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UCL (formally University College London) is a university in Bloomsbury, central London. It was established in 1826 to open up education in England for the first time to students of any race, class or religion. UCL was also the first university to welcome female students on equal terms with men.[1]

It was initially created as an independent university. In 1907 it lost its independence and became a college within the University of London. In 1976 it regained its independence, and in 2005 it gained the right to award its own degrees, and rebranded itself as just "UCL".[2]

The Slade School of Art is a department within UCL's Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

LGBT history

The University's foundation was partly inspired by Jeremy Bentham, philosopher and early advocate of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. His embalmed body, or "autoicon", is preserved at UCL.

Sir Stephen Wall, gay former diplomat, has been Chair of Council, the university's governing body.

In December 2021 the university announced it would be leaving the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme and Workplace Equality Index, citing Stonewall as limiting academic freedom [3].

LGBT societies

A UCL LGBT alumni group exists on Facebook.[4]

The UCL Union LGBT Society is a former member of the LGBT Consortium.[5]
UCL Gaysoc Disco flyer 1975 (LSE HCA/CHE 7/114)

UCL staff and alumni


  1. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/about-ucl About UCL
  2. Phil Baty "Staff fury at '£600K' rebrand" Times Higher Education Supplement 22 July 2005
  3. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2021/dec/ucl-and-stonewall-diversity-champions-programme-and-workplace-equality-index 'UCL’s senior leadership team has accepted Academic Board’s advice about the fundamental need to uphold academic freedom and freedom of speech in an academic context, recognising that a formal institutional commitment to Stonewall may have the effect of inhibiting academic work and discussion within UCL about sex and gender identity'
  4. https://www.facebook.com/groups/147563535452615/
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/20120826101337/http://www.lgbtconsortium.org.uk/directory/ucl_union_lgbt_society