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Home > About us home > Our past campaigns > Women Inspire highlights > Our history as a women's college
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Our history as a women's college

Royal Holloway and Bedford New College have a long and prestigous history of educating women. In fact, Bedford College was established as the first college for the education of women in Great Britain in 1848. Discover more about the history of both our founding colleges, their links to the suffrage movement and ten of their hidden heroines.

Our history

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Bedford College and Royal Holloway College (as it was originally known) were two of the first higher education institutions devoted to the education of women. Discover more

'Suffrage at Royal Holloway'


Our archivist Annabel Valentine hosted the 'Suffrage at Royal Holloway' exhibition, which allowed visitors to delve into the Archives and discover our ties to suffrage campaigners

Hidden heroines


Our 'hidden heroines' are pioneering women who studied at Bedford College, Royal Holloway College or Royal Holloway as it is today, that have perhaps been overlooked but are worthy of our recognition.



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