Michael Adebolajo, 28, who was shot by police and arrested after the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May, was a student at Greenwich in 2003-04 and 2004-05 but left due to “unsatisfactory” academic progress.
The university said it had “no records” relating to the other suspect in the murder - named in media reports as 22-year-old Michael Adebowale - despite some media reports saying he had also studied there.
David Maguire, the Greenwich vice-chancellor, said its investigation would look at what links the two men had with the university and whether there had been any “past or present” extremism on campus.
He said: “As a member of the local community in Greenwich and Woolwich, the university is deeply shocked by the events at the barracks in Woolwich. We extend our sympathies to the victim’s family, friends and army colleagues. Our thoughts are with them.
“The university takes its responsibilities very seriously in terms of preventing extremism.
“We are committed to ensuring that the university is a safe and secure place of study and debate within the confines of the law. We have diverse communities on campus and these include a range of different faiths.”
Professor Maguire added: “Given the seriousness of issues raised, the university is setting up an investigation into the association of these two individuals with the university, to assess whether there is any evidence of extremism in the university (past or present) and whether we need to update our policies and practices.
“The terms of reference, membership and timescale of the investigating panel will be announced and its findings will be published. It is anticipated that external, independent members will play a key role.”