London South Bank University

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Based close to the River Thames in England's capital, London South Bank University is an institution with a proud history and exciting future. Having stood the test of time, and even severe bombings in World War Two, this resilient university currently welcomes around up to 20,000 students to its campuses every year and, in 2017, celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Founded from charitable donations in 1892 as the Borough Polytechnic Institute, it absorbed several other local colleges in the 1970s and 1990s, and achieved university status in 1992. Historically it focused on providing people with relevant employment skills, and included pioneering courses such as Petrol Motor Mechanics in the 1900s, Heating and Ventilating Engineering in the 1920s and Nuclear Power in the 1950s, together with the UK’s first Engineering course for women in the 1920s and one of the UK’s first Nursing degrees in 1974.

And as well as boasting a rich history, it is very much ‘home’ to many academic Londoners, so much so that 70% of UK students at London South Bank are actually from London. Around 12% of students come from overseas, totalling more than 130 different countries. Around 56% of the student population are from ethnic minorities and more than 80% of the students are classified as mature (21 or over when they start their course).

It has strong ambitions for the future and launched a Corporate Strategy which boldly sets out how the institution will achieve its vision of becoming London’s top modern university by 2020. The strategy focuses on enhancing student success, delivering “real-world impact” and providing genuine access to opportunity through academic activity and links to business and the professions.

It is even proposing to redevelop the north-western corner of its Southwark campus, St George’s Quarter. The area is currently home to the Blackwells Building, the Rotary Building, a Grade II listed former Presbyterian Chapel on Borough Road and Hugh Astor Court, a vacant residential block acquired by the University in 2016.

London Accommodation

The university has seven schools, which are:

  • School of Applied Sciences
  • School of Arts and Creative Industries
  • School of the Built Environment and Architecture
  • School of Business
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Health and Social Care
  • School of Law and Social Sciences

London South Bank works in partnership with institutions in the UK, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. It currently works closely with the Beijing Institute of Technology, Hunan University, Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications, Northwestern Polytechnical University, and the National Academy of Education Administration. Such significant working relationships are formed for the benefit of all students, paving the way for them to leave the university with qualifications and embark on a successful career or further study.

The collaborative educational programmes both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels have been running for more than 10 years with the Chinese partners. Interestingly, the university established the first Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2007.

One of the most famous alumni is revered British painter David Bomberg, who has major pieces of work displayed in the Tate Gallery, taught Art at the Borough Polytechnic between 1945 and 1954.