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Goldsmiths, University of London

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Goldsmiths College, University of London
Established1904 - Constituent College of University of London
1891 - Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute
WardenProfessor Geoffrey Crossick
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
AffiliationsUniversity of London
Association of Commonwealth Universities
1994 Group
The Richard Hoggart Building
The Ben Pimlott Building
The Library
Deptford Town Hall Building

Goldsmiths, University of London, is a constituent college of the University of London. Based in New Cross, London, Goldsmiths specialises in the teaching and research of creative, cultural and cognitive disciplines. The institution was founded in 1891 as Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. It was acquired by the University of London in 1904 and was renamed Goldsmiths' College. The word 'College' was dropped from its branding in 2006 (however "Goldsmiths' College", with the apostrophe, remains the institution's formal legal name).[3]



In 1891, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths set up the Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute (more commonly referred to simply as the "Goldsmiths' Institute"[4]), dedicated to "the promotion of technical skill, knowledge, health and general well-being among men and women of the industrial, working and artisan classes". The Institute was based in New Cross at the former Royal Naval School building. (This building, which was designed by the architect John Shaw Jr, is now known as the Richard Hoggart Building and remains the main building of the campus today.)

In 1904, the Institute was acquired by the University of London and was re-established as Goldsmiths' College. (The apostrophe was removed in a rebranding in 1993.) Shortly after the acquisition, in 1907, the college added a new arts building, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, to the back of the main building. During the Second World War it was decided to evacuate the students and faculty of the college to University College, Nottingham, a decision that proved wise when the main building was struck by an incendiary bomb and gutted in 1940 (the building was finally repaired in 1947). During the 1960s the college experienced a rapid expansion in student numbers, and the main building was expanded and the Lockwood Building, Whitehead Building, Education Building, Warmington Tower and St James's Hall were all built during this period in order to accommodate the new students. The college has also come to acquire some historic buildings in the surrounding area including the former Deptford Town Hall and Laurie Grove Baths buildings. In 1988 Goldsmiths became a full college of the University of London and in 1990 received its Royal Charter. Among its wardens have been Richard Hoggart and Ben Pimlott.

Goldsmiths has been highly-ranked by The Good University Guide as the top London institution for the study of media, communications, music and visual arts.


The college is situated in New Cross, a highly populated area of south-east London with a considerable art and music scene. The closest underground stations are New Cross and New Cross Gate, however, due to upgrade work that started in 2008, the tube stations are closed until Summer 2010 when they will be integrated into the London Overground Network. There is still railway service running from New Cross Gate to central London area (e.g. Charing Cross, London Bridge, etc.).

The college's main Richard Hoggart Building was originally designed as a school (opened in 1844) by the architect John Shaw Jr (1803–1870). In addition to this the college has built many more modern buildings to develop more of a campus, including the RIBA award-winning Rutherford Building completed in 1997 and the Ben Pimlott Building designed by Will Alsop and completed in 2005.

Research and teaching

Goldsmiths is best known for courses and research relating to creativity and culture, and has a reputation for producing visual artists, particularly those collectively known as YBA. The college's Art department is often referred to[by whom?] as being one of Britain's most prestigious and culturally important, producing the YBA's art collective and over 20 Turner Prize nominees. This reputation was largely established by the influence of Michael Craig-Martin, Jon Thompson, Nick De Ville and Irit Rogoff as teaching staff.

Goldsmiths' Sociology department has been important in the recent development of the discipline in Britain, with leading sociologists such as Paul Gilroy, Bev Skeggs, Nikolas Rose, Don Slater, Celia Lury, Les Back, and Jeffrey Alexander, working in the department in recent years.

TERU, the Technology Education Research Unit, has been instrumental in understanding how design & technology works in schools; how to encourage learners towards creative interventions that improve the made world; and how to help teachers to support that process. The Writing Purposefully in Art and Design Network (Writing-PAD) has its main Writing-PAD Centre at Goldsmiths. The network now spans some 50 institutions across the art and design sector with 6 national and 2 International Writing PAD Centres.

Goldsmiths is well-known for Cultural Studies. The Media and Communications Department, as well as the Centre for Cultural Studies, house some leading scholars in this field including James Curran, Scott Lash, Angela McRobbie, Sara Ahmed, Nick Couldry, John Hutnyk, Sanjay Seth, and David Morley (scholar). In anthropology there are figures such as Stephen Nugent, Sophie Day, Catherine Alexander, Keith Hart and David Graeber, refused tenure at Yale in 2005 because of his political commitments. The Goldsmiths anthropology department is also well known for its focus on visual anthropology. The realm of continental philosophy is represented with academics such as Howard Caygill, Alexander Düttmann and visiting professors Andrew Benjamin and Bernard Stiegler.

Furthermore, in the area of Psychology there is Chris French a vocal sceptic of the paranormal who has appeared on television and radio on numerous occasions. Centre for Russian Music, director Alexander Ivashkin, is well known internationally for its outstanding archives (Prokofiev, Schnittke) and unique collections ( Stravinsky, Russian Piano Music first editions).

League tables arising from the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise all place Goldsmiths within the top 35 of research-intensive universities in the UK: 33rd in the Times Higher Education, 34th in The Guardian and 24th in The Independent. When it comes to the very peak of world-leading research, shown by the top 4* grade, Goldsmiths comes 9th. The Department of Sociology was placed joint first with three other departments, and 80% of activity in the Department of Media and Communications is placed in the two highest bands. In the previous (2001) RAE, Goldsmiths was awarded either 5 or 5* ratings in Anthropology, Art, Design, English, Media and Communications, Music, and Sociology departments.

