Northeastern First US-based higher education institution to earn a UK “university title”

Northeastern is the first US-based higher education institution to be granted a “university title” by the English higher education regulator, the Office for Students.

When Northeastern merged with the New College of the Humanities in London in February 2019, the school’s name was changed to NCH at Northeastern. On Wednesday, history was made when it became Northeastern University – London.

Use of the word ‘university’ is protected by law in the UK and may not be used without explicit approval, which has been granted to Northeastern by the Office for Students, the independent regulator of the higher education in England. The approval followed a rigorous regulatory process. Susan Lapworth, acting chief executive of the Office for Students, said students need reassurance that a higher education provider using the title “university” will live up to its name. Northeastern, founded in 1898, has more than 27,000 students at 13 global campuses.

“Protecting the use of the term ‘university’ by carefully reviewing an institution’s suitability for that title means that the (Student Office) is protecting the reputation of the entire industry,” Lapworth said.

This is the first time that the Student Office, founded in 2018, has granted permission to use the title of university. Northeastern University – London, which is owned by Northeastern, has also been approved by Companies House, the Registrar of Companies in the UK.

“We are very grateful that the Student Union has granted approval for Northeastern to have a college credential,” said Mary Ludden, Northeastern’s senior vice president for global network and strategic initiatives. “Northeastern’s experiential learning model, coupled with the heritage of the New College of Humanities, has created a truly unique experience at Northeastern University – London, where our learners discover and explore the intersection of the worlds of humanities, digital and organic while studying in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Lapworth said she was delighted that the Student Council was able to approve this new name for Northeastern University – London.

“Supporting growth and innovation in the higher education sector enables greater choice and equal opportunity for students,” she said.

Last summer, Northeastern’s London campus moved from Bedford Square in Bloomsbury to a new, larger location at St. Katharine Dock in central London. It is now spread over three floors of Devon House with 48,000 square feet of space with classrooms, cafes, study cabins, conference rooms, and administrative and academic offices.

On July 1, Northeastern merged with Mills College in Oakland, California to create Mills College at Northeastern University.

The London and Oakland campuses – both offering undergraduate and graduate degrees – are flagship campuses in Northeastern’s global network, which also includes campuses in Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Seattle and Silicon Valley, as well as Portland, Maine; Charlotte, North Carolina; Arlington, Virginia, and Burlington and Nahant, Massachusetts.

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