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LSBU History

Starting life as the Borough Road Polytechnic, London South Bank University has been part of the local landscape for over a century and is today one of the capital’s oldest and largest universities.

Our unique history means our alumni span many generations and are based all over the world. Take a look at the timeline to see where you fit in to LSBU's success story.


Borough Polytechnic Institute The Borough Polytechnic Institute

1 October 1892 Borough Polytechnic Institute opens 'In 1892, charitable funds and personal donations from the City and South London were brought together in a spirit of social philanthropy and economic pragmatism. Through the combined generosity of the City and the people of South London, the Borough Road Polytechnic, one of Britain’s first, was created.'


1 September 1970 Borough Polytechnic becomes Polytechnic of the South Bank. 1 April 1970 Polytechnic of the South Bank joins with:

  • National Bakery School - founded 1894
  • Brixton School of Building - founded 1904 and known as the London County Council School of Building until 1943
  • City of Westminster College - founded c1918 as St. George’s Institute and renamed City of Westminster College in 1959
  • National College of Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration and Fan Engineering established 1947.

In 1976 Polytechnic of the South Bank joins with:

  • Battersea College of Education – founded 1894 and known as the Battersea Polytechnic Institute until 1964, which incorporated Battersea Training College of Domestic Sciences (founded 1948 at Manor House) and Battersea Training College (founded 19th century) at New Kent Road.


1987 Polytechnic of the South Bank becomes South Bank Polytechnic.


1990/1 - South Bank Polytechnic accredited for research degrees.

1991 - South Bank Polytechnic joins with:

  • South West London College – named 1966, incorporating earlier colleges
  • Central Catering College.

1992 - South Bank Polytechnic becomes South Bank University and starts awarding its own degrees.

1995 - South Bank University joins with:

  • Redwood College of Health Studies
  • Great Ormond Street School of Nursing.


1 September 2003, 100 years after the first students graduated from The Borough Polytechnic Institute, South Bank University becomes London South Bank University.

In 2004, teaching is split into four Faculties – Arts and Human Sciences; Business Computing and Information Management; Engineering Science and the Built Environment; and Health and Social Care.

October 2006, the Alumni Society is relaunched as the LSBU Alumni Association.