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Students’ Union UCL has been proudly bringing students together and making UCL a better place to live and study for 125 years. That’s longer than all but one other in the UK.

We have been a place to retreat from the day-to-day stresses of university life; a place to indulge your passions, meet new people, challenge what you thought you knew and change the world for the better. We have been at the heart of the UCL experience for countless students from all over the world and left a mark on a great many lives. And we think it’s something worth celebrating. 

That’s why, this June, we have lined up a range of activities that, not only celebrate the Union, but also reflect its diversity and spirit. 

125 hour cycle challenge

Helping students have access to a healthy life style was one of the original aims of the Union, so it seems only fair that we give a nod to our fore bearers in our celebrations. So we will be undertaking a 125 hour cycle! With the Cycling Society doing all the hard work on the over-nights, Union staff, sports team members and students will all be giving it their best, kicking off on 30 May. If you’re interested in joining the effort, get in touch.

Our cafés and the Sarah Douglas Hardship Fund

Although over the years, many students have come to know their Unions as bars, they have always cared about improving the lives of students. It’s our commercial ventures, life our cafes that allow us to make the money that we use to make a difference. For our 125th birthday, we are planning on donating 12.5p from every hot drink sale in our cafes during the month of June to the Sarah Douglas Hardship Fund, which provides aid to students in financial distress.

Voices of our Union

A Union is nothing without its students. That’s why we wanted to take a snapshot of student life during out 125th year and preserve it. We’ve been talking to lots of you and capturing your memories. View our interactive map and listen to students’ stories here. While you’re there, you can also let us know if you’d like to share a memory!


We will be taking over the boards in the cloisters from 1-8 June, to celebrate some of the stand out moments from our shared history and the outstanding contributions that have been made by UCL students over the last 125 years. Wander by and learn about our first ever society, the year we played Varsity in a blizzard and how much an annual membership cost in 1893.

Flying the flag

You’ll be able to see a special Students’ Union 125th flag will be flying atop the Portico as we celebrate our birthday! Instagram at will.

One big birthday party

Because it’s not a real celebration without a party! All week, you can get involved with the festivities at the Institute Outside Bar, with a special 125 cocktail, a mini exhibition of the bar’s history and new food and drink deals daily. We’ll also be holding a Union-themed quiz night (we suggest you brush up before hand at the exhibition and with our online quiz!) and a live music gig to round off the week in style. 

Want to know everything about all of it? Go to the 125 hub now