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Ruth Valentine The Making of Queen Mary, University of London
Page 1: The Making of Queen Mary University of London

The proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Queen Mary,University of London Foundation, which provides scholarships andsupport for gifted young people to access a world-class education atQueen Mary.

Registered charity number: 1113376


isbn 978-0-9567899-9-0

The Making of Queen Mary, University of London captures some of the most impressive achievements of the last quarter of a century. It charts the mergers of four once separate institutions in the 1980s: St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, The London HospitalMedical College, Westfield College, and Queen Mary College.

An important account of QM’s recent history, it details the ambitiousphysical development of the campuses, the exciting and first-rateresearch carried out by our staff, and the energy and enthusiasm for learning instilled in our students.

Today, Queen Mary is one of the largest multi-faculty colleges of the University of London, with 3,000 staff, and 17,000 students.

The M

aking of Queen M

ary, University of L

ondon Ruth V


Ruth Valentine

The Making of Queen Mary,University of London

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This book is published in the 127th year of the College that is now Queen Mary,University of London. It tells the story

of the College's past 27 years, which have seen itgrow not only in size and breadth of academic endeavour, but also in stature. The institutionwhich I am privileged to lead in 2012 is confident,innovative and outward-looking.

At the time of writing this book, the environmentfor English higher education is the most challengingthat we have witnessed for a generation. Duringsuch a period, it is helpful to remind ourselves ofthe characteristics and attributes that really defineQueen Mary as an institution, so that these canhelp guide us as we navigate through difficult times.

A natural starting point to achieving this definitionis our long and rich history, the latter part ofwhich is so well covered in this publication. The origins of Queen Mary go back 127 years tothe founding of the People’s Palace, with its remit to provide entertainment and education to the population of the East End of London.Meanwhile, Westfield College had been establishedelsewhere in the capital, devoted to the provisionof higher education to women. Queen Mary andWestfield merged in 1989; a few years later theywere joined by the combined medical schools ofthe London Hospital in Whitechapel and St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London.

The thread running through all these antecedentinstitutions was service to their local communitiesin the City and East End of London, and community engagement remains an integral partof Queen Mary in the 21st Century. Indeed wecontinue to lead the sector in this area, a fact exemplified by the recent launch of the Centre forPublic Engagement, which will support our staff

and students and their work with external partners– businesses, charities, community organisations,government, and the wider public – ensuring thatthis work achieves a lasting social and economicimpact.

Alongside these more obvious activities, one of the most important ways in which we contribute toour local communities is by being a university ofthe highest distinction, as judged by national andinternational standards. We can therefore takegreat pride in our academic achievements, whichare encapsulated in our admission to the RussellGroup set of leading UK universities in August2012. This is the perhaps-unique combination thatdefines Queen Mary – a research-led university thatbears comparison with the best in the world and aninstitution that remains totally committed to itslocal community.

Whether the environment is benign or challenging,we must continually remind ourselves of our essential character and of our central commitmentto students – not only to provide essential skills, to improve employability and earning power, butcritically to ensure that they are equipped and motivated to make a greater contribution to UKsociety or the societies to which they return.

This has been the enduring mission for QM and it will continue to be so, and this clarity of purposeequips us to face a future that will no doubt include presently unforeseen challenges but alsomajor successes. Without complacency but withquiet confidence, I expect to see a continuing rise in the stature, both national and international, of Queen Mary, University of London.

