College level instruction in England began in 1096. In 1167, King Henry II officially prohibited English citizens from studying at the University of Paris. Today, the United Kingdom (UK) offers over 100 schools of higher education with more than 50 in the city of London. The 2009 Times Higher Education-World University Rankings placed four UK colleges in the world's top ten.
University of Oxford
The world's oldest English-speaking University consists of 39 colleges and 100 separate libraries. A faculty of nearly 4,500 instructs over 12,000 undergraduates and 6,000-plus graduate students in programs ranging from the Fine Arts and Economics to Philosophy, Languages and Mathematics.
University of Cambridge
Founded in 1209, Cambridge today consists of 31 independently operating colleges. Instruction includes seminars, lectures and practical instruction from world experts. Over 4,000 full-time instructors teach 6,000 graduate and over 30,000 undergraduates in degree programs ranging from Anglo-Saxon studies and Classics to medicine, music and engineering.
Imperial College London
Imperial College offers education in three faculties (Engineering, Natural Sciences and Medicine), a Business School, Department of Humanities, Graduate School of Engineering and Physical Science and Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine. Known for scientific education and research, a faculty of 3,000 teaches over 13,000 students. Graduates and faculty have started nearly 100 UK companies, and the staff regularly consults for government, corporations and non-profits on scientific and technical matters.
University of St. Andrews
Founded by monks in 1410, St. Andrews is Scotland's oldest college and the UK's third oldest. A faculty of over 870 teaches courses in over 50 disciplines to roughly 6,000 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students. The university is located in Fife, where almost one in three inhabitants either attend, or work for, the university.
University College London
In 1855, University College London (UCL) became the UK's first school to offer a fully secular education to both genders. Today, UCL consistently ranks among the world's top five universities, with a reputation built on research and scholarship in all disciplines. The small-group, "research-led" instruction employs the latest innovations with a faculty of about 4,000 teaching 12,000 undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students.
University of Warwick
Warwick currently ranks 7th in the UK for research and in the top-ten for quality of teaching and student-assessment. A faculty of over 1,700 instructs over 12,000 undergraduates. Almost 7,000 graduate students attend programs that include medical and business schools. For students of the arts, Warwick University boasts the largest art centre outside of London.
London School of Economics
Founded in 1895, The London School of Economics and Political Science offers training in the social sciences with the goal of instructing students in analysing global and country-specific economic and political problems. 7,500 full-time students receive instruction from a faculty of 800. Only 36 per cent of the students come from the UK, the remainder comes from over 120 countries. Former students have become members of Parliament, and the faculty advocates or develops policy worldwide.
Durham University consists of two campuses, Durham and Stockton. A faculty of over 1,300 teaches about 11,000 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students in three departments: Arts and Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences and Health. Programs focus on high-level instruction and local and regional business partnerships. In sports, Durham ranks in the UK's top six.
University of Exeter
Originally founded as a School of Art, today Exeter enrols almost 11,500 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students at two campuses (Exeter and Falmouth). The university's research-focused instruction has achieved international recognition. New facilities include colleges of Medicine and Dentistry.
University of Bristol
Bristol enrols over 12,000 undergraduates and 3,500 graduate students who receive instruction from a faculty of almost 2,300. Forty-five departments, including engineering, dentistry and veterinary science complement 15 internationally distinguished research centres.
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