Kingston University is a public research university located in Kingston upon Thames, South West London.
The university first opened as Kingston Technical Institute in 1899, offering a wide range of courses for its students such as dressmaking, clay modelling and electric wiring.
By 1970 the institute had become Kingston Polytechnic, and was home to 34 leading courses. It wasn’t until 1992, almost 100 years after it was first established, that Kingston Polytechnic turned into the Kingston University it is today.
Located in a historic riverside town between the borders of London and Surrey, the university is surrounded by shops, bars, pubs and restaurants. Kingston upon Thames also has easy access to countryside and city: it is close to both Richmond Park and Hampton Court Palace and Central London is just a 25-minute train journey away.
Possessing over 2,500 staff and an annual budget of around £203 million, the university is one of the town’s biggest employers, adding £500 million to the local economy each year. Furthermore, its researchers and academics assist local organisations, using their specialised skill-sets in support of the community.
The university also offers a host of public lectures, exhibitions and performances, and opens its sports and health facilities to local residents and businesses.
As well as contributing to the community, Kingston University prides itself on its sustainable development and ranks near the top of the People and Planet’s Green League Table. Moreover, it collaborates with the local community on environmental projects, such as recycling.
Kingston is home to five faculties and four campuses: Penrhyn Road (the centre of student activity), Kingston Hill (set in landscaped gardens), Knights Park (home to a riverside setting) and Roehampton Vale (modern and within close proximity to Richmond Park). All of these campuses are connected by the university’s free inter-site bus service.
Former students of Kingston university include the English actor Ben Barnes, and the famous accessories and handbag designer, Sophie Hulme.