The University of Reading joins London Higher in a landmark move for the organisation 

We are delighted to welcome the University of Reading to the London Higher membership. The University of Reading is a global university that enjoys a world-class reputation for teaching, research and enterprise, with over 23,000 students. The university is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, with postgraduate research students from over 100 countries and a great reputation worldwide. 

The University of Reading is already a part of a number of London partnerships and has historically worked in London as part of its outreach activity, engaging thousands of students in London schools. With the Elizabeth line now connecting central London to Reading, this brings the university and its students ever closer to the capital.  

In the same way as the London region is continually evolving, it is vital that London Higher – as the only organisation in the UK higher education sector representing London’s interests – moves with the city it serves. By embracing the University of Reading as one of its members, the entire London Higher community stands to gain from its expertise and interest in the capital and expand opportunities to collaborate for the health of London and its economy.   

Commenting on the announcement, our Chair of the Board, and Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of East London, Professor Amanda Broderick said: 

“London Higher is rapidly becoming one of the most dynamic and impactful membership organisations in UK higher education. The fact that we are now in a position to welcome the University of Reading to the London Higher community is testimony to both the growing influence of the organisation and the shared interests of the capital and its neighbours. The addition of the University of Reading to London Higher’s membership marks an important milestone in London Higher’s evolution and shows that there is more that unites institutions in London and its surrounding areas than divides us. As Chair of London Higher, I am pleased to be able to extend a hand of partnership to influential institutions like Reading which are not only operating in close proximity to London but demonstrably share our commitment to providing opportunities for local Londoners and the London region alike.”  

Dr Diana Beech, Chief Executive Officer of London Higher said: 

“I am delighted to welcome the University of Reading to the London Higher membership for the start of the new academic year. Since working in and for the London region, I learned quickly that London’s boundaries are less fixed and more fluid, and that higher education institutions on both sides of the London border educate London students, work with London employers and undertake research and innovation firmly focused on alleviating London-centric challenges. As our capital and its connectivity to its surrounding areas grows, it is only right that London Higher grows with it, and having institutions like the University of Reading among our membership will ensure that collaborative activity of benefit to the wider region can progress unhindered across administrative boundaries. Expanding our geographical remit in this way allows us to pull in the expertise and influence of world-leading institutions on London’s doorstep and is commensurate with our latest high-profile activities which include delivering the Metro London Skills Cluster across London and three ‘gateway’ counties.” 

Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor, University of Reading said:  

“The University of Reading has much in common with universities in London and we have established connections through our research and civic engagement, and now in a very physical way via the Elizabeth Line. This partnership with London Higher will help us collectively to elevate our voice in discussions about issues that affect higher education. I am optimistic that, working together, we can enhance the social, political and economic landscape of London and the Thames Valley. In uncertain times, none of us individually has all the answers, and networks like London Higher create the necessary platform for dialogue and cooperation so we can achieve a healthy, thriving and sustainable region.”  


Notes to editors 

  1. The addition of the University of Reading to the London Higher membership comes as a result of new London Higher membership criteria that were approved by the London Higher board of trustees at its January 2023 meeting. To ensure no dilution of the London Higher mission and values, all prospective members are now required to meet a strict set of criteria which will be assessed by the London Higher Membership Committee and include demonstrable civic impact and influence on London and local Londoners.