History

1798
Joseph Lancaster opens a school in Borough Road for poor boys living in his neighbourhood in Southwark. This is the forerunner of Borough Road College which is established in Southwark in 1817 but moves to Osterley (the University’s former Osterley campus) in 1889

1878
Maria Grey College is founded in Bishopsgate, London 'to raise teaching to a profession as honourable and honoured for women as for men.' The college moves to Twickenham (the University’s former Twickenham campus) in 1969

1902
Pupil-teacher Centre is established to offer training courses in handicraft teaching. This becomes Shoreditch Technical Institute and moves to Englefield Green (the University’s former Runnymede campus) in 1951. The college is later renamed the Shoreditch Training College then Shoreditch College of Education

1928
Acton Technical College is established when Middlesex County Council transferred its Junior Technical School, founded in Chiswick in 1910, to Acton in west London

1957
Acton Technical College is divided into two, creating the new institution, Brunel College of Technology. The new college focuses on the education of technologists and, in particular, it pioneers the concept of the ‘sandwich’ courses, working with local employers to establish the best model

1962
Brunel College is designated a College of Advanced Technology. It was agreed that a completely new college should be erected on a separate site. The site chosen was a 170-acre plot in Uxbridge, formerly the Lowe and Shawyer nursery and market garden. Building work begins at Uxbridge in 1965

1966
Brunel College is awarded a Royal Charter on 9 June, allowing it to become Brunel University. The first students move to Uxbridge in 1967. The transfer of all departments from Acton to Uxbridge is completed in 1971

1966
3rd Earl of Halsbury becomes Chancellor of the University

1968
The University is officially opened by Lord Beeching

1976
The West London Institute is created from the merger between Borough Road College, Chiswick Polytechnic and Maria Grey College

1980
Brunel merges with Shoreditch College of Education, one of the leading teacher training colleges in the field of craft, design and technology, which becomes Brunel’s Runnymede campus

London School of Occupational Therapy join the West London Institute

Brunel establishes a joint Postgraduate Research Centre with Hillingdon Hospital

1981
Ballet Rambert school is formed within the West London Institute of Higher Education

1983
Brunel Institute for Bioengineering is established with Professor Heinz Wolff as director

1986
Brunel establishes the first University Science Park

West Middlesex University Hospital School of Physiotherapy joins West London Institute

1991
South Middlesex Hospital School of Physiotherapy joins West London Institute

1995
West London Institute of Higher Education becomes Brunel University College, which merges with the University two years later.

Until now, Brunel’s traditional fields remained engineering, science, technology, social science, education and management, but the merger added expertise in new subject areas and innovative modes of study with performing arts, humanities, geography, health, social work, sport sciences and business

1997
The Rt Hon The Lord Wakeham becomes Chancellor of the University

2003
Ballet Rambert decides to establish its independence from the University

2004
Design leaves the Runnymede campus to join the Engineering departments at Uxbridge

The £6 million outdoor athletics centre is opened by David Moorcroft

2005
Twickenham campus is closed and Education moves to Uxbridge

The £7 million indoor athletics and netball centre is opened

2006
marks the 200th anniversary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s birth, and the 40th anniversary of the award of Brunel University’s Royal Charter

2006
Osterley campus closes, and Health and Social Care move to the new Mary Seacole Building at Uxbridge. For the first time in 25 years the University is based on one campus

2007
Brunel sells its Runnymede campus

2009
The Magna Carta Institute is established, as an interdisciplinary institute, it brings together leading academics in the fields of politics, economics, media, communications, ethics and leadership

2011
The Institute of the Environment wins the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for their research revealing the link between chemicals in rivers and reproductive health

2012
Brunel hosts the Korean Olympic Team and the Canadian Paralympic Team for London 2012

2012
Professor Julia Buckingham becomes Brunel’s first female Vice-Chancellor

2013
Sir Richard Sykes is appointed as Chancellor 

2014
Brunel undergoes a major internal reorganisation, becoming Brunel University London following Royal assent of its new charter. Now formed of three academic Colleges and three research Institutes, the university also adopts a new logo and unified brand identity.

Page last updated: Friday 17 October 2014