Template talk:Universities in the United Kingdom

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Federal universities[edit]

Should the constituent colleges be listed as well? The nature of the University of London and University of Wales is such that they don't fit an easy "are they HEIs or sub-divisions of a bigger HEI?" line that Wikipedia often requires. It feels a little strange for this template to not have the London School of Economics, Imperial College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies on it given their widespread fame. Timrollpickering 21:20, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure as I'm not very familiar with the situation. The London list is quite long, and I think that care should be taken not to make the template too much bigger i.e. separate sections. I think we could add a footnote or separate the two into a federal section with note, or put them in brackets next to the 'parent'. I think just including the 'highlights' is a bad idea (choosing...) and I think by integrating them into the lists we would loose the distinction, which I think should be made. mattbr30 23:34, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Ireland has rather fewer universities but Template:Universities of Ireland has constituent universities for NUI listed in a section below. Since we're only talking about two federations I think this would be a useful addition. Yes there are a lot of bits of the UofL but maintaining a strict divide is counter to the de facto situation. Timrollpickering 00:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree the situation with the University of London and University of Wales is a tricky one. As I see it there are three options.
1)We leave the template as it is. That is with just the University of London down as just 1 university (the University of London)
2)We have the constituent institutions named in brackets
3)We have a foot note with constituent institutions.
I personally think the 3rd option will be the best.
A problem I can foresee is that the University of Wales awards degrees in several higher education institutes. But if we name these higher education institutes we will then have to name all the of higher education institutes in England (which award degrees) to be consistent. The template will simply just get too big.
Should we place the open university in the south east region as the administrative headquarters are in Milton Keynes? De Monteford has a campus in the East midlands with another campus in the south east. So which region should we put it in?--Benjaminevans82 00:12, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
With regards London and Wales I think a division can be made between constituent institutions ("college" as I understand it is no longer the correct technical term for Lampeter et al in Wales and instead refers to something else) and other institutions that have their degrees awarded by Wales (and this is not a unique situation). So I'd say go with 3, but put two footnotes so that they come in the right region.
As for locations, the nature of Open University is such that the physical HQ doesn't matter much (and there are regional centres throughout the UK) so I think treating it as UK wide is best. (Technically it's an English institution according to at least the Higher Education Statistics Agency but I think the practical matter of being UK wide should take precedence.)
De Montfort University is now solely in Leicester - the Bedford campus merged with the University of Luton to become the University of Bedfordshire so this one becomes easy. How many other universities appear in more than one region? Timrollpickering 02:10, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Timrollpickering thanks for informing me about De Montfort University. I have left Open University as you suggested. I have added the footnotes. Plus Imperial is in the process of leaving the university of London, so i have not included it as a college of the university of London.--Benjaminevans82 20:59, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Problem with the footnotes is that they place the institutions - which, for both London and Wales, are most of the best-known institutions in the area - outside the region's list (so University College London isn't near the London section). What do you think of my changes? I was going to do them just as a 'for discussion' and revert them straight away, but I think I do think they're an improvement, so I've left them there for now - feel free to revert if you feel they make it worse. TSP 02:19, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
One more thought - while I feel that the colleges of the Universities of London and Wales are de facto University-status institutions, I'm not sure the same goes for the institutes of the University of London. One is not even in the UK; another is shared with the University of Glasgow, and there seems no question that it would be listed as part of that, so there seems no reason it should be listed as part of London. I suggest we remove these. Thoughts?
This may make it desirable to revive the University of London template. TSP 00:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

University Colleges[edit]

Should we add Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College and University College Falmouth to the template? --Benjaminevans82 22:59, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Probably yes, because they now both have autonomy and degree-awarding powers. They're still calling themselves university colleges, but isn't that only because they haven't yet petitioned the Privy Council for a new name? — mholland 19:23, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
My understanding is that the Privy Council has to explicitly confer the title and status of "University" on an institution to make it one - it's more than just approving a new name. There are several institutions that recently became universities that were given the powers several years back and changed their name at the time, but not to university then. The University of Chichester is one that springs to mind - it changed from "Chichester Institute of Higher Education" to "University College Chichester" when it got powers in 1999 but didn't become a university until 2005. Timrollpickering 01:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the Privy Council has final say over name-changes, but although the Government maintains a nice distinction between a 'University' and a 'University College', there is in practice no difference between the two. Section 77 of the Poly-gone Act 1992 is the relevant bit. It's the word 'University' that has protected status, and that applies even if used in the phrase 'University College'.
Shouldn't we admit these institutions as de facto Universities, just as the London and Wales Colleges are? — mholland 03:07, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I thought that University Colleges granted an inclusion in this table, most now authorise their own degrees and are places in their own right, most of which will develop into universities over time. However i'm a little shaky with the editing so any help would be appreciated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Extreme Lover (talkcontribs) 18:57, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Colleges etc. and the size of this template[edit]

Partly in response to Federal universities above: This template is even larger now than it was when it was added to every page. Would anyone support removing the London and Wales colleges and replacing with

London (Colleges etc.)

