The University of Westminster has celebrated its 175th anniversary here with its Chancellor Lord Swraj Paul lauding the institution's century-old link with its Indian alumni.
Addressing the distinguished guests last night, Lord Paul, leading NRI industrialist said, "the University of Westminster is a world leader in photography, film and media, being ranked 19th in the QS World Rankings."
"The University of Westminster enjoys a long history of global outreach. We were the first to develop a formal partnership with China in 1977. Today we have alumni in more than 150 countries worldwide. Our scholarships programme to support talented international students is one of the largest in the UK," he said.
Lord Paul said "our earliest records of alumni in India date back to 1906 when members of 'Our Foreign Legion', as it was known paid two shillings and sixpence each year to be members of our embryonic alumni association!" "Today we have a thriving Indian Alumni Association, led by Dr Vikram Mathur, a graduate of 1978; we have a permanent base in Delhi to support our alumni network, institutional partnerships and potential students, and the University is widely recognised as a world leader in research on Indian Media and Film."
The University opened its doors as the Polytechnic Institution in August 1838. Founded by the 'father of aviation', Sir George Cayley, the institution is committed to the advancement of practical science and new technologies to transform professional lives.
Lord Paul, who is also Chancellor of Wolverhampton University, recalled that for the price of one shilling, visitors could see steam-driven machines in motion and witness the wonders of electricity, for another shilling, they could descend under water in a diving bell.
After a visit on December 9, 1840, by Prince Albert, newly married to Queen Victoria, the name of the institution was changed to The Royal Polytechnic Institution.