London attracts more students from overseas than any other city in the world, and is home to a huge variety of academic institutions. Its universities include some of the oldest and most prestigious in the world. The University of London is a federal university system with many constituent colleges, though for all practical purposes each constituent college operates as a separate university. The first 4 on this list are regarded as the most prestigious of the lot, and are consistently ranked among the world's top 100 universities, though the standard of the others is generally good as well.
London School of Economics and Political ScienceA constituent college of the University of London. The only university in the UK focused exclusively on social sciences and considered to be one of the top universities in London, its courses are regarded as among the very best in the world. Located on the boundary of Covent Garden and Holborn in Westminster, 18 Nobel Prize winners and 50 world leaders have studied here. The School offers a well regarded lecture programme that is open to the public. Speakers have included Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama and Paul Krugman. Event schedule and ticket information available from the LSE website. University College, LondonThe oldest constituent college of the University of London. The first university established in London, offering a wide range of courses. UCL academic research is cited more than any other university in the UK, and its courses are regarded as among the best in Britain. The campus is located just north of the British Museum in the literary area of Bloomsbury. Notable alumni include Mahatma Gandhi, Alexander Graham Bell and the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham, whose mummified body is on display at the school in a wooden cabinet called the "auto-icon". This is open to the public and is located in the School's south cloisters accessible via Gower St. Imperial College, LondonUK's leading university specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine. The campus is located in a beautiful area of South Kensington just south of Kengsinton Gardens and Hyde Park, surrounded by numerous cultural institutions including the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Notable alumni include Sir Alexander Flemming, Thomas Henry Huxley, and H.G. Wells. King's College, LondonA constituent college of the University of London. Situated in the heart of London over 3 main campuses. Offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses for a range of subjects at a high academic level. School of Oriental and African StudiesOffers highly regarded courses in law, languages, social sciences and humanities, with a unique focus on Asia and Africa. Its glittering list of alumni include many foreign leaders. Queen Mary, University of LondonQueen Mary was formed from the merger of four historic colleges and since joining the University of London in 1915 has grown to become one of its largest colleges. University of WestminsterOriginally known as the Royal Polytechnic, it was the first polytechnic university to open in the UK and was awarded university status in 1992. Offers a variety of courses in law, sciences, the social sciences and humanities. Its main campus is located on Regent Street in Westminster, with additional campuses in Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Harrow.
London is a natural place to learn and improve spoken and written English. There are a huge range of options, from informal language exchange services to evening classes and formal language schools. There are a number of unaccredited schools charging hefty fees and offering qualifications that are viewed as worthless. If choosing a course from a privately-run school or college, it is important to ensure the institution is accredited by the British Council.
Some links to British Council accredited schools:
Linguaenglish LondonLingua London is a family-run English language school and has been teaching English only courses in London for over 10 years. Language in LondonThis is the first school in the world to win the British Council prize for innovation in English teaching. Rose of YorkRose of York has been teaching English language courses for over 21 years and they offer full-time, intensive or part-time English courses