Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) is a constituent college of the University of London. The college has three faculties, 18 academic departments, and about 8,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 130 different countries. The campus is located slightly west of Egham, Surrey, within the boundary of the Greater London Urban Area, although outside of the M25 motorway and some 20 miles (32 km) from the geographic centre of London. The Egham campus was founded in 1879 by the Victorian entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Holloway.
Royal Holloway College was a women-only institution, and was officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria. It became a member of the University of London in 1900. In 1945, the college began admitting male postgraduate students, and in 1965, male undergraduates. In 1985, Royal Holloway College merged with Bedford College (another formerly all-women's college in London which was founded in 1849 and, like Royal Holloway College, joined the University of London in 1900 and became fully co-educational in 1965). The merged college was named Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC), this remaining the official registered name of the college by Act of Parliament. The campus is dominated by the Founder's Building, a Grade I listed red-brick building which is modelled on the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley in France.
Considered one of the top universities in the UK, both in international reputation and research, Royal Holloway was ranked 13th in the UK, 22nd in Europe, and 88th in the World by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2010-2011. It is particularly strong in the arts and humanities and admission into popular courses such as English, Creative Writing, Psychology and Music are among the most competitive in the country with a highly selective 9:1 applicants to place ratio. Throughout its recent history, Royal Holloway has also maintained strong links and exchange programmes with leading institutions in the USA and Canada most notably Yale University and the University of Toronto.