Male and Best On-Screen Female. It now broadcasts from studios in the specially built media centre in the Student Union to the Junior Common Room and occasionally DaVinci's Bar. Programmes are also available to watch on their website.
Published weekly, Felix is the free student newspaper of Imperial. It aims to be independent of both the College itself and the Student Union. The editor is elected annually from the student body; the editorship is a full-time, sabbatical position. In 2006 and 2008, Felix won the Guardian Student Media Awards for Student newspaper of the year and Student journalist of the year.
The Tab Imperial 
The Tab Imperial is an online student news website run entirely by the student body, independent of the College, reporting on current events of interest to the student body along with several regular features on food, fashion, and novel research. Set up by Matthew Allinson in 2013 as part of the The Tab, it gained greater coverage after reporting on one of the largest ever email storms involving 8952 students and over 3.5 million emails.
Live! is an online student news source and forum run by the City and Guilds College Union. Live! also enables readers to view published articles from Livic, the monthly newspaper of CivSoc, the student society in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Content on Live! is text-based news, with one or more photographs per article to illustrate the event. At the start of 2007 the ability to display videos was added, increasing the breadth of its coverage. Co-operation with Imperial's student television station, stoic TV has led to the introduction of politically-focused video content on the site by syndicating weekly news bulletins and the "Ask the President" show. Live! was also named the best student website in the 2007 Guardian Student Media Awards.
Student housing 
Imperial College owns and manages twenty halls of residence in Inner London, Ealing, Ascot and Wye. Over three thousand rooms are available, guaranteeing first year undergraduates a place in College residences.
The majority of halls offer single or twin accommodation with some rooms having en suite facilities. Study bedrooms are provided with basic furniture and with access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. The majority of rooms come with internet access and access to the Imperial network. Most of them are considered among the newest student halls at London universities.
Most students in college or university accommodation are first-year undergraduates, since they are granted a room once they have selected Imperial College as their firm offer at UCAS. The majority of older students and postgraduates find accommodation in the private sector, help for which is provided by the College private housing office. However a handful of students may continue to live in halls in later years if they take the position of a "hall senior".
Some students are also selected to live in International Students House, London.
Student housing controversy 
The college decision in early 2013 to relocate a substantial proportion of student accommodation from the campus area to North Acton has prompted strong protest from students. This echoes earlier (2012) controversy surrounding the closure of affordable postgraduate student accommodation in favour of an arrangement with a commercial provider.
The El Salvador Project is a charitable volunteer project that is constructing earthquake-proof buildings in the poorer areas of El Salvador. About 10 students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering department travel to El Salvador each year to carry out construction work. The project has resulted in a registered charity run by Imperial College alumni and former leaders of the El Salvador Project called Engage for Development (www.engagefordevelopment.org). The charity still continues to run and support the annual El Salvador Project within Imperial College but has also taken on a range of other projects such as the Imperial College Tanzania Raincatcher Project.
Notable alumni, faculty and staff 
Some of Imperial's most well-known alumni, faculty and staff include:
- Thomas Henry Huxley (biologist)
- H. G. Wells (author)
- Sir Alexander Fleming (pharmacologist) (Nobel Prize winner)
- Abdus Salam, Physics (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir George Paget Thomson, Physics (Nobel Prize winner)
- Patrick Blackett, Baron Blackett, Physics (Nobel Prize winner)
- Dennis Gabor, Physics (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir Norman Haworth, Chemistry (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood, Chemistry (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir Derek Barton, Chemistry (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson, Chemistry (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir George Porter, Chemistry (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir Ernst Boris Chain, Biochemistry (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, Medicine (Nobel Prize winner)
- Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley, Medicine (Nobel Prize winner)
- Rodney Robert Porter, Medicine (Nobel Prize winner)
- Harold Hopkins (optics pioneer)
- Meghnad Saha (mathematician and astro-physicist, developer of the Saha ionization equation)
- Alfred North Whitehead (mathematician and philosopher, Chief Professor 1923–24)
- Nicholas Tombazis (Ferrari's Chief Designer)
- Brian May, Physics (Guitarist of rock band Queen)
- Jessica Hsuan (Chinese actress)
- Aarif Rahman (Actor and Cantopop singer)
- Julius Vogel (former Prime Minister of New Zealand)
- Tahir Karasu (Mechanical Engineer)
- Lam Akol (South Sudanese politician, former Foreign Minister of Sudan 2005–07)
- Jennifer He (Animal Rights Activist)
Friends of Imperial College 
Friends of Imperial College is an association with strong links into the college. It offers anyone interested in the great advances that are being made in science, medicine and technology the opportunity to learn more from leading figures in their fields. Friends provides opportunities for members and their guests to meet and talk with staff, students, alumni and other like-minded people in a programme of visits, talks and social events.
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