University College London (UCL), is a public research university in London and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1826 as London University, UCL was the first university institution established in London and the first in England to be entirely secular, to admit students regardless of their religion, and to admit women on equal terms with men. The philosopher Jeremy Bentham is commonly regarded as the spiritual father of UCL, as his radical ideas on education and society were the inspiration to its founders, although his direct involvement in its foundation was limited. UCL became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London in 1836. It has grown through mergers, including with the Institute of Neurology (in 1997), the Eastman Dental Institute (in 1999), the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (in 1999), the School of Pharmacy (in 2012) and the Institute of Education (in 2014).
UCL's main campus is located in the Bloomsbury area of central London, with a number of institutes and teaching hospitals elsewhere in central London, and satellite campuses in Adelaide, Australia and Doha, Qatar. UCL is organised into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centres. UCL has around 36,000 students and 11,000 staff (including around 6,000 academic staff and 980 professors) and had a total income of £1.02 billion in 2013/14, of which £374.5 million was from research grants and contracts. Measured by number of students it is both the largest higher education institution in London and largest postgraduate institution in the UK. UCL is responsible for several museums and collections in a wide range of fields, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy.
UCL is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world and ranks highly in league tables; it is 20th in the world (and 4th in Europe) in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities, joint 5th in the world (and joint 3rd in Europe) in the 2014 QS World University Rankings and 22nd in the world (and 5th in Europe) in the 2014/15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. For the period 1999 to 2009 it was the 13th most-cited university in the world (and most-cited in Europe). There are 32 Nobel Prize winners and three Fields Medalists amongst UCL's alumni and current and former staff. UCL alumni include the "Father of the Nation" of each of India, Kenya and Mauritius, the inventor of the telephone, and one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. All five of the naturally-occurring noble gases were discovered at UCL by William Ramsay.
UCL is part of three of the 11 biomedical research centres established by the NHS in England and is a founding member of the Francis Crick Institute and UCL Partners, the world's largest academic health science centre. UCL has hundreds of research and teaching partnerships, including a major collaboration with Yale University, the Yale UCL Collaborative. UCL is a member of numerous academic organisations including the G5, the League of European Research Universities and the Russell Group and forms part of the 'golden triangle' of British universities.
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