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Universities founded during the 1960s divide into two main groups: the plateglass universities, so called because of their dominant architectural style, and the former colleges of advanced technology that were converted to universities following the Robbins Report.

The plate glass universities are differentiated from the civic universities by not having been university colleges submitting students for external examination, but instead being created ab initio as universities with their own degree-awarding powers (under the supervision of academic oversight councils).

All were established as universities by royal charter, with an accompanying act of parliament to transfer the property and assets of the university college to the newly incorporated university.

As this article lists universities by date of foundation, this section lists only the universities that gained their status in the period 1900–1959.

There are some institutions generally regarded as civic universities and sharing many elements of common history with these universities that gained university status later than this (e.g.

Newcastle in 1963 or Cardiff in 2005); these are listed under the appropriate time period.

All of the red brick institutions in Great Britain have origins dating back to older medical or engineering colleges which prepared students for University of London external examination; many were also members of the federal Victoria University for a period.

The first civic university to be awarded full university status and the first unitary (not collegiate or federal) university in England.

No new universities were successfully founded in England or Scotland after 1600 until the nineteenth century, although the eighteenth century saw the establishment of a number of dissenting academies, medical schools such as St George's (1733) and the London Hospital Medical College (1785), and the Royal Veterinary College (1791).

The Andersonian Institute, a precursor of the University of Strathclyde, was established in 1796 and used the title Anderson's University between 18, but the University of Strathclyde did not receive a royal charter granting university status until 1964.

These universities were distinguished by being non-collegiate (and thus, at the time, non-residential) institutions founded as university colleges that admitted men without reference to religion and concentrated on imparting to their students "real-world" skills, often linked to engineering.

Current successor institute is the University of Manchester The University of Wales and the Victoria University were founded as federal universities incorporating earlier colleges and the University of London was founded as an examination board (becoming a federal university in 1900).

The federal universities are discussed further below.

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