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|Established||1899 – Kingston Technical Institute
1992 – gained University Status
|Location||Kingston upon Thames, London, England, United Kingdom
|Colours||Blue and White|
|Nickname||The Kingston Cougars|
|Mascot||Dave 'Kingston' Cougar|
|Affiliations||Million+, University Alliance|
Kingston University (informally Kingston or KUL; formally styled Kingston University London) is a public research university located in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London, United Kingdom. It was originally founded in 1899, and became a university in 1992 after being Kingston Polytechnic. The four campuses are located in Kingston and Roehampton. There is a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate work spread across five faculties, as well as some further education provisions.
- 1 History
- 2 Campuses
- 3 Academics
- 3.1 Faculties
- 3.2 Rankings and reputation
- 3.3 Research
- 4 Student life
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Notable people
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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Kingston was founded as Kingston Technical Institute in 1899. In 1930 the Kingston School of Art separated, later to become Kingston College of Art. Kingston was recognised as a Regional College of Technology by Ministry of Education in 1957. In 1970 it merged again with the College of Art to become Kingston Polytechnic, offering 34 major courses, of which 17 were at degree level.
Kingston University was granted university status under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. In 1993, Kingston opened the Roehampton Vale campus building and in 1995, Kingston acquired Dorich House.
This is the main university campus located close to Kingston town centre. In addition to teaching facilities, it has a library, health centre and canteen. Students based here study: Arts and Social Sciences, Civil Engineering, Surveying and Planning, Computing and Information Systems and Mathematics, Earth Sciences and Geography, Statistics, Biosciences, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science, and Radiography. Recent development at this site has seen an extension to the current Learning Resources Centre. Massive construction projects took place and recently a new modern building in memory of John Galsworthy was finished. Across the road is the Reg Bailey Theatre with a stage area used by drama and dance students.
The site also features Union of Kingston Students (KUSU), which is now part of the main building. Previously it was next door to Penrhyn Road's Student Union bar, The Space Bar. This building however is under negotiation of demolition. Penrhyn Road also houses the recently refurbished Fitness Centre. A short walk from the campus is Cooper House, also known as the Student Information and Advice Centre, which houses a number of student services and administration departments. Fairhill Medical Practice which is an NHS run clinic providing general practitioners services and a wellbeing mental health service.
This campus underwent a major redevelopment in 1997. With its own halls and numerous car parks (including the main seven-storey car park) Kingston Hill mainly caters to Nursing, Law, Education, Business, Music, Health and Social Sciences. Located near the top of Kingston Hill, it connects to the other campus sites by use of a free university bus service. Before 1989, this campus was known as Gipsy Hill.
The music department is situated in Coombehurst House, which was once owned by Florence Nightingale's aunt and uncle. Nightingale was a frequent visitor to the house and the new Learning Resource Centre on Kingston Hill was named the Nightingale Centre after her.
Following an introduction through the Board of Governors, Kingston University rescued Dorich House (a Grade II listed building) and its art collections from dereliction in 1993 and the newly restored building was opened in 1996. Once the home to internationally acclaimed Estonian Sculptor Dora Gordine and the Hon. Richard Hare, the house became a museum in 2004.
This campus, located on Grange Road, close to Penrhyn Road, is the home of the University's Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, and provides undergraduate courses in Architecture, Art & Design History, Interior Design, Product & Furniture, Graphic Design, Filmmaking, Photography, Illustration & Animation, Fine Art and Fashion amongst others. The facility also features a student bar, café and arts library. The building is on the River Hogsmill (the banks of which were immortalised in the Pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia (painting) by John Everett Millais). The 'Middle Mill' hall of residence is situated across from the campus, close to the University's Stanley Picker Gallery.
The Roehampton Vale campus is based on Friars Avenue, on the outskirts of Kingston. Students studying all Engineering courses (except for Civil Engineering) are based here. Facilities on site include a wind tunnel, engineering workshops, flight simulator, a flying condition Learjet-200 plus automotive and aeronautical learning resources. Recent development at this site has seen the opening of the Hawker Wing, providing further teaching space.
In addition to the four main campuses are three administration buildings: Cooper House near the Penrhyn Road Campus and River House in Kingston town centre – the latter is so named as it is overlooks the River Thames and includes the office of the Vice-Chancellor.
Teaching and research are organised in five faculties.
Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
Based at the Knights Park campus, the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture can be traced back to the original School of Art in Kingston which was founded in the 1890s. It separated from the Technical College, moved to Knights Park in 1939, and became Kingston College of Art in 1945. The College of Art merged back with the Technical College to form Kingston Polytechnic in 1970.
