Apparently all London universities have mottos and some of them are… questionable

Imperial’s motto did NOT pass the vibe check

Do you know your university’s Latin motto off by heart? If not, what are you even doing?

The fact that every London uni has a motto was news to me too. Universities seem to be keeping them hushed up – and for some of them, it’s not hard to see why.

Here are some of the strangest, quirkiest and most questionable mottos of London’s unis.

Imperial College London – scientia imperii decus et tutamen

In case you were wondering what this means because you also didn’t learn Latin at a fancy private school, it means: “Scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and safeguard of the empire”.

No guesses as to why Imperial aren’t printing this on banners around their campus.

All I’m saying is that Imperial’s board members should maybe hold a meeting to replace this one.

University of East London – scientia et votorum impletio

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

This motto means “knowledge and the fulfilment of vows”.

Which, I mean, I guess sounds cool – but what does it actually mean?

“Knowledge and the keeping of promises”? I get the feeling it probably sounds cooler if you understand the original Latin, so us plebs will have to stay a bit confused.

University of Westminster – dominus fortitudo nostra 

“God is our strength”.

Considering the wide diversity of religions in London and represented at Westminster Uni alone, I can’t be the only one thinking that this wouldn’t pass an equality, diversity and inclusion test.

Royal College of Art – dieu et mon droit

Carrying on the Christianity theme, this one means “God and my right”.

Not only could all the same EDI concerns be applied to this one, but I’m also not entirely sure what it means? What is “my right”? Has something been lost in translation here, too? Maybe I should have asked a Latin speaker to write this piece.

City University London – To Serve Mankind 

Finally, English! City takes the lead for being one of the few unis without a Latin motto.

Also, it’s just kinda sweet?

That being said, given that City Uni seems to be best known for its business school – incidentally formerly named after a slave trader – this is also maybe just a little bit ironic.

UAL – A Creative Constellation

Oooh, looking at UAL being all artsy and quirky – nothing out of the ordinary there!

Not entirely sure what it means once again, but it sure sounds cool – even if it does give slightly “2013 Pinterest board motivational quote” energy.

LSE – rerum cognoscere causas

A very in-character motto from LSE here, too – “to know the causes of things”.

A bit uninspired, as I’m pretty sure this is the mission of every university generally, but it seems to fit LSE’s research driven academically intense reputation.

Middlesex University – Practical. Forward thinking. Inclusive. 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Middlesex Uni wins the award for the motto most suited to the 21st century.

Someone’s been flexing their GCSE English skills with this beautiful example of the “rule of three”.

Though, it just me, or is it low-key giving “Hands, Face, Space,” or “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”…?

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons 

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