University of London International Programmes
|University of London International Programmes|
|Chancellor||HRH The Princess Royal|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Geoffrey Crossick|
|Students||50,000 in 190 countries|
The University of London International Programmes is a division of the University of London that manages external study programmes.
Several colleges and institutes of the University of London offer degrees through the programme, including Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, Heythrop College, 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 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.
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.
Current system 
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 are however not full members of University of London Union and 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 (i.e. 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 (i.e. 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").
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.
Name changes 
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
- 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 200 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 earn "permission to teach". The Laws Programme grants "permission to teach"only to institutions that provide face-to-face teaching for the Diploma in Laws.
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. Candidates 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 acceptable standards for the purpose of supporting University of London International Programmes students in their preparations for examinations. Affiliate Centres have demonstrated a long-term commitment to quality of teaching, support and administration. Affiliate Centre status is the highest level of recognition awarded by the University of London. Recognition applies to specific programmes on named campuses. Some programmes, such as the Diploma in Economics, for instance, are only available via an application (and registration) to a registered or affiliate centre.
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 (University of Colombo) in Sri Lanka, 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.
Nobel laureates 
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)
- Rolph Payet (Peace, 2007): The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Rolph Payet, alumnus of the University of London International Programmes, shared in the IPCC Nobel Peace Prize as an IPCC Lead Author.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- A. N. R. Robinson, former President of Trinidad and Tobago and advocate for the creation of the International Criminal Court
- 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.
See also 
- University of London
- List of notable staff and students of the University of London
- University of London Union
- Academic dress of the University of London
- About Us - University of London International Programmes; retrieved 2 August 2010
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Further reading 
- Kenyon Jones, Christine (2008). The People's University: 150 years of the University of London and its External students. London: University of London External System. ISBN 978-0-9557689-1-0 Pbk.
- Thompson, F. M. L.; (ed.) (1990). The University of London and the world of learning, 1836-1986. London: Hambledon Press. ISBN 978-1-85285-032-6.