Middlesex University has a long and proud history as a provider of high quality education in north London. Its roots were formed in 1878 when St Katherine's College opened in Tottenham, followed by the famous Hornsey School of Arts and Crafts in 1882 and the Ponders End Technical Institute in 1901. The first educational institution to be located on the site of Middlesex's current flagship campus in Hendon – the Hendon Technical Institute – opened in The Burroughs, Hendon in 1939. Following the Second World War, there was a huge need for teachers in the UK, and the Trent Park College of Education opened in 1947. Middlesex still trains teachers at Trent Park today. 1962 saw the opening of the New College of Speech and Drama. In 1968, the year of the student protests, Hornsey School of Arts and Crafts was the scene of the most significant student protest in the UK. In 1973, most of these Colleges joined together to form Middlesex Polytechnic, with others following in 1974.
In 1992, the Polytechnic became Middlesex University by Royal Assent. Shortly afterwards the London College of Dance and the North London College of Health joined the University, and in 1996 Professor Michael Driscoll became the Vice-Chancellor. He remains at the helm of this historic university today.
1996 was also the year that Middlesex was awarded the first of three Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, for its innovative provision of Work Based Learning, giving people the opportunity to gain a degree for the knowledge and expertise they acquire through their work. A further Queen's Anniversary Prize, this time for Education Technology followed in 1998 and a third in 2000, for the University's groundbreaking Flood Hazard Research Centre. 2000 was also the year that the Right Honourable Lord Sheppard of Didgemere KCVO Kt became Chancellor of the University.
A different sort of prize came Middlesex's way in 2003. The University was given the Queen's Award for Enterprise, for International Trade. This award recognised Middlesex as the very first British university to open, in 1995, a network of recruitment offices around the world. This move gave thousands of international students the opportunity to come to London to study at Middlesex. The University's international status was reinforced in 2005 when it opened an entire Middlesex campus – in Dubai and once again in 2010 with a campus opening in Mauritius.