Wales (Colleges) ?

This would seem both efficient and fairer on the Doxbridge colleges, which have (esoteric and historical/snobbish arguments aside) exactly the same relationship with the parent University. In all cases, the University is the degree-awarding body, and the College is the largely autonomous seat of learning. It may seem illogical to cut out some of our best known "Universities" from this template, but this is a template for Universities and not colleges, however big and tall. Any thoughts? — mholland 19:22, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The relationship isn't really the same. Oxford and Cambridge (and Durham) colleges teach a common course; lectures are held centrally, and final examinations are central. In the London and Wales colleges, all teaching is done within the college, as are examinations; at least in London, the central University doesn't even oversee the academic standards of the colleges. The London colleges are practically indistinguishable from universities, except that they choose to award London degrees rather than their own (several colleges do now have their own degree-awarding powers). In Wales, the Cardiff branch of the University of Wales called itself "Cardiff University" for years before it formally split from the University of Wales. They really are pretty much indistinguishable from universities; which is not the case for the (D)Oxbridge colleges. TSP 20:20, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Either the London Colleges are Universities (according to the loose definition we are at liberty to apply in implementing this template) or they are not Universities. If they are Universities, they should be unbracketed and de-italicised, with London delisted, because it isn't a university according to the standard we have chosen. If the colleges are not Universities, then they should all be delisted. The present template is a fudge.
I support the latter solution, partly because it is technically correct in an anally-retentive sort of way, but mostly because --Benjaminevans82 02:55, 7 January 2007 (UTC)this template has become very large. I mean, you wouldn't have Template:Universities in the United States — we have a category and a list for those. Here, we also have a list, but its one that we choose to append to every single article on a British institution! — mholland 20:32, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that there is a problem. I'm not sure why this template was substituted for the previous regional templates - anyone? I just don't think that removing the London and Wales institutions, which I think are generally considered as de facto universities, would work; these are among the most prestigious University institutions in Britain, I don't think they'd put up with being listed only as the umbrella institution which has almost no oversight over them, and I don't think size of this template is an adequate reason to make them do so. In any case, the way it's looking, many of the London institutions may well be independent within a few years anyway.
Might something like this version of the Medical Schools template work? TSP 20:55, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
See the comment on my Talk page from the user who replaced the regional templates. — mholland 21:06, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes the template is large but in my opinion it is still better than having regional university templates. Remember the template does have a hide/show button. If people think it takes up to much space then they can simply press the hide button. The French template of Universities in France have reduced the size of the template by replacing names with numbers. This seems a little odd to me. The Italain template of universities in Italy just lists all the universities in alphabetical order. The French template of British Universities lists all the universities in Britain in alphabetical order. It does not list the constituent colleges of the University of Wales but does list the constituent colleges of the University of London.--Benjaminevans82 02:55, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
If my limited knowledge of French universities is correct, the University of Paris and possibly some others were separated into separate institutions in a kind-of-loose-federation but using numbers to distinguish them; which is what I presume the French French box is doing. The French British box doesn't appear to be showing UofL colleges but rather universities in London (and, totally off topic, it has a hideous mix of English and French names - does, say, UEL really translate its name when advertising/attending conferences abroad?). Timrollpickering 03:46, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
The French number their universities because they have so many, apparently.
The show/hide functionality is designed, I think, to work the other way. It's deployed in stackable templates, like the one TSP linked to above, where the default position is hide (this template does hide by default, but only if there are three or more using the same root template in the stack). It may seem unscientific, but to me, the alphabetical ordered one on fr: does look a lot easier on the eye.
Is it really the case that readers will want to browse for other Universities in the UK? Or even in the same geographical region? It makes sense, but only a little more sense than having a template for Universities with a high density of ducks on campus. We can always engineer it so that a browser is only one click away from a complete list of all British universities. — mholland 03:56, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the (visual) size of the template is becoming an issue, and that shouldn't be the only reason we don't include the London and Wales colleges, so how about something like this? mattbr30 12:35, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I think that's probably the best solution yet. It's a shame to lose the regional information; but this version contains most of the information, and I'd consider this template an acceptable size to put on a page, whereas I think the current one is really unacceptably large. TSP 16:20, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with TSP it is a shame to lose the regional information. But it does reduce the size considerably. If everyone else is happy with the new template then we can replace the old one. --Benjaminevans82 17:59, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree - in England the government regions generally haven't caught on in public imagination (as shown by the less than inspired names for all but two of them) and a smaller box is more useful. Timrollpickering 19:00, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Issues and reforms[edit]

There are several issues I with with this template, mainly how it has grown out of control since the last discussion on it in 2007 (above). The issues I see are thus:

