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Timeline

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.

1887 

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

1888

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.

1890

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

1892

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.

1890s

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.

1911

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

1914

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

1914-1918

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

1922

 JW Bispham becomes principal.

1930

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

1933

Dr DH Ingall becomes Principal.

1939-1945

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.

1945

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.

1956

Dr JE Garside becomes Principal.

1965

Mr Vivian Pereira-Mendoza becomes Principal.

1969

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

1970

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.

1976

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

1978

Dr John Beishon becomes Director.

1987

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

1989

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.

1991

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

1992

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.

1993

Prof. Gerald Bernbaum becomes Vice-Chancellor.

1994

Redwood College of Health Studies merges with the University.

1995

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

1999

Sir Trevor McDonald becomes Chancellor.

2001

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

2003

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

2009

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

2012

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.

2014

Prof. David Phoenix becomes Vice-Chancellor.

2015

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

 
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