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Kingston University (informally Kingston or KUL; formally styled Kingston University London) is a public research university located in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London, United Kingdom. It was originally founded in 1899, and became a university in 1992 after being Kingston Polytechnic. Campuses are located in Kingston and Roehampton. There is a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate work spread across five faculties, as well as some further education provisions.
Kingston was founded as Kingston Technical Institute in 1899. In 1930 the Kingston School of Art separated, later to become Kingston College of Art. Kingston was recognised as a Regional College of Technology by Ministry of Education in 1957. In 1970 it merged again with the College of Art to become Kingston Polytechnic, offering 34 major courses, of which 17 were at degree level.
Kingston University was granted university status under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. In 1993, Kingston opened the Roehampton Vale campus building and in 1995, Kingston acquired Dorich House.
Kingston University came 104th out of 126 UK universities in the Complete University Guide (2016). The Times/ The Sunday Times Guide placed it at no. 117 (Good University Guide, 2016). The Guardian places Kingston at 97th of 119 surveyed universities in 2016.
Union of Kingston Students (KUSU). (Previously Kingston University Students' Union (KUSU)) is a charitable organisation in place primarily to represent the student body and provide services and activities beneficial to that body. They are a student union in the mearning of the term given in the Education Act 1994 and whilst independent of the university are funded by a compulsory block grant from them.
The main offices are housed on the Penrhyn Road campus along with the 'Space' bar and the Penrhyn Road Students' Union shop. From their head office Kingston University Students' Union represents student views to the University through membership on university committees and the board of governors.
They also support students to enhance their experience at university through sports, societies and volunteering. Over 30 sports clubs and 70 societies are operated by KUSU and the volunteering department is the largest supplier of volunteers for the Royal Borough of Kingston. KUSU also offers independent advice (including Citizens' Advice) and representation through their Student Support services. They can advise on a range of issues from Housing to Academic Misconduct. This department also delivers a course rep system to the university's 26,000.
KUSU runs 3 bars and 2 shops and the money is reinvested in the student benefit. Hannafords bar is located on Kingston Hill along with the Kingston Hill shop. Penrhyn Road is host to the space bar, KUSU's largest venue and the penrhyn road shop. Knights Park boasts a popular bar set on the bank of the Hogsmill river.
The Students' Union is run by an executive committee composed of mostly part-time officers. The four full-time elected officers take a sabbatical year to work full-time for the Students' Union as President, Vice President Education, Vice President Activities and Vice President Communications.
Elections are held every year to elect a new executive committee and KUSU is in the process of registering as a charity.
Halls of residence
The University has six halls of residence. Chancellors' and Walkden are based at the Kingston Hill campus. Middle Mill is adjacent to Knights Park campus, while Clayhill and Seething Wells are on opposite sides of Surbiton. Finally, there is Kingston Bridge House which is situated on the edge of Bushy Park at the Hampton Wick end of Kingston Bridge, London.
There are also contracted out halls of residence which are not owned by the university but licensed by them. IQ Wave halls were contracted due to Rennie being demolished to make way for a new education building at Kingston Hill.
The university operates a "headed tenancy" scheme in which the university sublets local properties to students from landlords.
This is the main university campus located close to Kingston town centre. In addition to teaching facilities, it has a library, health centre and canteen. Students based here study: Arts and Social Sciences, Civil Engineering, Surveying and Planning, Computing and Information Systems and Mathematics, Earth Sciences and Geography, Statistics, Biosciences, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science, and Radiography. Recent development at this site has seen an extension to the current Learning Resources Centre. Massive construction projects took place and recently a new modern building in memory of John Galsworthy was finished. Across the road is the Reg Bailey Theatre with a stage area used by drama and dance students.
The site also features Union of Kingston Students (KUSU), which is now part of the main building. Previously it was next door to Penrhyn Road's Student Union bar, The Space Bar. This building however is under negotiation of demolition. Penrhyn Road also houses the recently refurbished Fitness Centre. A short walk from the campus is Cooper House, also known as the Student Information and Advice Centre, which houses a number of student services and administration departments. Fairhill Medical Practice which is an NHS run clinic providing general practitioners services and a wellbeing mental health service.
This campus underwent a major redevelopment in 1997. With its own halls and numerous car parks (including the main seven-storey car park) Kingston Hill mainly caters to Nursing, Law, Education, Business, Music, Health and Social Sciences. Located near the top of Kingston Hill, it connects to the other campus sites by use of a free university bus service. Before 1989, this campus was known as Gipsy Hill.
The music department is situated in Coombehurst House, which was once owned by Florence Nightingale's aunt and uncle. Nightingale was a frequent visitor to the house and the new Learning Resource Centre on Kingston Hill was named the Nightingale Centre after her.
The Business School moved to a new building on the Kingston Hill Campus in 2012, the year Ed McKeever, one of its alumni, won a gold medal at the London Olympics.
Following an introduction through the Board of Governors, Kingston University rescued Dorich House (a Grade II listed building) and its art collections from dereliction in 1993 and the newly restored building was opened in 1996. Once the home to internationally acclaimed Estonian Sculptor Dora Gordine and the Hon. Richard Hare, the house became a museum in 2004.
Knights Park campus
This campus, located on Grange Road, close to Penrhyn Road, is the home of the University's Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, and provides undergraduate courses in Architecture, Art & Design History, Interior Design, Product & Furniture, Graphic Design, Filmmaking, Photography, Illustration & Animation, Fine Art and Fashion amongst others. The facility also features a student bar, café and arts library. The building is on the River Hogsmill (the banks of which were immortalised in the Pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia (painting) by John Everett Millais). The 'Middle Mill' hall of residence is situated across from the campus, close to the University's Stanley Picker Gallery.
The Roehampton Vale campus is based on Friars Avenue, on the outskirts of Kingston. Students studying all Engineering courses (except for Civil Engineering) are based here. Facilities on site include a wind tunnel, engineering workshops, flight simulator, a flying condition Learjet-200 plus automotive and aeronautical learning resources. Recent development at this site has seen the opening of the Hawker Wing, providing further teaching space.
In addition to the four main campuses are three administration buildings: Cooper House near the Penrhyn Road Campus and River House in Kingston town centre – the latter is so named as it is overlooks the River Thames and includes the office of the Vice-Chancellor.
Kingston University is based in Kingston upon Thames, a vibrant area on the River Thames in south-west London, only 25 minutes away from central London.
Kingston is consistently rated one of the safest London boroughs (Metropolitan Police) as well as one of the happiest places to live in London (Rightmove).
With so much to offer its residents, Kingston is the ideal location for studying and living. It's also close to both of London's main international airports.
We are investing £123million until 2018 on our four campuses to provide you with an excellent learning environment complemented by all the equipment and facilities you need. New developments include:
- the Business School building on the Kingston Hill campus;
- refurbished workshops and studios and a new learning resources centre on the Knights Park campus;
- the John Galsworthy Building and the extended learning resources centre on the Penrhyn Road campus; and
- the new learning resources centre and new teaching and learning space at the Roehampton Vale campus.At Kingston University we welcome students from many different backgrounds and from more than 150 countries.
You'll have the chance to meet people from all over the world, from East Asia to Africa to South America!
We're very proud of this diversity. All of our students offer unique skills and experiences, and contribute fresh ideas and approaches to our community, enriching the learning environment and adding to your global experience.
This will help to make your time with us even more valuable and rewarding.