Professor Simon Gaskell, Principal September 2012



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Foreword, by the Principal, Professor Simon Gaskell v

Preface vii

Acknowledgments viii

Timeline of key dates x

Part 1: The time of mergers1 The story so far 2

2 1985 10

3 The merger with Westfield 16

4 1986–1989 22

5 1990–1995 28

6 The merger with the Medical Colleges 34

In focus: medicine and dentistry

7 The Dental School, 1911 44

8 Cardiovascular research, 1986 52

9 Barts Cancer Institute, 2003 58

Part 2: The complete College10 1996–2000 66

11 2001–2005 72

12 2006–2012 84

In focus: humanities and social sciences

13 The Centre for Commercial Law Studies, 1980 94

14 Linguistics, 1989 100

15 The Centre for Renaissance and

Early Modern Studies, 2003 106


ContentsPart 3: Internal and external

16 The Library 114

17 The Built Environment 122

18 Life as a student 134

19 Our students in the future 140

20 The College, the East End and the Olympics 146

21 Our international outlook 154

In focus: science and engineering

22 The Particle Physics Research Group, 1960 162

23 ApaTech, 1991 168

24 The BUPT partnership, 2003 172

Part 4: The future25 2012 and beyond 180

Appendicesa Officeholders 188

b Student headcount 189

c Total income 190

d Research grants and contracts 191

e RAE 2008 ranking 192

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1123 St Bartholomew’s Hospital founded

1740 The London Hospital founded

1785 The London Hospital Medical College opens

1843 St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College established

1882 Westfield College founded

1885 Decision to create a People’s Palace in the East End. The Drapers’ Company provides £20,000 tofound the Technical Schools

1887 People’s Palace Technical Schools are founded

1896 People’s Palace Technical Schools become East London Technical College

1900 St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College and The London Hospital Medical College becomeconstituent colleges of the University of London

1902 Westfield College admitted as a temporary schoolof the University of London, made permanent in1919

1905 East London Technical College becomes East London College

1907 East London College admitted as a school of the University of London

1911 The Dental School at The London Hospital opens

1934 East London College incorporated as Queen Mary College

1939– Wartime evacuations: 1945 Queen Mary College to King’s College, Cambridge

Westfield College to St Peter’s Hall, Oxford

St Bartholomew’s pre-clinical students to Queen’s College, Cambridge

The London’s pre-clinical students to St Catherine’s College, Cambridge

1964 Male students admitted to Westfield College

1968 Association between St Bartholomew’s HospitalMedical College and The London HospitalMedical College proposed

1972 The Murray Report on the governance of theUniversity of London published


Timeline of key dates

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1984 The Faculty of Science at Westfield College transfers to Queen Mary College

1985 The Jarratt Committee publishes its report on the need for universities to provide evidence of efficiency and accountability for public funds

1988 The Westfield Trust is established to conserve and protect the original objects of the College’sCharter, including its religious principles and theeducation of women.

1989 Merger of Queen Mary College and Westfield College

1990 250th anniversary of The London Hospital, now renamed The Royal London Hospital

1992 Sir Bernard Tomlinson’s Report of the Inquiryinto the London Health Service published

1992 Merger of Barts and The Royal London Hospitalsand their medical and dental schools, which become Barts and The London School ofMedicine and Dentistry

1995 Merger of Barts and The London School ofMedicine and Dentistry with Queen Mary andWestfield College

2000 The College adopts the working name QueenMary, University of London, retaining its legaltitle as Queen Mary and Westfield College

2004 Westfield Student Village (phase 1) opens on theMile End Campus

2005 The Blizard Building, home to Barts and TheLondon’s Blizard Institute of Cell and MolecularScience opens in Whitechapel

2006 The Octagon, the original library of the People’sPalace, reopens after refurbishment

2007 The Women@Queen Mary exhibition is staged inthe Octagon, marking 125 years of WestfieldCollege and 120 years of Queen Mary College

2008 Queen Mary, University of London is ranked 13thout of 132 UK higher education institutions by theTimes Higher Education Supplement, following the 2008 RAE

2012 Queen Mary, University of London joins theRussell Group of leading UK universities

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Part 1:The time of mergers

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The story so far


The People’s Palace, 1891, as depicted by ER Robson, architect.© Tower Hamlets Local History Library

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In 2012, Queen Mary, University of London,with its 16,900 students and 3,800 staff, is amodern, multidisciplinary college of the

University of London. In 1985, there was only the small, highly focused establishment known as Queen Mary College, and the three other institutions that were yet to join it: WestfieldCollege, The London Hospital Medical Collegeand St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College.

