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He was succeeded by Gregory Foster (no relation), and in 1906 the title was changed to Provost to avoid confusion with the Principal of the University of London. UCL sustained considerable bomb damage during the Second World War, including to the Great Hall and the Carey Foster Physics Laboratory.

UCL, along with a number of other colleges in London, became a school of the University of London.

While most of the constituent institutions retained their autonomy, UCL was merged into the University in 1907 under the University College London (Transfer) Act 1905 and lost its legal independence.

This was achieved by Brian Woledge (Fielden Professor of French at UCL from 1939 to 1971) and David Colquhoun, at that time a young lecturer in pharmacology.

Under this charter the college became formally known as University College London, having previously formally been "University of London, University College" since its incorporation into the University.

In 1836 UCL became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London, which was granted a royal charter in the same year.

It has grown through mergers, including with the Institute of Neurology (in 1997), the Royal Free Hospital Medical School (in 1998), the Eastman Dental Institute (in 1999), the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (in 1999), the School of Pharmacy (in 2012) and the Institute of Education (in 2014).

This suggests that while his ideas may have been influential, he himself was less so.

However, Bentham is today commonly regarded as the "spiritual father" of UCL, as his radical ideas on education and society were the inspiration to the institution's founders, particularly the Scotsmen James Mill (1773–1836) and Henry Brougham (1778–1868). In 1830, London University founded the London University School, which would later become University College School.

UCL operates several culturally significant museums and manages collections in a wide range of fields, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, and administers the annual Orwell Prize in political writing.

In 2016/17, UCL had around 39,400 students and 14,600 staff (including around 7,100 academic staff and 840 professors) and had a total group income of £1.327 billion, of which £459.8 million was from research grants and contracts.

This name abandoned the comma used in its earlier name of "University College, London".