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University College London

University College London, commonly known as UCL, is one of the colleges that make up the University of London. It was originally the University of London itself, the term "University College" being generic at the time. It is a member of the Russell Group of Universities.

The main portions of the college are located in Bloomsbury, central London, on Gower Street. The nearest stations on the London Underground are Warren Street, Euston (alongside Euston train station), Goodge Street, and Euston Square.

Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832) is often credited with founding the college, but this is in fact not true. However, his remains are still kept within the college in accordance with his wishes: a large glass-fronted box displays his clothed skeleton, topped with a wax model of his head. A college rumour states that the box containing his remains is wheeled into senior college meetings.


UCL is the third oldest university in England, after the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. It was founded as a result of the policies of Oxford and Cambridge to have strict religious requirements.

The college was the first UK university to accept students of any race or religious or political belief. It was also the first to accept women on equal terms with men, the first to establish a student union, and the first to have professorships in chemical engineering, chemistry, Egyptology, English, French, geography, German, Hebrew, Italian, papyrology, phonetics, psychology, and zoology.

Even today UCL retains its strict secular position, and unlike most other UK universities has no Christian chaplaincy or Muslim prayer rooms. Due to this policy UCL has also been known as "the godless institution of Gower street".

The UCL Library is famous in its own right, its collection including a first edition of Newton's Principia Mathematica.

In October 2002, a plan to merge UCL with Imperial College, London was announced by the universities. One month later, the proposed merger was cancelled after protests by UCL staff that the merger was a de facto takeover of UCL by Imperial College.

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