Visualise Queen Mary College in 1985. The familiar clock tower, and behind it the main building with its classical portico. To the left, the1930s People’s Palace, with its Eric Gill bas-reliefpanels of the Muses, depicting Drama, Music andso on, then the long facade of the EngineeringBuilding, followed by the Mathematics Building.To the right, the Physics Department and thesmall, domed Chaplaincy of St Benet; then commercial buildings, and behind them variousopen spaces: the Nuevo Beth Chaim Cemetery forSephardic Jews, with its flat tombstones; grassland;a busy industrial site; the Regent’s Canal.

Imagine the students coming out: most of themmale, a large proportion of them white, in groupsof ones and twos. An ordinary sight for a university of the time, especially one focused onscience and engineering, where women were still in the minority.

Queen Mary, University of London, 2012. The 1960s Mathematical Sciences’ Building has adazzling new ground-floor facade. But the moststartling change is to the east, between the Queens’Building and the Regent’s Canal. With the exception of the Jewish burial ground, the wholesite now belongs to the College: a new Library,

elegant teaching and research buildings, cafés, and campus shops; in addition to low-rise student residences of almost 2,000 rooms, with views of the canal and Mile End Park.

Then there are the students. Large numbers ofthem, emerging from lectures and independentstudy, from the Students’ Union, the cafés and the Library. No longer predominantly male, norwhite, nor middle class: this is a student body truly representative of London, the most diversecity in the world, and the East End, its traditionallanding-stage. There are young people of African,Afro-Caribbean, Asian, European, South Asianand Chinese origin, and no way – or need at this moment – to know which of them are second- or indeed fifth-generation British, and which havecome here to study from overseas.

Nor in 2012 is Mile End the only place where wefind QM students. The College has extended westward to Whitechapel, and beyond the EastEnd as far as Charterhouse Square, just north ofthe ancient walls of the City of London, andLincoln’s Inn Fields. Commercial Law studentswalk past the Royal Courts of Justice and barristers’ chambers; medical students cross from the tranquillity of Charterhouse Square to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the oldest in London.In Whitechapel, researchers work in new purpose-built labs, in the dramatic Alsop-designedBlizard Building; dental students see patients in awalk-in clinic, a hundred yards from the greatdomed East London Mosque. And any of thesestudents may meet in the evening, back at MileEnd, in the Student Village overlooking the narrow-boats and ducks of the Regent’s Canal.


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Queen Mary, University of London is one of thelargest colleges of the federal University ofLondon. It was formed by two mergers: that ofQueen Mary College with Westfield College in1989, and the resulting institution with the previously merged St Bartholomew’s Hospital andThe London Hospital Medical Colleges in 1995.

The main campus at Mile End was historically thehome of Queen Mary College (QMC), and beganlife as the People’s Palace, a philanthropic venturethat provided the people of east London with a centre for education, as well as cultural and socialactivities. A little more detail about each of thefour institutions that together make up QM follows.

St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical CollegeSt Bartholomew’s Hospital was founded in 1123, by Rahere, jester to King Henry I. Barts, as theHospital is commonly known, is still on the samesite in Smithfield, in the City of London. It has afascinating history, and its archives illustrate themany developments made in the long history ofmedicine.

Barts had its first purpose-built lecture theatre constructed in 1791; in 1822 its Governors approved the provision of medical education.Training to date had been informal, based on observation, with little practical engagement.During the 1820s and 1830s teaching provision atBarts expanded. A residential college was opened,and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical Collegewas formally inaugurated in 1843.

In 1900, Barts became a college of the Universityof London, in the Faculty of Medicine. Nursingalso has a long history at Barts; the Hospital’s

School of Nursing and Midwifery is now based at City University.