  1. It is too big and exceeds its mandate. Compare the current table to the one above. The former one just showed what it says on the tin, Universities in the United Kingdom. Now however the same table tries to include University colleges, University centres and "Other Degree-Awarding Bodies", none of which would (arguably) be classed under Universities in the United Kingdom. I'm all for creating "University colleges in the United Kingdom" as a separate template and reverting this back to listing only the "Universities in the United Kingdom", as it used to. Otherwise this should be moved to something along the lines of "Higher education (institutes) in the United Kingdom" or "Tertiary education (institutes) in the United Kingdom".
  2. Music schools/Conservatoires, related to the London/Wales colleges. I know this might be contentious, but hear me out. The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama article does not describe it as a University, but a conservatoire (music school). It does not include this table on the article, but Template:Music schools in the United Kingdom. As well it is not an entirely independent body, as it is part of the University of Glamorgan Group. It is listed in the List of universities in the United Kingdom under Colleges of Higher Education, most of which don't even have articles and aren't listed on this template. As such I would remove it from this table (assuming we go with point 1 about only showing universities, if not then at least move it to a different section). However, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama used to be part of the University of Wales, it is listed in the older table above as such (as RWCMD). That brings up the issue of whether the fact it is no longer listed under the University of Wales makes a difference as to whether it should be on this table. As a comparison, the Royal Academy of Music is also described as a conservatoire. However as it is a constituent part of the University of London, is is shown under that. If it were not part of the UoL would it still be on this table? Is is really on equal footing with, for example, University College London which, despite being part of the UoL, describes itself as a University in its own right? On the other hand, we can't just include some of the London colleges and exclude others...
  3. Central Bodies. Should they be included? Again, this is supposed to be "Universities in the United Kingdom", one of these is in France!
  4. Other Degree-Awarding Bodies. A pretty useless section, perhaps move it under Related/See Also. Again not relevant to "Universities in the United Kingdom", would possibly be under "Tertiary education in the United Kingdom".
  5. Regions of England. Removed a long time ago, but personally I think the long list of English universities is unhelpful, so I would propose to split them as below:

They take the same number of lines (at least on my monitor, which isn't huge) and makes the template much more user friendly in my opinion. For reference, the regions I used were these. Anyway, I hope this starts some discussion on this template.--23230 talk 15:12, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi, I agree with some of your comments. I agree that 'Central bodies' represents excessive detail and have removed them. I also feel that 'Lambeth Degrees', not being an institution as such, does not warrant an entire section.
I disagree that the template is too big per se, there are many other templates which are far larger e.g. Template:Strategic Air Command and this is a big and important topic.
I am personally neutral as to the inclusion of university colleges and university centres, they are closely connected to the concept of universities in the UK and their presence is undoubtedly useful to readers. I also see the possibility for some readers potentially being mislead that these are 'universities' proper however. Your suggestion of moving the template to "Higher education in the United Kingdom" is an interesting one which personally I would support.
I am strongly against any of the constituent colleges of the University of London, including the music school, being removed as they are effectively self-governing. I am less familiar with universities in Wales and have no strong feelings on the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama , although for consistency I think it probably better that all consituents of the university are included.
The addition of the regions of England makes sense, I tried something similar a while back but was reverted. The regions should however be in alpha order, not sure why they are not in your draft above?Rangoon11 (talk) 15:36, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, thank you.
A perfectly good point, I don't mean big in size necessarily but large in scope, if that makes sense, certainly larger than "Universities of the United Kingdom", as in the next point:
Agreed, either move them to their own tables or rename this to "Higher education in the United Kingdom". At the moment there is scope for confusion.
I agree and admitted we shouldn't remove any of the UoL colleges, but the issue is that when the RWCMD was part of the University of Wales it was included as part of that institution, but now that it is separate should it stay on? The London collages was an analogy, I didn't mean we should remove them.
I originally did alphabetical order, but London looked out of place as had the second header section. I think it looks more balanced with it at the top or bottom, and I settled on bottom to try and keep some geographical order to it. It's more a question of aesthetics though, it would be possible to do this:
I personally don't like it, but if it is preferred I would concede.--23230 talk 17:35, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
I think that at the top looks fine, as here:Rangoon11 (talk) 18:00, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


Honestly, I do think it makes much more sense to have it in geographical order. Having Midlands-North-South makes no sense, North-Mindlands-South is much easier to both visualise and use. I just don't understand what advantage Alphabetical order would have over this... Any one else's input would be welcomed.--23230 talk 14:42, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Why are you so keen to move the English regions out of alpha-order, but not the UK constituent countries? Alpha order is most neutral, and the approach throughout the template must be consistent. Rangoon11 (talk) 15:00, 21 October 2011 (UTC)


I've added Ashridge Business School, which also has a royal charter to issue degrees. --Duncan (talk) 20:40, 8 May 2013 (UTC)