Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Capital Candidate: One Election Mandela Didn't Win: News

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Capital Candidate: One Election Mandela Didn't Win: News

Article excerpt

Perhaps the best-known link between Nelson Mandela and the UK academy is his attempt to study for a University of London law degree during his long imprisonment.

He passed the intermediate examinations in 1963 but was seemingly thwarted by his jailors in completing the degree. The People's University 1858- 2008, a book marking the 150th anniversary of the university's external degree system, describes how some of the necessary books were banned and Mr Mandela's study privileges revoked.

But there is a lesser-known connection between Mr Mandela and the university: in 1981 he was one of three candidates for chancellor, a position elected by the institution's graduates.

In the event he finished behind not only the winner, Princess Anne (who received 57.5 per cent of the vote), but also another apparent anti- Establishment candidate, Jack Jones, former general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union.

Lord Annan, the University of London's vice-chancellor at the time, welcomed Princess Anne's election and said that the result "shows where the heart of the university lies", according to an archived edition of The Times. …

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