The London Hospital Medical CollegeThe London Hospital in Whitechapel was foundedin 1740; until 1748 it was known as The LondonInfirmary. The Medical College was founded in1785 by William Blizard (now commemorated inthe stunning Blizard Building) and JamesMaddocks. It was England’s first medical school,and offered a pioneering model of medical education, teaching theory as well as clinical skills. The teaching premises were expanded with the new Garrod Building in Turner Street. This wascompleted in 1898 and is still in use today. LikeBarts, in 1900 The London Hospital MedicalCollege became a constituent college of theUniversity of London in the Faculty of Medicine.

Between the two World Wars, medical students at The London studied biology, chemistry andphysics for the first MB (the first part of theBachelor of Medicine) at QM, before going on to sit their second MB at The London.

The Dental School at The London opened in 1911.It grew significantly in the early 1960s, to accommodate expanding student numbers. Readmore about the history of the current Institute ofDentistry in chapter 7.

The association between St Bartholomew’sHospital Medical College and The LondonHospital Medical College developed as a result ofthe Royal Commission on Medical Education in1968: new links were established with Queen MaryCollege at the same time. The story of the mergers,first between the two medical colleges and thenwith QM, is told in chapter 6.


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chapter 1 · the story so far

Low-relief panels on the outside of the People’s Palace by Eric Gill. They depict Drama, Music, Fellowship, Dance, Sport and Recreation

The front of The Royal LondonHospital in 2011.

The London Hospital Medical College, c.1950.© Royal London Hospital Archives

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the making of queen mary, university of london

Westfield College.

Westfield College staff and students, 1904. ©Queen Mary, University of London Archives

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Westfield College Westfield College was founded in 1882 as a residential college, one of a small number of nineteenth-century higher education institutionsfor women. Its founders shared a vision of ‘HigherChristian Education for Women.’ They modelledtheir establishment on the existing women’s colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. The chosen sitewas in Hampstead, and Ann Dudin Brown, one ofthe founders, provided £10,000 in set-up costs.

From its inception in 1882, the College was officially an examining body, and in 1898 wasrecognised by the University of London as a teaching body as well. In 1902, it was given temporary admission to the University as a school in the Faculty of Arts. In 1905, a science department was opened, concentrating on botany.

In 1919, the trust deed of the College was changed,to delete the requirement that all members of theCollege Council should belong to the Church ofEngland. With this alteration, the University of London approved Westfield College as a full member of the University, and agreed to an annualgrant. Four members of staff were given the title of University Reader, and in 1925 Caroline Skeel became University Professor of History. (Thearchive room in the QM Library and a lecture theatre are named after her). By 1929, the Collegehad the full privileges of a school of the Universityof London, and in 1932 it was granted its RoyalCharter.

In 1963, the College agreed to proposals “that menstudents shall be admitted to the College”, whichhad been debated over a number of years, and the Charter was amended to allow this in 1964.The first intake of over a hundred male studentswas in 1965. The merger of Westfield and QM isrecounted in chapter 3.

Queen Mary CollegeThe East London Technical College, (formerly thePeople’s Palace technical schools), was opened byQueen Victoria at a grand ceremony in 1887, amidmuch local celebration.

The People’s Palace was a philanthropic projectinitiated by the Beaumont Trust, to provide eastLondoners with both education and social activities. The plan reflected a growing awarenessof the social and economic conditions of eastLondon, described in 1882 by Walter Besant in his novel All Sorts and Conditions of Men: AnImpossible Story. Besant imagined a “palace of delights” in the East End, bringing culture andpractical education to its “teeming hordes”.

The People’s Palace was “a place where people ofall classes and conditions [could] congregate” and“its Library, its Music, its Pictures, its Lectures, its Literature Classes, and its Technical Schools[would] offer to all the means of thought andknowledge which feed aspiration”2. The librarywas located in the Octagon (still standing), and was heavily used by the local community.

