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Our connection to the suffrage movement


As an institution at the vanguard of progressing women’s equality, Royal Holloway, University of London, is marking the centenary of women’s voting rights and commemorating the university’s progressive history and commitment to diversity and equality with a year-long celebration of suffrage, called Vote 100 at Royal Holloway.

The university we are today is built on colleges founded by two Victorian social pioneers who were committed to education and knowledge and were inspired to bring what these can offer to everyone who might benefit. At the time, this meant Royal Holloway College (founded 1886) and Bedford College (founded 1849) being among the very first colleges in the UK to give women access to higher education. 

This means Royal Holloway College was founded just over ten years before the formation of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Today, Royal Holloway remains committed to diversity and championing individual rights.

The university is playing a significant national role in celebrating women's suffrage and its calendar of events in 2018 will bring to life the legacy of suffrage and the development of democracy.

Highlights include:

  • a women's suffrage exhibition in the university’s new Emily Wilding Davison Building, named in honour of this Royal Holloway College alumna
  • a free online course in partnership with UK Parliament called Beyond the Ballot 
  • an international conference on women at university, alongside community projects and specially commissioned works of music and theatre

Vote 100 at Royal Holloway reflects the university’s continued focus on advancing knowledge and helping every individual to find their purpose and make a positive difference.


To mark the centenary of votes for women, Royal Holloway, University of London, and the UK Parliament have developed a range of resources and an online course exploring the history of women's rights and suffrage.


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