Higher Education Postcard: Queen Elizabeth College

This week’s card from Hugh Jones’ postbag shows that demergers and mergers in higher education are not a new idea

Hugh Jones is a freelance HE consultant. You’ll find a daily #HigherEducationPostcard if you follow him on Twitter.

Greetings from London! This week’s postcard shows Queen Elizabeth College, which, maybe, you haven’t heard of. Let’s put that straight.

In 1882 King’s College London, then more than fifty years old, amended its constitution, via an Act of Parliament (as is necessary for chartered universities). One element of this was to add the education of women to the college’s charitable objects. And in furtherance of this, the college established in 1885, a “Ladies Department”.

This was separate to the Strand campus, being based in Kensington Square. in 1902, in an early display of wokery, it changed its name to the King’s College London Women’s Department.

There was then a rollercoaster of change – in 1908 it became King’s College for Women, and in 1915, a new campus was opened in Campden Hill Road, Kensington, housing the Household and Social Science Department. This is the building shown on the card. The cllege’s other departments were relocated to the Strand campus.

The BSc in Household and Social Science offered by the College was clearly popular, and the College’s facilities proved inadequate. Here’s a telling photo (and caption) from the Illustrated London News in 1922:

In 1928 the college formally became independent from King’s College London, and was known as King’s College of Household and Domestic Science, part of the University of London. In 1953 it changed its name again to Queen Elizabeth College. I suspect in honour of the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth.

The college and its facilities continued to grow, with laboratory space added in the 1960s. But the 1980s heralded the end of independence – in 1985 the college (along with parts of Chelsea College) merged with King’s College London, and the Campden Hill Road site became the focus for biosciences provision at the enlarged institution.

In 2000 the site was sold by King’s College London. On Academy Gardens, apartments in Campden Hill Road, you can find only traces of the Queen Elizabeth College.

One response to “Higher Education Postcard: Queen Elizabeth College

  1. Lovely to see this postcard. I studied Environmental Science on the Queen Elizabeth College site when it was part of King’s College, London. It was a quirky mix of traditional (old wooden panelled lecture rooms) and new (1970s labs) in a strangely upmarket part of London for a young student. When I returned some years later, the new had been demolished and the old turned into gated apartments. I still have the memories though!

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