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For well over a century, we've been focusing on providing professional opportunities for young men and women

Key events and milestones for London South Bank University (LSBU) are highlighted in our timeline. For more information contact our department for Archives and Information Compliance.


The South London Polytechnic Institute Council is established by Edric Bayley.


The Charity Commissioners pledge funds to set up three polytechnics in south London including one at the Elephant and Castle, to 'improve the mental and bodily health and social happiness' of local people.


The British & Foreign Schools Society Training College on Borough Road is purchased.


On 30 September Lord Rosebery officially opens the Borough Polytechnic Institute which becomes one of Britain's first great technical colleges and a model educational institution. C.T. Millis is appointed the Polytechnic's first principal.


Our first classes teach apprentices and tradesmen about local industries including brickwork and masonry, oils, colours and varnishes, plumbing, hat manufacture, bakery and leather tanning. Technical classes run for women in subjects such as cookery and dressmaking and 'General Knowledge' classes teach reading, writing and arithmetic, music and elocution. The Domestic Economy School for Girls opens with courses including waistcoat making, laundry and upholstery. The Technical Day School for Boys opens with courses including science and mechanics.


Roger Fry and members of the Bloomsbury Group complete murals decorating the students' dining room which are given to the Tate Gallery in 1931.


Ralph Vaughn Williams is made an adviser to the Music Department.


Courses are run for the army and munitions and supplies manufactured.


 JW Bispham becomes principal.


On 20 February the Duke of York opens new buildings changing the façade of the Borough Road building.


Dr DH Ingall becomes Principal.


Despite 13,000 square feet of the campus destroyed during the Blitz the Polytechnic runs classes for servicemen and produces gauges, jigs and machine components for the War Effort. The National Bakery and Trade Schools are evacuated to Exeter and the Women's Department serves meals to bombed out locals and runs war-time cookery and 'Mend and Make-Do' classes.


David Bomberg, today recognised as one of the finest British painters of the twentieth century, begins teaching Art. Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossof and Gustav Metzger attend his classes. The Borough Group is set up as a response to his teachings.


Dr JE Garside becomes Principal.


Mr Vivian Pereira-Mendoza becomes Principal.


On 9 July the Duke of Edinburgh opens the new extension buildings, allowing the Polytechnic to expand its courses and student numbers.


On 1 September the Polytechnic of the South Bank forms from the merger of the Borough Polytechnic with the Brixton School of Building, City of Westminster College and the National College for Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration and Fan Engineering. These mergers allow us to develop new courses in areas such as architecture, property development studies, chemical engineering and business studies. In 1971 Margaret Thatcher attends the designation ceremony of the new Polytechnic.


Battersea College of Education and part of the Rachel McMillan College of Education merge with the polytechnic.


Dr John Beishon becomes Director.


Pauline Perry becomes the Polytechnic's first female director. On 1 September, The Polytechnic of the South Bank is renamed South Bank Polytechnic.


The National Bakery School (NBS), established in 1894 and today the oldest bakery school in the world, bakes a cake to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the office of Lord Mayor of London.


South West London College and the Central Catering College at Waterloo merges with the Polytechnic.


On 18 June we are awarded University status becoming South Bank University and in September celebrate our Centenary. Christopher McLaren becomes the University's first Chancellor and Pauline Perry its first Vice-Chancellor.


Prof. Gerald Bernbaum becomes Vice-Chancellor.


Redwood College of Health Studies merges with the University.


The Charles West School of Nursing (founded in 1878 and part of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) merges with the University.


Sir Trevor McDonald becomes Chancellor.


Prof. Deian Hopkin becomes Vice-Chancellor. The University establishes campuses at Whipps Cross and Havering for health courses.


On 1 September we become London South Bank University. The Keyworth Centre opens in December with innovative teaching and conference facilities.


Prof. Martin Earwicker becomes Vice-Chancellor. K2 opens, a landmark building at the forefront of building sustainability.


The University celebrated its 120th anniversary. The LSBU's new Student Centre opened. The new centre brought the University's employability, development and student services together under one roof. Its key features include Student Life Centre – a drop-in service for student information and advice, new Students' Union, catering outlets and new areas for socialising.


Prof. David Phoenix becomes Vice-Chancellor.


The University's infrastructure was refined into seven Schools, and divisions within these Schools specialising in particular disciplines.

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