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History of the University of Reading – University of Reading

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History of the University of Reading

We are proud of our long and fascinating history at the University of Reading. Our tradition of academic excellence dates back to the late nineteenth century and owes much to the vision and generosity of several notable individuals.

Our origins lie in the Schools of Art and Science established in Reading in 1860 and 1870. These became part of an extension college opened in 1892 by Christ Church, Oxford. The college thrived, receiving its first treasury grant in 1901. Three years later the local Palmer family, of the famous biscuit manufacturer Huntley & Palmers, donated our London Road campus that is home to our Institute of Education today. We received a Royal Charter in 1926, the only university to do so between the two world wars. At the same time, Dr William M Childs became the University's first Vice-Chancellor.


Since then a number of milestones have shaped the University's history and made us the centre of excellence and vibrant community that we are today. In 1947 we purchased our main Whiteknights campus, the former country estate of the Marquis of Blandford. In 2008, the University's merger with Henley Management College gave us our Greenlands campus on the River Thames. These together with our historic London Road campus, are amongst the most beautiful places to study in the UK.

Ambitious future

The University of Reading is world renowned for its exciting and innovative research-led teaching, a friendly and supportive environment and an excellent graduate employability record.

We began delivering courses in Johor Bahru, Malaysia in June 2012 and the planned opening of our campus in Malaysia in 2015 is an important and very exciting step for the University's future. We look forward to welcoming students from Malaysia and across the world to our new campus where they will benefit from a world-class student experience.

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