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University of London

Royal Holloway is one of the larger colleges of the University of London: a federal organisation of 18 self-governing colleges of outstanding reputation and 10 other smaller specialist research institutes. These bodies form the largest and most diverse university in Britain and one of the largest in Europe. The colleges are individual entities in their own right, each with its own distinctive community and character.


The Chancellor is the official head of the University of London - a largely ceremonial role. The current Chancellor is Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, The Princess Royal. She is the 10th person to hold the post since Royal Holloway became part of the University of London in 1900. She has held the post since 1981. The Vice Chancellor of the University of London is Sir Adrian Smith who took up office in September 2012. He was previously Director General of Knowledge and Innovation in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Degrees from the University of London have a reputation for excellence across the world. Membership of the University of London has other advantages for students such as regular use of the Senate House Library while access to libraries in other colleges is often possible too.

Some Masters degrees operate on a federal basis, with courses available in several colleges, while research collaborations and shared seminars are very common across institutions. This adds diversity and expertise to our courses.

Governing body

The College Council is the governing body of Royal Holloway; responsible for overall strategy and the policy-making process. The chairman is Mr Stephen Cox, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, (CVO).

The Academic Board reports to the Council. Please visit the Academic Board page to view confirmed minutes and agendas.

Leadership and management

The day-to-day management of the College is led by Principal Professor Paul Layzell and an executive team of Vice-Principals, Deans and Directors.

Academic departments are each led by a Head and grouped into three faculties, each led by a Dean. Deans are supported by associate deans.

Staff and students are supported in their work by a range of administrative, technical and professional services led by Directors and Heads.

Our Students’ Union is led by an elected President and three Co-Presidents who serve for one year at a time. They are supported by a number of other part-time Executive Officers who form a committee of student representatives.

Further information

College codes and policies are published here.


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