The faculty delivers both Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes of study across the following schools – Architecture & Landscape, Art & Design History, Fine Art, Surveying & Planning, 3D Design and Communication Design. The Faculty also has a school of Foundation Studies which delivers the BTEC Foundation in Art and Design which prepares undergraduate students for entry into honours degree Art and Design programmes.
The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture also collaborates with several other design colleges across the globe:
- The Building Crafts College: The collaboration allows the university to offer a portfolio of courses from FdSc, to BSc. (Hons) and MSc. in Historic Building Conservation.
- The Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD)] in New Delhi, India offers three BA (Hons) degree programmes (in Fashion Design, Communication Design and Interior Architecture) in collaboration with FADA. The degrees are awarded by Kingston University.
- Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts: Two courses offered at the school, namely, Fashion Design and Graphics & Illustration have been designed in collaboration with and approved by Kingston University.
- Design Museum: Kingston University, in collaboration with the Design Museum, jointly teaches a two-year part-time and one year full-time Masters course in Curating Contemporary Design.
- Weymouth College: Students pursuing the FdSc. Applied Architectural Stonework and Conservation hone their skills in the building conservation sector. Those willing to progress into a third year of study, can join the final year of the BSc. Historic Building Conversation at Kingston University.
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Primarily based at the Penrhyn Road campus, although as part of a restructure in 2005, the faculty also incorporates the now former School of Music and the School of Education which are both based at the Kingston Hill Campus.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Masters by Research (MA) degrees can be undertaken in any of the following areas – Drama, Dance, Creative Writing, Criminology, Economics, Education, English Literature, European Studies, Film Studies, History, Human Rights, Journalism, Linguistics and Languages, Media, Music, Politics, Psychology, Sociology. Kingston's MFA in Creative Writing was the first of its kind in the UK. The Faculty also offers a Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing as well as a Low Residency MA CW.
The Faculty is home to the London Graduate School, The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, the Practice Research Unit, The Institute of Social Science, Cultural Histories @ Kingston, and the Kingston Writing School.
The Faculty also operates Kingston University Press.
Faculty of Business and Law
Based at the Kingston Hill campus and incorporating the Kingston University Business School and Kingston Law School. The Faculty is home to almost 5,000 students.
The Faculty of Business and Law offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as executive education in the five following groupings: Law, Accounting Finance and Banking, Informatics and Operations Management / Business, Information Technology, Leadership, Human Resources and Organisation and Strategy, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
The faculty also offers PhD and DBA research degrees in addition to its MBA programme. The Business School was the first in the world to receive AMBA accreditation for its MBA, DBA and Masters in Business Management. Other accreditations include the Law Society, the Bar Council, CIMA, CIPD.
Faculty of Health and Social Care and Education
A collaboration with St George's, University of London (SGUL), the faculty is based at St George's Hospital in Tooting, and Kingston Hill (KH) and Penrhyn Road (PR) at Kingston University. Subjects offered include all branches of Nursing (KH), Midwifery (KH), Paramedic Sciences (SGUL), Physiotherapy (SGUL), Diagnostic Radiography (PR), Therapeutic Radiography (PR) and Social Work (KH), along with postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development courses for those already employed in the healthcare profession. The School of Education joined the Faculty in 2012.
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing was formed in summer 2011. The Faculty is composed of eight schools: Aerospace and Aircraft Engineering; Civil Engineering and Construction; Computing and Information Systems; Geography, Geology and Environment; Life Sciences; Mathematics; Mechanical and Automotive Engineering; and Pharmacy and Chemistry.
The School of Geography, Geology and the Environment hosts Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which was the very first degree of its kind.
The Faculty's teaching is split between undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Facilities at the Roehampton Vale campus including a Learjet 25, flight simulator, wind tunnel and automotive workshops including a range of vehicles and testing facilities.
The Stanley Picker Gallery is the Faculty's exhibition space which is now used to present a variety of research-based projects, fellowships and exhibitions.
In 2003, The Director of Foundation Studies in Art and Design, Paul Stafford, converted a run-down public convenience in Kingston town centre into The Toilet Gallery.
Kingston University also runs Dorich House which houses a huge collection of sculptor Dora Gordine's work, plus fine examples of Russian Imperial art and furniture. Dorich House is also used as meeting and conference venue.
Rankings and reputation
Kingston University came 109th out of 127 UK universities in the Complete University Guide (2017). The Times / The Sunday Times Guide placed it at no. 117 (Good University Guide, 2016). The Guardian places Kingston at 88th of 119 surveyed universities in 2017.
