The university’s origins date back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College, awarding degrees from the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted full university status, allowing it to award its own degrees. Southampton is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities in Britain.
The University of Southampton has its origin as the Hartley Institution which was formed in 1862 from a benefaction by Henry Robinson Hartley. Hartley had inherited a fortune from two generations of successful wine merchants. At his death in 1850, he left a bequest of £103,000 to the Southampton Corporation for the study and advancement of the sciences in his property on Southampton’s High Street, in the city centre. On 29 April 1952, Queen Elizabeth II granted the University of Southampton a Royal Charter, the first to be given to a university during her reign, which enabled it to award degrees. Six faculties were created: Arts, Science, Engineering, Economics, Education and Law.