University of Buckingham
The University of Buckingham (UB) is the only private university in the United Kingdom operating under a royal charter. It is located in Buckingham, England, and was originally founded as the University College at Buckingham (UCB) in 1973. It was granted university status by royal charter in 1983. The university has been closely linked to Margaret Thatcher. As Education Secretary she oversaw the creation of the university college in 1973, and as Prime Minister she was instrumental in elevating it to a university in 1983 – thus creating the first private university in the UK. And when she retired from politics in 1992, she became the university’s second chancellor, a post she held until 1998.
The university’s finances for teaching operate entirely on direct student fees: it does not receive state funding (via HEFCE or otherwise). It has formal charity status as a not-for-profit institution dedicated to the ends of research and education.
The university is a member of the Independent Universities Group, created in January 2015 by eight non-profit and for-profit institutions with degree-awarding powers and/or university title. The group’s aim is to be “the Russell Group of the alternative sector” and to dissociate its members from more “dodgy” for-profit colleges. The university is one of the twenty-six English universities with a School of Medicine, i.e. it trains doctors at undergraduate and postgraduate level.