Subjects ranked in the top 10 include Fashion & Textiles, Design & Crafts and Nursing.
The Faculty of Arts & Design runs a number of research centres:
- Contemporary Art Research Centre ("CARC")
- Colour Design Research Centre
- Screen Design Research Centre
- Modern Interiors Research Design
- Sustainable Design Research Centre
- Centre for the Contemporary Visual & Material Culture
- Curating Contemporary Design Research Group
- Real Estate Research Group
- Fashion Industry Research Centre
The Faculty of Business & Law has a number of specialist research units which cover the principal business disciplines. These research units include: Asia Business Research Centre, Business-to-Business Marketing Research Centre, Centre for Insolvency Law and Policy, Centre for Working Life Research, Consumer Research Unit, Marketing in New Contexts Group, Small Business Research Centre, Centre for Research in Employment, Skills & Society, Institute of Leadership & Management in Health.
The School of Computing and Information Systems research interests are spread across a wide range of topics, from emerging wireless and network technologies for healthcare, computationally intensive computer vision to computer-based learning technologies and networking. Research activities are organised into smaller research groups and larger research centres. The three current research centres are:
- Digital Imaging Research Centre (DIRC)
- Mobile Information Networking Technologies (MINT)
- The Mobile Information Engineering and E-Med Systems group, is part of the MINT Research centre. It conducts research in the areas of bio-information systems and the application of emerging mobile and network technologies for health care systems. The group is active both nationally and internationally. The group brings together clinicians, engineers, and scientists in information and communication technologies for medicine and solutions to health care problems.
The Schools within Engineering places emphasis on commercially useful research with significant funding from external bodies. The faculty has three research centres –
- Aerospace Research Group 
- Centre for Fire and Explosion Studies
- Sustainable Technology Research Centre 
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has a number of successful, active research areas, most notably English Literature and Language, including Creative Writing; History, Politics, Philosophy, Drama and Psychology.
Union of Kingston Students
The Union of Kingston Students, formerly Kingston University Students' Union (KUSU), is a charitable organisation representing the student body and aiming to provide services and activities beneficial to the student experience. It is a student union in the meaning of the term given in the Education Act 1994, and whilst independent of the university is funded by a block grant from it.
Halls of residence
The University has six halls of residence. Chancellors' and Walkden are based at the Kingston Hill campus. Middle Mill is adjacent to Knights Park campus, while Clayhill and Seething Wells are on opposite sides of Surbiton. Finally, there is Kingston Bridge House which is situated on the edge of Bushy Park at the Hampton Wick end of Kingston Bridge, London.
There are also contracted out halls of residence which are not owned by the university but licensed by them. IQ Wave halls were contracted due to Rennie being demolished to make way for a new education building at Kingston Hill.
The university operates a "headed tenancy" scheme in which the university sublets local properties to students from landlords.
National Student Survey exaggeration
In 2008, an audio recording obtained by student media included two psychology lecturers asking students to inflate their graded opinions given as part of the National Student Survey. One member of staff was recorded as encouraging students to boost specific satisfaction scores, because "if Kingston comes down the bottom [of the league tables], then the bottom line is that nobody is going to want to employ you because they are going to think your degree is shit". In response, Vice-Chancellor Peter Scott  confirmed that the recording was genuine but added that he believed that the incident was an isolated one. In July 2008, the Higher Education Funding Council of England removed the University's Department of Psychology of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from the League Tables for the year as its sanction for having fraudulently manipulated the National Student Survey results.
External examiner controversy
In 2008, the BBC obtained e-mails circulated within Kingston's School of Music, relating to the opinions of an external examiner moderating the BMus course. The messages showed that her final report caused considerable concern within the department. The examiner was persuaded to moderate her criticism following contact from a member of the University's staff. The e-mails also detailed a plan to replace her (at the end of her term) with a more experienced and broad-based external examiner, a process which Kingston stressed breaks no rules relating to the appointment of such examiners. In October 2008, Peter Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), presented the agency's findings to a Parliamentary Select Committee charged with investigating standards in British higher education. Following an investigation of the allegations by a former University staff member that undue pressure was applied to the School of Music's External Examiner, QAA upheld all charges of wrongdoing, as alleged.
