The long awaited and much planned withdrawal from the University of London is now certain, after the University agreed the terms put forward by Imperial at its Council meeting last night.
Postgraduates starting in October 2007 will enroll on Imperial College degrees, with undergraduate degrees starting in 2008. Independence is expected to be achieved in July 2007 to coincide with the centenary year.
This news comes as the Times Higher Education Supplement raised the ranking of Imperial to 9th in the world and 3rd in Europe behind Oxford and Cambridge.
Vice Chancellor of UL Sir Graeme Davies said of the withdrawal: "Like any other institution, and in keeping with its own history, the University of London continues to evolve. After nearly 100 years as a member of the federation, Imperial has now considered it appropriate to withdraw, while only last year the Central School of Speech and Drama successfully sought membership".
This quote may re-emphasise the point for some that UL is no longer worth being associated with - it is increasingly made up of smaller colleges with considerably less status than those such as Imperial, UCL, Kings and LSE. Many of these fear the "domino" effect - that the other large colleges will now bid for independence - so greatly that last year they attempted to block Imperial's participation in some ULU activities in the hope it would stop a withdrawal.