University of Westminster

University of Westminster

The University of Westminster is a public university in London, United Kingdom. Its antecedent institution, the Royal Polytechnic Institution, was founded in 1838 and was the first polytechnic institution in the UK. Westminster was awarded university status in 1992 meaning it could award its own degrees.

Westminster’s academic activities are organised into seven faculties and schools, within which there are around 45 departments. The University has numerous centres of research excellence across all the faculties, including the Communication and Media Research Institute, whose research is ranked in the Global Top 40 by the QS World University Rankings. Westminster had an income of £170.4 million in 2012/13, of which £4.5 million was from research grants and contracts.

The University of Westminster is incorporated under the Companies Act as a charity and company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. It is also an exempt charity under the Charities Act 1993. Westminster’s academic activities are organised into seven faculties and schools, within which there are around 45 departments. Westminster had an income of £170.4 million in 2012/13, of which £4.5 million was from research grants and contracts.

The university’s governing body is the Court of Governors. It meets five times per year and is ultimately responsible for the effective conduct of the activities of the university, including its strategic development, educational character and mission, and finances. The members of the Court of Governors are the trustees of the charity.

The Polytechnic’s management encouraged the establishment of a Student Representative Council (SRC) in 1933, to create a sense of unity and expand the social activities of its day students. The SRC was affiliated to the National Union of Students but initially restricted itself largely to social activities.

After 1945 it began to campaign on issues such as improvements to the canteen, lifting the ban on religious or political activity within the Polytechnic, and for a formal Students’ Union. The Sectarian Ban was finally lifted in 1962 and a Union granted in 1965. However, the canteen continued to be an issue throughout the 1980s.

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