Closure of the School of Planning and Surveying protests
On 19 February 2014, the university announced the closure of the School of Planning and Surveying at Kingston University. Under the proposals 14 out of 19 teaching jobs were to be axed and 18 first and second year students would lose their places. Six degree programmes, including planning and historic conservation courses, would cease to exist at the end of that academic year, while surveying and other courses would move to other university departments. The following day, the head of the School of Planning and Surveying, Sarah Sayce, sent an email to students in her department explaining the circumstances and asking them to rally against the closure. She was subsequently suspended by the university. At the "Big Student Meeting" of 27 February following her dismissal, students clashed with the Vice Chancellor over the proposed closure and the suspension of Sayce.
Kingston's Vice Chancellor Julius Weinberg defended his decision to allow controversial speakers in the name of free speech.
Notable faculty and staff
- Paul Bailey, Senior Researcher and Distinguished Writer in Residence, Creative Writing
- Henry Bond, Senior Lecturer in Photography
- Moya Bowler, former fashion lecturer – shoe designer of 1960s–1980s
- Brian Brivati, Visiting Professor
- Will Brooker, Head of Film and Television Department
- Brycchan Carey, Professor of English Literature
- Peter J. Conradi, Professor Emeritus
- Rachel Cusk, Reader in Creative Writing
- Philippa Gregory, Fellow
- Vesna Goldsworthy, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing
- Eva Hoffman, Senior Researcher and Distinguished Writer in Residence, Creative Writing
- Robert Istepanian, Professor of Data Communications
- Steve Keen Professor and Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics
- Hanif Kureshi, Distinguished Writer in Residence, Creative Writing
- Catherine McDermott, Professor of Design
- Catherine Malabou, Professor of Modern European Philosophy
- Jane Manning, Visiting Professor
- Richard Nott, former fashion lecturer and former student
- Peter Osborne, Professor of Philosophy
- Elif Shafak, Senior Researcher and Distinguished Writer in Residence, Creative Writing
- Chris Shepherd, Senior Lecturer in Illustration Animation
- Paul Andrew Williams, Film studies lecturer
- Richard Archer, musician, singer and songwriter, Hard-Fi
- Glenda Bailey, journalist, Editor in Chief, Harper's Bazaar
- Tony Ball, marketer, former Chief Executive of BSkyB
- Fiona Banner, artist, Turner Prize nominee
- Felipe Oliveira Baptista, fashion designer
- Ben Barnes, actor
- John Bratby, artist
- Richard Bryant, photographer
- Pery Burge, artist
- Jessie Cave, actress
- Sam Chan, actor
- Eason Chan, singer (did not graduate)
- David Chipperfield, architect
- Eric Clapton, musician (did not graduate)
- Lawrence Dallaglio, rugby union player
- Sandy Denny (did not graduate)
- Gail Emms, badminton player, Commonwealth Gold and Olympic Silver medallist
- Trevor Eve, actor (did not graduate)
- Caryn Franklin, fashion journalist, broadcaster, writer, director and producer
- Anya Gallaccio, artist
- Lavinia Greenlaw, poet and novelist
- Karen Hall, illustrator
- Laura Harling, actor
- Jim Holdaway, illustrator
- Stewart Home, artist and novelist (did not graduate)
- Charles Ingram, British novelist, made famous by cheating on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
- James Irvine, product designer
- Just Jack, musician
- Graeme Le Saux, footballer
- Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO MITIE Group
- Ed McKeever, Kayak World Champion and Olympic Gold Medallist
- Jasper Morrison, product designer
- David Nash, sculptor
- Laura Noble, art writer and gallerist
- Richard Nott, one half of 1989 Designer of the Year winner Workers for Freedom
- Keith Relf, lead singer of The Yardbirds
- John Renbourn (did not graduate)
- John Richmond, fashion designer
- Fletcher Sibthorp, artist
- Hadia Tajik, Minister of Culture, Government of Norway
- John Tiner, financial advisor / businessman
- Adel Al Toraifi, Minister of Information and Culture of Saudi Arabia
- Aphex Twin, musician Richard David James (did not graduate)
- Gregory Venables, Bishop of Argentina
- Francis Yeoh, businessman, Chief Executive Officer of YTL Corporation
- Ratheesan Yoganathan, businessman, Chairman of Lebara Group
- Alexander Yusuf, architect, Director of Villa and Mansion Architects
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- British universities that give the floor to extremist speakers are named and shamed, The Telegraph
- 100 extremists a year lecture at universities: Fanatics given a platform to spread hatred of the West despite ministers demanding crackdown on radicalism , Daily Mail
- Universities 'fail to ban radicals': 27 lectures featuring guests with extremist views take place in London in just five months, Daily Mail
- "'Show us the evidence David Cameron': Supporters rally after Kingston University listed for extremism". Surrey Comet.
- I won't stop offering a platform to so-called 'hate speakers', The Guardian
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