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The University of London External System is a division of the University of London that grants external degrees.

History

When the first London University was established in 1828, the institution, Scottish in curriculum and teaching, was non-denominational and, given the intense religious rivalries at the time, there was an outcry against the "godless" university. The issue soon boiled down to which institutions had degree-granting powers and which institutions did not. The compromise solution that emerged in 1836 was that the sole authority to conduct the examinations leading to degrees would be given to a new entity called the "University of London". As Sheldon Rothblatt states, "thus arose in nearly archetypal form the famous English distinction between teaching and examining, here embodied in separate institutions." With the state giving examining powers to a separate entity, the groundwork was laid for the creation of a programme within the new university that would both administer examinations and award qualifications to students taking instruction at another institution or pursuing a course of self-directed study.

Referred to as "People's University" by Charles Dickens because it provided access to higher education to students from less affluent backgrounds, the External Programme was chartered by Queen Victoria in 1858, making the University of London the first university to offer distance learning degrees to students.

Enrolment increased steadily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and during the Second World War there was a further increase in enrolments from soldiers stationed abroad as well as soldiers imprisoned in German POW camps. Because the Geneva Convention stipulated that every prisoner of war, in addition to being entitled to adequate food and medical care, had the right to exchange correspondence and receive parcels, many British POWs took advantage of this opportunity and enrolled in the University of London External Programme. The soldiers were sent study materials by mail, and at specified intervals sat for proctored exams in the camps. Almost 11,000 exams were taken at 88 camps between 1940 and 1945. Though the failure rate was high, substantial numbers of soldiers earned degrees while imprisoned.

With the advent of inexpensive airmail services after the war the number of external students taking University of London courses increased dramatically.

The University of London External System commemorated its 150th anniversary in 2008. A specially commissioned anniversary book was produced to mark the occasion.

Current system

The System offers courses of study for undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas and degrees to more than 40,000 students around the world. A designated constituent institution of the University of London, called the "lead college", creates materials to allow students to study at their own pace. Examinations take place at testing centres around the world on specified dates. Hallmarks of the programme are its low cost in comparison to attendance in Londonmarker, and the possibility of pursuing either full-time or part-time study.

As stated in the University of London Statutes, External System students are graded on the same standard as internal students to ensure a uniform credentialing process. A student who completes a course of study under the program is awarded a University of London degree with a notation specifying which lead college provided the instruction.

Students enrolled in the University of London External System are full members of the University of London. They have equal standing with students at the university's colleges. For example, students enrolled with the University of London External System are members of the University of London Union. However, there are differences over the status external students have with respect to their lead college. Some institutions treat external students as college alumni, in addition to their status as University of London alumni. However, other colleges deny external students alumni status and privileges when they are present in Londonmarker.

Academics at the University of London are responsible for the academic direction of the External System. When the External System was audited in 2005 by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), the auditors concluded that "broad confidence" could be placed in the University’s management and the awards made through the External System ("broad confidence" is "the best verdict any institution can be given by the auditors").

Most external students are in former territories of the British Empire. There are more than 9,000 students enrolled in the programme in Singaporemarker, 5,000 in Hong Kongmarker, 3,000 in Trinidad and Tobagomarker, 2,000 in Malaysiamarker, 1,900 in Pakistanmarker, 1,200 in Bangladeshmarker, 800 in Sri Lankamarker, 1000 in Canadamarker, between 1,000 and 1,999 in the United Statesmarker,, 300 in Maltamarker, more than 200 in Australia, more than 200 in South Africa, more than 30 in New Zealandmarker and many hundreds in Indiamarker, among other countries.

The University of London External Programme is now to be known as the University of London External System.

Participating colleges and institutes of the University of London





One of the lead colleges, Imperial College Londonmarker, left the University in July 2007. The School of Oriental and African Studiesmarker has become the lead college for the external degrees previously led by Imperial, while Imperial will offer its own distance learning MBA in competition with the two MBAs offered by the External System, led by SOAS and Royal Holloway.

Independent teaching institutions

In North America, the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia many students participating in the External System seek out tuition at one of the more than 200 private or non-profit institutions that prepare students for University of London examinations. Such institutions may be audited and, if found to meet quality standards, may earn “permission to teach". The Laws Programme of the External System, grants "permission to teach"only to institutions that provide face-to-face teaching for the Diploma in Laws.

Influence

The University of London External System has played an important role in the development of higher education institutions in Britain. Many leading research universities in England started out as "university colleges" that prepared students for external degrees of the University of London. Examples include the University of Nottinghammarker and the University of Exetermarker. This was a common way of establishing new universities in England during the first half of the twentieth century.