In 1896, the People’s Palace technical schools became the East London Technical College, and evening classes prepared students for theUniversity of London and Civil Service entranceexams. From its earliest days, the College had particular strengths in science and engineering. It also taught domestic science, millinery anddressmaking.

In 1902, the College began to award University of London undergraduate degrees, and in 1905it changed its name to East London College. The College’s new aim was to promote higher education in east London, moving away from the locally-focused vocational training of the past.In 1907, East London College formally became aschool of the University of London, in theFaculties of Arts, Science and Engineering. Two years later, the College accepted students from The London Hospital Medical Collegepreparing for their first MB.


chapter 1 · the story so far

2. Besant, W. (1882) All Sorts and Conditions of Men: An Impossible Story. London, Chatto & Windus.

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The leisure activities of the People’s Palace continued all through these years, until the 1950s.The Queen’s Hall of the People’s Palace burntdown in 1931, and the Palace agreed to move fromits base, in what is now the Queens’ Building, to a new building next door. The old People’s Palacerooms were taken over by the College. In 1934, at a ceremony attended by Queen Mary, the Collegewas renamed Queen Mary College. Today the1930s People’s Palace building (acquired by theCollege in 1953) houses the Skeel Lecture Theatreand the Great Hall, used for concerts and Collegeceremonies, including – very importantly – graduation.

The first Aeronautical Engineering department inthe UK was established at QM as far back as 1907.Given its established strengths in science and engineering, QM kept up with advances in technology, and computer science was taught atMile End from 1968.

The Drapers’ Company and the CollegeThroughout its existence, QM has been supportedby the Drapers’ Company. When the BeaumontTrust was planning the People’s Palace in 1884, theDrapers’ Company agreed to sell the Bancroft’sHospital site in Mile End for its use. The Hospitalsite had previously been used for a school andalmshouse. On 20 May 1885, the Drapers’ Court of Assistants granted £20,000 specifically for ‘theprovision of the technical schools of the People’sPalace.’

The Drapers’ Company of the City of London was originally a medieval guild for the draperytrade. Early guilds or companies acted as mutualprotection societies for their members. TheDrapers’ Company was probably founded in 1361,and was granted its first Royal Charter in 1364;though an informal association existed as early as1180. Links with the cloth industry have recentlybeen re-established, with exhibitions, postgraduateand teaching awards and sponsorship, in textile design, conservation and technology. The Drapers’Company today has a range of responsibilities, including the administration of charitable trustsand almshouses. A recent development is the co-sponsorship with QM of the Drapers’ Academy

secondary school in Havering, east London: chapter 19 tells this story.

Historically, a member of the Drapers’ Companyacted as Chair of the QM College Council. Recentmembers of the College who became members ofthe Company include Sir Christopher France(Chair of Council, 1995–2003), Dr Colette Bowe(Chair of Council 2003–2009, Professor GrahamZellick (Principal, 1990–1998), Professor SirAdrian Smith (Principal, 1998–2008), andProfessor Philip Ogden (Senior Vice-Principal,2005–2011). Professor Zellick was Master of theCompany in 2009–10.

The Company continues to fund College prizes,lectures and awards. The annual Drapers’ Prizes for Developments in Learning and Teaching wereestablished to recognise excellence in these fields.The Drapers’ Skills Award is given to students who gain practical skills and experience from anadditional module, designed to prepare them for the transition to work.

The College has also introduced an annualDrapers’ Lecture on Learning and Teaching, and this has brought in distinguished speakers, including Baroness Estelle Morris, formerSecretary of State for Education. The Drapers’Chair of Law was named in recognition of the support the Company has given to the Faculty of Laws.


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chapter 1 · the story so far

St Bartholomew’s Hospital Henry VIII Gate, 1899.© St Bartholomew’s Hospital Archives

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