Camberwell College of Arts
The King's Cross campus of Central Saint Martins
The university has its origins in seven previously independent art, design, fashion and media colleges, which were brought together for administrative purposes to form the London Institute in 1986. They were: Saint Martin's School of Art; Chelsea School of Art; the London College of Printing; the Central School of Art and Design; Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts; the College for Distributive Trades; and the London College of Fashion. The colleges were originally established between about 1850 and the early twentieth century.
Under the Education Reform Act of 1988, the London Institute became a single legal entity, and the first court of governors was instated in the following year, 1989. The first appointed rector was John McKenzie. The institute was granted degree-awarding powers in 1993 by the Privy Council. Sir William Stubbs was appointed rector after the retirement of McKenzie in 1996. A coat of arms was granted to the institute in 1998. Will Wyatt was appointed chairman of governors in 1999, and Lord Stevenson of Coddenham was installed as the first chancellor in 2000.
On the retirement of William Stubbs as rector in 2001, Sir Michael Bichard was appointed and encouraged the London Institute to apply for university status. The London Institute originally chose not to apply because its individual colleges were internationally recognised in their own right. In 2003, the London Institute received Privy Council approval for university status; it was renamed University of the Arts London in 2004.
Wimbledon School of Art joined the university as a sixth college in 2006, and was renamed Wimbledon College of Arts. Sir John Tusa was appointed chairman, replacing Will Wyatt, in 2007. Nigel Carrington was appointed rector in 2008, replacing Michael Bichard.
From 2008 to 2010, staff were made redundant and courses closed. At the London College of Communication, where 16 of the 19 courses were discontinued in 2009, staff resigned and students demonstrated and staged a sit-in in protest at the cuts in budget and staff numbers.
Central Saint Martins moved to a purpose-built complex in King's Cross in June 2011.
In 2015 Grayson Perry was appointed to succeed Kwame Kwei-Armah as chancellor of the university.
James Purnell was appointed Vice Chancellor and President, replacing Nigel Carrington from March 2021.
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