students outside smiling

What makes us different

Explore what has shaped into a different kind of university over the past 145 years.

Shaping a new university

Shaping a new university

We want to see a brighter world. So we take our students on transformative journeys towards their dream careers and we collaborate with academic and industry partners to make our world fairer, healthier and more sustainable.

Our history has been made by different London schools and colleges coming together, like St Katharine's College, a teacher training institute founded in 1878, and the iconic Hornsey College of Art. We became Polytechnic in 1973, with a radical new way of learning focused on practical skills, and then in 1992.

Today our approach is modern and internationally-focused. We opened Dubai in 2005 and our campus in Mauritius in 2009. Our global outlook reflects the diversity of our students and prepares them to succeed in global careers and different countries.

We are important advocates for the value of professional and technical universities like ours, working with organisations like University Alliance to shape the future of Higher Education and influence government policy decisions to benefit our students.

Our history
Approaching learning differently

Approaching learning differently

As a global learning community, we invest in cutting-edge facilities and look for innovations in teaching to benefit our students. Students in London are immersed in experiential learning, with augmented reality equipment for nursing and midwifery and a Hollywood-grade motion capture suite. In Dubai we have launched new courses in response to industry demand like brand management, data analytics and cybersecurity. In Mauritius we held two successful, student-led 24 hour Web Development Hackathons with partners like Accenture.

Acting in response to challenges

We face global challenges head on, whatever is happening around us. In World War II, founding institution Hornsey College of Art was one of only two art schools that stayed open. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we trained hundreds of volunteers to deliver vaccines and were involved in over 40 important research projects. As we come to terms with the Climate Emergency, we have signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Accord and we are focusing on climate change research.

Leading with our students

The voices of our students have shaped our history too. In the 1970s, students from Hornsey College of Arts organised a famous six week sit-in protest that led to reforms in arts education. Our Students' Union (MDXSU) are just as dedicated to improving our University today. MDXSU co-lead on important parts of university life with our staff and co-shaped our Strategy 2031.

Welcoming people with our values

Welcoming people with our values

We have collaborated and worked with many influential people during our history. We welcome everyone who shares our vision of a brighter future, from hosting the Dalai Lama in Hendon in 1994 to celebrating Honorary Doctorates like political and equalities campaigner Lord Simon Woolley in 2022 and DJ and filmmaker Don Letts in 2023.

As a community, we work together to create a compassionate and inclusive working environment, finding creative yet straightforward ways to put knowledge into action.

Our community principles

Our community principles

We focus on excellence to create solutions, outcomes and impact.

We are creative in what we produce, and inclusive and innovative in how we work and learn. We value calculated risk-taking and believe in learning from projects that go as planned as well as those that don’t.

We deal with great complexity in education and research and so we emphasise streamlined systems and simple solutions in our ways of working. We are agile and reduce silos and hierarchy. We prioritise action that contributes to our purpose and are bold about stopping things that don’t.

We strive to create a fairer world and embed diversity, inclusion and equality in all we do.

We operate as a collaborative community, co-leading with students and the Students’ Union and co-creating across disciplines, professional services, sectors and cultures to create solutions to complex problems.

We respect, learn from, and support each other, being transparent and open and behaving responsibly towards people, cultures and the environment.

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