Alumni

Nobel laureates

At least six Nobel Prizes have been awarded to alumni of the University of London External System:

Others

External System Administrative Building, Stewart House, University of London


Further reading





See also



References

  1. Sheldon Rothblatt, "Review: Supply and Demand: The Two Histories of English Education," History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 4., Winter, 1988, pp. 627-644. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0018-2680%28198824%2928%3A4%3C627%3ASADT%22H%3E2.0.CO%3B2-J
  2. "History", University of London External Programme Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/about_us/history.shtml
  3. "Key Facts", University of London External Programme Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/about_us/facts.shtml
  4. Tatum Anderson, "History lessons at the people's university," Guardian Weekly, May 16, 2007 http://www.guardianabroad.co.uk/education/article/283
  5. http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/150/index.shtml - 150th Anniversary - microsite
  6. http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/150/book/index.shtml - 150th Anniversary - microsite
  7. "About Us", University of London External Programme Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/about_us/index.shtml
  8. University of London Statutes, 14 December 2005 http://www.london.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/about/governance/statutes.pdf
  9. University of London Parity Standards, Document http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/about_us/related_docs/parity_standards.pdf
  10. University of London Press Release, "Vote of confidence in delivering world-wide education for the University of London", 10 April 2006 http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/news_events/archive/docs/ext_prog_press_06.pdf
  11. "Study in Singapore for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/sg/
  12. "Study in Hong Kong for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/hk/
  13. "Study in Trinidad and Tobago for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/trinidad/
  14. "Study in Malaysia for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/mly/
  15. "Study in Pakistan for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/pak/
  16. "Study in Bangladesh for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/bn/
  17. "Study in Sri Lanka for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/sri/
  18. "Study in Canada for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/canada/
  19. "Study in the United States for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/usa/
  20. "Study in Malta for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/mt/
  21. "Study in India for a University of London Degree", Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/ind/
  22. University of London - distance learning - online education - degrees - courses - diplomas - UK - External System
  23. University of London External Programme Directory of Institutions, Website http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/onlinesearch/institutions/index.jsp
  24. Ronald Coase. "Nobel Prize Autobiography," 1991 http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1991/coase-autobio.html
  25. Joseph Needham, "Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, O.M., F.R.S. (1861-1947)," Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 17, No. 2. (Dec., 1962), pp. 117-162 http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0035-9149%28196212%2917%3A2%3C117%3ASFGHOF%3E2.0.CO%3B2-G
  26. , London Connection, Issue 8, November 2009 http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/alumni/newsletter/winter_09.pdf
  27. Tatum Anderson, "History lessons at the people's university," Guardian Weekly, May 16, 2007 http://www.guardianabroad.co.uk/education/article/283
  28. Anders Hallengren, "Nelson Mandela and the Rainbow of Culture," 11 September 2001 http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/articles/mandela/index.html
  29. Wole Ogundele, "Rereading Beier," African Quarterly on the Arts, vol. 2, no. 3, (date?) http://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/African%20Journals/pdfs/glendora%20review/vol2no4/graa002004012.pdf
  30. The Papers of Asa Briggs, Website http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0014%2FBRIG
  31. "Obituary: Professor Glyn Davies," The Daily Telegraph, 01-24-2003 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F01%2F24%2Fdb2401.xml
  32. Biography of Patrick du Val, Website http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Du_Val.html
  33. The Papers of Harold Jeffreys, Website http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0275%2FJeffreys%2FA118-A127
  34. London Connection Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2007 http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/alumni/newsletter/spring_07.pdf
  35. Notable alumni, University of London External System http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/alumni/notable_alumni.shtml
  36. Kelvin Lancaster Obituary, Columbia University, 1999 http://www.columbia.edu/cu/economics/faculty/memoriam/memoriam_klancaster.html
  37. Biography of David Forbes Martyn, Website http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A150379b.htm
  38. Biography of Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, Website http://www.info.gov.za/gol/gcis_profile.jsp?id=509
  39. Christine Kenyon Jones, The People's University: 150 years of the University of London and its External students (University of London External System, 2008) pages 148-149 ISBN 0955768918
  40. London Connection Alumni Newsletter, Autumn 2005 http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/alumni/newsletter/autumn_05.pdf
  41. University of St Andrews Administration webpage http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/piper1.html
  42. Biography of A. N. R. Robinson, Website http://www.caricom.org/jsp/pressreleases/pres59_98.htm
  43. Biography of Josiah Stamp, Website http://economia.unipv.it/harrod/edition/editionstuff/rfh.528.htm
  44. M. J. Wise, "Obituary: Professor Sir Dudley Stamp," The Geographical Journal, Vol. 132, No. 4. (Dec., 1966), pp. 591-594 http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0016-7398(196612)132%3A4%3C591%3AOPSDS%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1
  45. British Council, Website http://www.educationuk.org/pls/hot_bc/bc_content.page_pls_user_news_detail?x=517623053001&y=0&a=34&b=&n=1066
  46. Sarah Richardson, "A Masters plan for ambitious women," Evening Standard (London), Oct 24, 2006 http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:YlKpTXZVuEUJ:www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4153/is_20061024/ai_n16801844+Gisela+Stuart,+university+of+london+external&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4
  47. A unique network – former students and alumni, University of London External System http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/150/history/students_alumni.shtml
  48. Isadore Barmash. "Johns Hopkins Lecturer Named Thatcher Adviser", New York Times, October 6, 1980, Business & Finance, Page D2 http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0C12F9345F12728DDDAF0894D8415B8084F1D3
  49. Biography of H. G. Wells, Website http://www.slais.ubc.ca/courses/libr500/03-04-wt1/assignments/www/D_Berry/Wellsbio.htm
  50. Website Commemorating the Life of Edward Williams http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/library/exhibition/williams/uni_london.htm


External links




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