UCL was established in 1826 to open up education in England for the first time to students of any race, class or religion. Its founding principles of academic excellence and research aimed at addressing real-world problems, inform the university’s ethos to this day.

More than 6,000 academic and research staff are dedicated to research and teaching of the highest standards. Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 29 former academics and graduates and UCL ranks consistently amongst the most-cited universities in the world.

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As London’s Global University, UCL has the opportunity and the obligation to use the breadth of its intellectual expertise to help resolve some of the world’s major problems. We are seizing this opportunity to develop an innovative cross-disciplinary research agenda, which will enable us to understand and address significant issues in their full complexity. Our vision extends beyond the common understanding of what a university is; we aim not just to generate knowledge, but to deliver a culture of wisdom – that is, an academic environment committed to the judicious application of knowledge for the good of humanity.

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Kenyans stage a rare protest against Uganda’s tough stance on homosexuality. Ben Curtis/AP

200-year-old text sheds light on Uganda’s homophobic bill

In Uganda, the President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a bill which will punish same-sex relations with fourteen years’ imprisonment. Next to this, Vladimir Putin’s support of the 2013 Russian legislation…
Much more to be done in fertilising the green economy. Niall Carson/PA

Less talk, more walk required to green the economy

The idea of the “green economy” goes in and out of fashion, not least because it is rarely defined and frequently misunderstood. Partly this is because different groups find ways to exaggerate the aspects…
Did your mother read too? shaggy359

Class drives equality gap in England’s adult skills

Adults in England have a very unequal spread of basic skills – some are highly skilled while others do poorly at literacy and numeracy tests. It’s likely that entrenched inequality in our education system…
Lava-flooded craters and large expanses of smooth volcanic plains on Mercury’s surface. NASA

Explosive volcanoes light up Mercury’s deep past

Mercury has long been a mystery to scientists. Until recently, knowledge of the planet was limited to the grey, patchy landscape revealed by the Mariner 10 probe, NASA’s first mission to Mercury in the…
There’s been plenty pumped: how much more is there? Arne Hückelheim

Explainer: whatever happened to the threat of peak oil?

Despite the arguments that once raged and the considerable volumes written to advocate certain viewpoints and disparage others, interest in peak oil is at an all time low. Indeed some commentators have…
You’ll need ID for that. Michael Dorausch

E-cigarettes are too good to quit, but not for under 18s

The sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s is to be banned under new legislation, which will also see adults prohibited from buying cigarettes to then give or sell to youngsters. Current evidence suggests that…
It looks like you’re playing a ukulele. Would you like to buy some quinoa? Lilah Shepherd

Computer sees your hipster haircut, sells you a plaid shirt

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, are developing an algorithm that aims to identify whether you’re a hipster, a goth or a punk, just from the cut of your social media jib. The team…
Cash or cold? It doesn’t need to be this way. Help the Aged/PA

Missed chance to seal draughts and make heat affordable to all

In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor fulfilled the pledge to roll back the “green taxes” in order to “save” families £50 a year from their household energy bil. In doing so he has missed an opportunity…
This little thing changed the world. Science Museum London

A world without antibiotics would be a dark place indeed

The introduction into clinical practice of antibiotics is arguably the most significant medical advance of the 20th century. Together with immunisation and better public sanitation, they’ve had a significant…

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