City University is based in the Islington district of London and was founded in 1894, as the Northampton Institute, although it only became a university in 1966. It specialises in providing an educational platform which is relevant to the world of business and professions such as the law. It is a genuinely international establishment, educating students from over 150 countries and employing staff from more than 50 countries. There are currently approximately 17, 000 students at the university, working across six different schools which are divided up as follows:
• Cass Business School
• School of Arts and Social Sciences
• School of Health Sciences
• School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
• School of Informatics
• The City Law School
According to the Times Higher Education World University rankings, City University is in the top 5% of the world’s universities and is placed 29th in the UK. The University has, over the years, built up strong links with the City of London, the main business hub of the capital and one of the economic and financial powerhouses of the planet. The chancellor of the university is the Lord Mayor of London, and this post is currently held by Fiona Woolf, who took up the post on 8th November 2013. A reliable way of gauging the effectiveness of the education offered at City University is to look at the success which has been achieved by many of its’ alumni, large numbers of whom have risen to the very top in their chosen fields. The following is just a brief list of people who attended the University, together with some details of what they went on to achieve:
• Professor Ziauddin Sardar – went on to become the commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
• Mahatma Gandhi – led the nation of India to independence via a policy of non-violent protest.
• Clement Attlee – Labour Prime minister from 1945 to 1951. Led the government which created the National Health Service and the welfare state
• Tony Blair – Labour Prime Minister of the UK from 1997 to 2007
• Margaret Thatcher – Conservative prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. She was the first (and to date only) female prime minister of the UK and the longest serving since the Second World War
• Kirsty Lang – BBC presenter and journalist best known for fronting the programme Newsnight
• Tiff Needell – former Grand prix driver and now a presenter of the Channel 5 programme Fifth Gear
• Sharon Maguire – writer and director best known for the film ‘Bridget Jones Diary’.
The fact that the University is located in the centre of London means that it is easily reached from all parts of the capital. The journey from Kensington, for example, covers a distance of 5.2 miles and should be completed by car in just 18 minutes. There are a number of different routes, but the most direct involves taking the A4, an option which avoids the traffic black spot of Oxford Street. Making the journey via the Underground system entails taking the Circle Line from Kensington High Street to Farringdon and then heading north by foot. Making the journey by bus, on the other hand, means catching the number 9 towards Soho and then transferring to the 38 towards Hackney at stop J. Alight at Hardwick Street, from where it is a short walk.