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University of Westminster

"The University of Westminster boasts a rich history and has been providing students with academic excellence, cultural engagement and personal enrichment since its inception as The Polytechnic Institution in 1838. Here you can find out a little bit more about our unique heritage, and the traditions of excellence that help to shape the University today. The Westminster story began in 1838, when Sir George Cayley opened the Polytechnic Institution at 309 Regent Street in London. In 1881, philanthropist Quintin Hogg, bought the Royal Polytechnic Institution building and moved his Young Men's Christian Institute into 309 Regent Street, which soon became the publicly funded Regent Street Polytechnic.Since then, our education institution has secured a reputation as a place for firsts. These include:

- the first polytechnic in the UK (1838)
- the opening of the first public photographic portrait studio in Europe (1841)
- the venue for the first public moving picture show in the UK, organised by the Lumiere brothers (1896)
- organising the first marathon race (at the London Olympics) over the now traditional distance of 26 miles, 385 yards (1908)
- offering the first degree courses in Photographic Science, Photography, and Media Studies (1960s and 1970s)
- the first modern university to win the Queen's Award for Enterprise - International Trade
- he UK's first Partner University for UN Habitat, the agency which deals with human settlement and development.

PCL gained University status in 1992, bringing the right to award its own degrees and to participate in publicly funded research. Today's University, with 22,000 students, is far bigger than its predecessors and is structured into four campuses - Cavendish, Harrow, Marylebone and Regent.

Our expanding overseas activity has resulted in the University being awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2000 and again in 2005." - University of Westminster website.