Skip to main content


We are very proud to be named after Sir Peter Ustinov (1921-2004). He was known and loved by millions throughout the world as a distinguished actor, comedian, writer and entertainer. Yet he was also a long serving UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a volunteer for UNESCO and President of the World Federalist Movement.

While born in London, Sir Peter was truly international, with Russian, French, German, Italian and Ethiopian blood (Haile Selasie was a visitor to his parents’ home) and spoke several languages, including French, German, Russian, Italian, Greek and Turkish. He began his acting career on the stage in 1938, and his made his first film in 1941. A renaissance man, he soon branched out into writing, directing and producing. In 1961 he won his first Oscar for Spartacus, winning a second supporting actor Oscar for Topkapi in 1965.

On behalf of UNICEF and UNESCO he travelled the world to publicise their work, and lobbied governments to recognise the rights of children. Sir Peter was knighted in 1990 and become Chancellor of Durham University in 1992, and the Graduate Society was renamed Ustinov College in his honour in 2003.

The Sir Peter Ustinov Foundation, based in Frankfurt, Germany, was founded in 1999 by Sir Peter and his son Igor Ustinov who still chairs the charity arm of the Ustinov family to this day. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Peter and the values of the Ustinov family, the work focusses on granting children – irrespective of their cultural, social, religious or financial background – a chance of an independent and optimistic future primarily through granting access to education. We work together with the Foundation on a number of projects.

University student
It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously

Sir Peter Ustinov