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Our history

The University has roots going back more than 120 years. You can see how student life has changed here during that time in our photo gallery.

Watch a video of Kingston University through the ages:

Kingston University timeline

Key landmarks in our history include:

College of Art and Technical Institute, St James Road (c.1890-1910) Photo credit: Kingston Museum & Heritage Service
Gypsy Hill staff and students in Kingswood garden, c.1931
Knights Park building (the School of Art moved here in 1939) Photo credit: Kingston Museum & Heritage Service
Ewell Surveying camp, 1951
Gipsy Hill College at Kingston Hill, outside Rennie Halls, March 1956
Kingston College of Technology, Penrhyn Road campus, c.1967 Photo credit: Kingston Museum & Heritage Service
Kingston Polytechnic students, 1978
Dorich House
Centenary Plaque, 1999
Kingston Technical Institute opens, offering courses ranging from Chemistry, Electric Wiring and Building Construction to Nursing, Dressmaking and Clay Modelling
Gipsy Hill College for teacher training opens
The Board of Education formally recognises the Institute as a Technical College
The Kingston School of Art separates from the Technical College (moving to Knights Park in 1939 and becoming a College of Art in 1945)
Gipsy Hill College moves to Kingston Hill
The first Penrhyn Road campus buildings open (by 1963 they are housing 955 full-time students; 2,259 part-time students and 2,629 evening students)
The Technical College opens its first library (with lending services starting in 1954)
The Ministry of Education recognises Kingston as a Regional College of Technology
Gipsy Hill College gains College of Education status
The College of Technology establishes its own orchestra
The College of Technology purchases its first computer, costing £50,000
The College of Technology and the College of Art merge to form Kingston Polytechnic; it offers 34 major courses, 17 of which at degree level
Gipsy Hill College merges with Kingston Polytechnic
Kingston Polytechnic becomes Kingston University
Roehampton Vale campus building opens
The University acquires Dorich House
The University celebrates its centenary

Find out more

Find out more from A History of Kingston University by Professor Michael Gibson (PDF).

Photo credit – photos 1, 3 and 6: Kingston Museum & Heritage Service.

Thanks to the alumni department for supplying many of the other images.

Contact us

Kingston University
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000