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The University of London is huge. The University/university has 1000s of students.

Is it correct to leave out the capital u in the second sentence?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The University of London itself seems to think it is required. Its website has this final paragraph on its About Us page:

As well as offering a world class education the University has a range of other services on offer including a careers service, data archiving and networking, library services, conference facilities and you can even use University buildings for location filming.

The justification for this is that it is the University of London, and not any old university, that is being referred to.

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Thanks Barrie - but is it correct to also leave it out? Because in my mind its not the actual name of the university or its official title; thanks for the input. – nicholas ainsworth Sep 30 '12 at 6:56
Forget 'correct'. If you think you can justify a lower case 'u' to any critics, then use it. – Barrie England Sep 30 '12 at 7:15
I suspect it's not the UoL's 'thinking' the need for a capital 'U'. In the 'About Us' page, University with a capital 'U', or with the definite article, refers by default to the University of London. Any occurrence of the word with a lowercase 'u' would refer to university in general. This is the standard/ conventional style. – Kris Sep 30 '12 at 8:16
@Kris: Yes, you can see University there as a shortened form of University of London. On the other hand, there may be those who see university as generic, and hence with a lower case first letter, much as would be the case had it read the establishment has a range of other services . . . and you can even use establishment’s buildings for location filming. – Barrie England Sep 30 '12 at 8:38
This reminds me of how the OED when referring to itself uses “this Dictionary”. – tchrist Sep 30 '12 at 16:07

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