The University of Surrey was established on 9 September 1966 with the grant of its Royal Charter, but its roots go back to the late 19th century.

The history of the University

Giving students a competitive edge for their future. That’s what we do, and it’s what we have been doing since our very first students passed through our doors in 1891.

The University was established with an aim to educate men and women who had a thirst for knowledge and a hunger to succeed. Whilst times have changed, our belief in the power of education and innovation remains the same.

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120 years: a history of shaping the future

In 2011, we celebrated the 120th anniversary of our foundation.

The institution has evolved significantly in that time, but some things have remained constant. We strongly believe that we should turn the new knowledge we generate into practical innovations that improve people’s lives. We want our students and academics to make a real impact on the world, for their own benefit as well as the advances they can help to bring about.

These are the attitudes that most clearly define us, and have done so for over 120 years.

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Here you can find information about the historical archives of the University of Surrey and its predecessor institution, Battersea Polytechnic (later known as Battersea College of Technology), which was founded in London in 1891.

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120th anniversary interviews

To celebrate the 120th anniversary of the University of Surrey in 2011, we have interviewed a variety of people who have contributed significantly to our past and present. Here, you can listen to the thoughts of a handful of people who have helped make Surrey what it is today.

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Battersea College of Technology

The University of Surrey was established on 9 September 1966 with the grant of its Royal Charter but its roots go back to a late 19th century concern to provide greater access to further and higher education for the 'poorer inhabitants' of London.

The forerunner of the University, the Battersea Polytechnic Institute (founded 1891, first students admitted 1894) began concentrating on science and technology from about 1920 and taught day and evening students for degrees of the University of London.

Its academic reputation steadily grew to the point in 1956 where it was one of the first colleges to be designated a 'college of advanced technology'. It was renamed Battersea College of Technology in 1957.

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