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About the University of Reading

The University of Reading began as a University Extension College commissioned by Christ Church, Oxford, in the late 19th century. The early development of the University was greatly assisted by the generosity of private individuals and families who provided the land for the first large campus of the University and a generous portion of the endowment in the early years. Full University status was achieved in 1926. Since that time development has been rapid, and enrollment is now approximately 17,500.

By 1947 the University had outgrown the old campus on London Road and, in the same year, acquired an historic estate of some 300 acres (known as Whiteknights Park) on the eastern edge of Reading. This handsome site now contains the major part of the University’s instructional, athletic, and residential facilities. The Reading program residences are located in a quite cul-de-sac just outside the Earley Gate entrance of Whiteknights Park within easy walking distance of the library, tutors’ offices, the University residence hall that our program is affiliated with, and almost all other academic and extracurricular facilities.

Located on the banks of the Thames, Reading is a very lively business and manufacturing center of about 135,000. It has been important since the Middle Ages when it was dominated by a great Norman abbey. Midway between London and Oxford, the city is surrounded by lovely countryside. Just ten minutes by bicycle from the student houses is Sonning-on-Thames with its cluster of Elizabethan houses, three village inns, and river walks. It is a delightful place for lunch or to spend a warm afternoon. The regular trains and buses to London make readily accessible its many cultural attractions—theatre, concerts, opera, museums, and art galleries. A student can easily get into London any evening for the theatre and be back at the student residence before midnight.

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