Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL), formally incorporated as Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, is a public research university and a constituent college of the federal University of London.
Royal Holloway’s Structure
It has three faculties, 20 academic departments and c. 9,265 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 100 countries. The campus is just west of Egham, Surrey, within the Greater London Urban Area, although outside the M25 motorway and c. 19 miles (31 km) from the geographic centre of London.
The Egham campus of Royal Holloway was founded in 1879 by the Victorian entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Holloway. Royal Holloway College was officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria as an all-women college. It became a member of the University of London in 1900.
In 1945, the college admitted male postgraduate students, and in 1965, around 100 of the first male undergraduates.
In 1985, Royal Holloway merged with Bedford College (another former all-women’s college in London, which was founded in 1849 and, like Royal Holloway, joined the University of London in 1900 and became fully co-educational in 1965).
The merged college was named Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC), this remaining the official registered name of the college by Act of Parliament. The campus is dominated by the Founder’s Building, a Grade I listed red-brick building modelled on the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France.
Royal Holloway’s ranking
Royal Holloway is ranked 19th in the UK and 129th in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2015–16. The guide has described Royal Holloway as “truly world class”. Royal Holloway is ranked in 30th place in the world (9th in the UK) for 2016 in the category of “International Outlook”, recognising its broader outlook as a global university. The rankings use three separate indicators to judge “international outlook”—proportion of international staff and students, and research in terms of papers that are co-authored with at least one international partner.
Royal Holloway is highly rated for the wide-reaching impact of its research, scoring 98.9 per cent for citations (first in the UK), further cementing Royal Holloway’s status as one of the world’s premier research institutions. It is particularly strong in arts and humanities. Admission into courses in English, Creative Writing, Psychology and Music are very competitive with a 9:1 applicants to place ratio.
Royal Holloway‘s degree courses in Music, Information Security, Physics, International Relations, Earth Sciences, and Media Arts are also particularly strong, frequently ranking in the top 10 of national subject rankings. There are strong links and exchange programmes with leading institutions in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong, notably Yale University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Hong Kong. Royal Holloway was a member of the 1994 Group until 2013, when the group dissolved.
The College Council is the governing body of the college with responsibility for “financial integrity and setting the overall strategic direction of Royal Holloway.” There are 25 members of the council, many of which are lay members from outside Royal Holloway who are initially appointed for five years.
A total of 16 lay members are appointed; two from local authorities; one selected by the Privy Council; another by the University of London; two more are appointed as alumni from Royal Holloway, Bedford College or Royal Holloway College; and the rest are chosen to offer a range of skills and experience.
The Council’s Chairman, who is appointed for five years, is also a lay member. One of The Chairman’s duties is to chair a number of committees including the Remuneration Committee, which handles the pay and benefits of the senior staff. The Principal is answerable to the Chairman.
The remaining members of the Council comprise three elected by non-academic members of staff, two elected by academics and one member of academic staff elected by the Academic Board. There is also one student member elected by the students.