The University of East London (UEL) is a public university in the London Borough of Newham, London, England, based at three campuses in Stratford and Docklands, following the opening of University Square Stratford in September 2013.
UEL can trace its roots back to 1892 when the newly formed County Borough of West Ham decided to establish a West Ham Technical Institute to serve the local community. The Institute was to be a "people’s university" in the words of John Passmore Edwards, speaking at the building’s opening ceremony. The college provided courses in science, engineering and art, and also established its own internal degree courses in science and engineering, which were ratified by the University of London. In addition, it had a Women's Department.
As demand for technical education grew throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Essex County Council created two further colleges at Walthamstow and Dagenham. In 1970 these three colleges (West Ham, Walthamstow, Dagenham) were combined as a merger of higher education colleges, to create the North East London Polytechnic. Campuses were modernised and revitalised by buildings such as the Arthur Edwards building on the Stratford campus, completed in 1982.
In 1988 the North East London Polytechnic became a higher education institution, renamed the Polytechnic of East London in 1989.
In 1992 the Polytechnic of East London became the University of East London, one of a number of "new universities". The UEL's succession of founding institutions exemplify the developments that took place in British further and higher educationpolicy throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The University of East London consisted of the Barking Campus (closed 2006) and the Stratford Campus. In 1999 the Docklands Campus was opened, the first new university campus built in London for over 50 years.
In 2012, following previous opposition, UEL adopted the full increased tuition rates of £9,000 permitted by legislation enacted in 2010, an increase from the previous rate of £3,290. The university is a lead academic sponsor of Hackney University Technical College which opened in 2012, one of the first university technical colleges in England.
In April 2013 the university was granted armorial bearings by the College of Arms.
UEL has three campuses, at Stratford and Docklands, the newest of which, University Square Stratford, opened in September 2013. The Barking campus was closed in 2006.
UEL delivers programmes and short courses at the Barking Learning Centre in a nearby borough. Off campus, there are students registered on programmes with UK and non-UK academic partners, such as the Women's Institute of Management in Malaysia.
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008, 78% of UEL's submission was judged to be of at least internationally recognised quality, with a proportion rated world-leading, in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
In the National Student Survey (NSS) results released by HEFCE in 2011, UEL recorded an overall student satisfaction rating increase from 76% to 81%, making this the highest student satisfactory rating ever recorded at the University of East London. In this latest survey, UEL also experienced a rise of 21 places in the table of UK universities and recorded a 97% satisfaction rating in relation to its teacher training.
Statistics announced in January 2011 by UCAS showed that UEL had experienced a 13% increase in applications in the previous year, compared to 5% nationally.