The UK is home to some of the world's oldest and most respected colleges and universities. An accredited college or university is one which is granted the right to award degrees by the UK and Scottish Parliaments, or the Welsh and North Ireland Assemblies. There are over 150 accredited colleges and universities in the UK. There are nearly 600 non-accredited institutions providing full undergraduate education, but their courses are validated and awarded by the institutions having accreditation.
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University of Oxford
According to the University of Oxford website, teaching at Oxford has been going on since the early 1000s, but it was after 1167 that the university really took off, when King Henry II banned English students from studying in France. There are over 20,000 students in attendance at Oxford at any one time, and the university has one of the lowest drop out rates in all of the UK. Students study the humanities and social sciences as well as medical and physical life sciences and mathematics. According to the University of Oxford, over 98 per cent of student attending Oxford received an AAA grading or higher in their final high school year.
University of Cambridge
Cambridge is the UK rival of Oxford for prestige and scholarly excellence. In 2010, the University of Cambridge celebrates its 800th anniversary, and it is still one of the leading universities in all of Europe. Notable alumni of Cambridge include Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon and Charles Darwin, as well as over 80 Nobel Laureates. There is a strong focus on mathematics at the university, but humanities, arts and biological sciences, as well as social, medical and physical sciences are all offered to the over 18,000 students in attendance at Cambridge.
University of London
Unlike other universities, the University of London is a grouping of largely independent colleges throughout the city and broader country. There are more than 120,000 students enrolled across the University of London's colleges and more than 45,000 students studying at the university through external education programs. Notable colleges of the University of London include Kings College, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Veterinary College, the Institute of Education and Heythrop College. All of the colleges and institutions of the University of London have degree awarding accreditation.
College of Law
The College of Law is the largest legal educational institution in Europe, with eight campuses in the UK. The College of Law was established in 1962 and is also a registered charity, as well as a degree accredited institution. Courses include a Bachelor of Law, Masters of Law and Juris Doctor programs, as well as vocation bar courses and graduate diplomas.
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