UK University Rankings
Times Good University Guide45th[5]46th[6]52nd[7]45th[8]54th59th[9]62nd63rd53rd[10]48th48th50th51st50th54th=55th44th=46th=
Guardian University Guide39th[11]42nd[12]52nd[12]18th[13]23rd[14]31st[15]59th[10][16]
Sunday Times University Guide45th[17]45th=[6]46th[18]45th[19]45th[19]41st[18]34th[18]40th[18]46th[18]46th[18]43rd[18]49th=[18]
Independent / Complete37th[20]44th[21]51st[21]
Daily Telegraph51st[22]53rd=
THE World Rankings361st=[27]394th=426th=407th=

Student life

The College provides, amongst other things, catering facilities, a chaplaincy, a medical centre, a nursery and a gym for student use. Additionally, Goldsmiths Students' Union runs two bars, The Green Room and, above, The Stretch, which links across Dixon Road from the Richard Hoggart Building, hosts numerous entertainment events including karaoke, Jammy B's quiz on Tuesdays, the legendary Club Sandwich club night open until between 2 and 3am on Wednesdays and a variety of other nights often featuring indie music. The union also provides student representation[28] and runs both a student magazine (Smiths[29]) and a radio station broadcast online and locally by FM (Wired[30]). All Goldsmiths students are also able to make use of the facilities of the University of London Union.

The university also owns 7 halls of residence which offer accommodation for students:

  • Batavia Mews
  • Chesterman House
  • Dean House
  • Loring Hall
  • Surrey House
  • Surrey House Annexe
  • Raymont Hall

Sports, clubs, and traditions

Sports teams and societies are organised by the Goldsmiths Students' Union. The union runs 18 sports clubs, 11 of which compete in either University of London Union or BUCS leagues. In addition the union runs 35 societies, ranging from political societies and identity-oriented societies (for instance the Sikh society and the LGBT society) to interest societies (the Film Society and the on-campus radio station Wired are the two largest Societies at the college) and more.

An amateur opera company based in the college, Opera Gold, draws its cast from college members past and present.


For a listing of notable alumni see: Category:Alumni of Goldsmiths, University of London.

Goldsmiths' alumni have been influential in the fields of film, journalism, literature, theatre, music, politics, sport, and the visual arts.

See also


  1. ^ http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/finance/financial-statements-0708.pdf
  2. ^ a b c "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06". Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics. http://www.hesa.ac.uk/holisdocs/pubinfo/student/institution0506.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Rebranding FAQs". Goldsmiths, University of London. http://www.gold.ac.uk/rebrand/faq.php. Retrieved 2007-03-06. "it is now known as Goldsmiths, University of London. Apart from on formal, legal documents, you should now drop the word ‘College’ after Goldsmiths. The Art department is widely recognized as being one of Britain's most prestigious and culturally important, producing the YBA's art collective and over 20 Turner Prize nominees." 
  4. ^ "Goldsmiths' College archives"
  5. ^ "Times University Guide". The Times. London. http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_gug/gooduniversityguide.php. 
  6. ^ a b "Times University Guide". The Times. London. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/good_university_guide/. 
  7. ^ "Times University Guide". The Times. London. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/good_university_guide/. 
  8. ^ "The Times Good University Guide 2007 - Top Universities 2007 League Table". The Times. London. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/displayPopup/0,,102571,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  9. ^ "The Times Top Universities". The Times. London. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/displayPopup/0,,32607,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  10. ^ a b "The Table Of Tables". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/main.jhtml?xml=/education/2003/06/27/tefuni.xml. 
  11. ^ "The Guardian University Guide". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/table/2009/may/12/university-league-table. 
  12. ^ a b "The Guardian University Guide". The Guardian. http://education.guardian.co.uk/universityguide. 
  13. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian. http://browse.guardian.co.uk/education/2006?SearchBySubject=&FirstRow=20&SortOrderDirection=&SortOrderColumn=GuardianTeachingScore&Subject=Institution-wide&Institution=. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  14. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian. http://education.guardian.co.uk/universityguide2005/table/0,,-5163901,00.html?start=40&index=3&index=3. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  15. ^ "University ranking by institution 2004". The Guardian. http://education.guardian.co.uk/universityguide2004/table/0,,1222167,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  16. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian 2003 (University Guide 2004). http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/unitable/0,,-4668575,00.html. 
  17. ^ "Times University Guide". The Times. London. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/good_university_guide/article2124119.ece. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h "University ranking based on performance over 10 years" (PDF). London: Times Online. 2007. http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/pdfs/univ07ten.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  19. ^ a b "The Sunday Times University League Table" (PDF). The Sunday Times. London. http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/stug2006/stug2006.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  20. ^ "The Independent University League Table". The Independent. http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8726. 
  21. ^ a b "The Independent University League Table". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/higher/the-main-league-table-2009-813839.html. 
  22. ^ "University league table". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=HXFCSGXMNVABTQFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/07/30/ncambs430.xml. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  23. ^ "The FT 2003 University ranking". Financial Times 2003. http://www.grb.uk.com/448.0.html?cHash=5015838e9d&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=9&tx_ttnews%5Buid%5D=9. 
  24. ^ "FT league table 2001". FT league tables 2001. http://specials.ft.com/universities2001/FT3HLLAN6LC.html. 
  25. ^ "FT league table 1999-2000". FT league tables 1999-2000. http://specials.ft.com/ln/ftsurveys/industry/pdf/top100table.pdf. 
  26. ^ "FT league table 2000". FT league tables 2000. http://specials.ft.com/ln/ftsurveys/industry/scbbbe.htm. 
  27. ^ Goldsmiths university of london | Top Universities
  28. ^ Goldsmiths Students' Union
  29. ^ SMITHS Magazine 2007
  30. ^ Wired: Student radio for Goldsmiths College

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