The University was founded as Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland University College in 1921. The site for the University was donated by a local businessman, Thomas Fielding Johnson, in order to create a living memorial for all local people who made sacrifices during the First World War. This is reflected in the University’s motto Ut vitam habeant – ‘so that they may have life’.
Students were first admitted to the college in 1921, sitting examinations for external degrees awarded of the University of London. In 1927 the institution became University College, Leicester; 30 years later the college was granted its Royal Charter. This gave it the status of a University with the right to award its own degrees.
The University won the first ever series of University Challenge, in 1963.
The university was named University of the Year of 2008 by the Times Higher is also the only university ever to have won a Times Higher Education award in seven consecutive years. The university was previously consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the United Kingdom by the Times Good University Guide and The Guardian.
In 2017, the university ranked 25th in The Sunday Times Good University Guide.
The University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, United Kingdom