Buckinghamshire New University

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Not to be confused with University of Buckingham.

Coordinates: 51°37′41″N 0°45′07″W / 51.628°N 0.752°W / 51.628; -0.752

Buckinghamshire New University
Buckinghamshire New University logo.svg
Former names
School of Science and Art (1893)
Wycombe Technical Institute (c1920)
High Wycombe College of Art and Technology (c1961)
Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education (1975)
Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (1999)
Motto Latin: Arte et industria
Motto in English
"By Art and Industry"
Established 2007 – gained University Status
1893 – Science and Art School
Type Public
Chancellor Tessa Keswick
Vice-Chancellor Ruth Farwell
Students 9,045[1]
Undergraduates 8,295[1]
Postgraduates 620[1]
Other students
125 FE[1]
Location High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Campus in Uxbridge, Middlesex
England, UK
Affiliations Million+, GuildHE
Website http://www.bucks.ac.uk/

Buckinghamshire New University is a public university located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, and in Uxbridge. The Vice-Chancellor of the university is Ruth Farwell. The institution dates from 1893 when it was founded as the School of Science and Art, and has since that date been re-invented variously as the Wycombe Technical Institute, the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology, and the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. It was a university college from 1999 until 2007 when it announced that its application for university status had been accepted.

The university is a member of the GuildHE.


High Wycombe Technical School in 1906

19th century origins[edit]

Founded in 1893 as the School of Science and Art,[2] it was initially established with public funds raised from a tax on beer and spirits, and set about providing evening classes to residents of High Wycombe and the local area.[3]

20th century[edit]

After World War I, it was renamed the Wycombe Technical Institute, forging close links with local crafts such as furniture making and cabinetry, and helping to provide skills to injured war veterans in order that they might find work in local industries.[3]

Further building took place after World War II, and on 6 May 1963 the new facilities were officially opened by the Minister of Education, Sir Edward Boyle.[3] A new change of name, the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology accompanied this expansion.[3]

Even as late as the 1960s, around 3,000 people worked in the manufacture of furniture in High Wycombe,[4] and 80% of the wooden chairs manufactured in Britain were made there.[5]

In 1975 High Wycombe College of Art and Technology merged with the Newland Park College of Education in Chalfont St Giles, and was renamed the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. In the same decade Missenden Abbey, a former Augustinian monastery founded in 1133, was acquired, and in May 1988 it was officially opened as a management centre by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.[3]

In March 1999 it was awarded University College status by the Government, changing its name once again to Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. Around this time the Which University guide described it as a "concrete labyrinth", which was unlikely to be "bringing home architectural awards".[6]

21st century[edit]

High Wycombe campus in 2004, before construction of the Gateway Building

In 2007 it changed its name again, this time from "Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College" to its current name of "Buckinghamshire New University" ("Bucks") when its application for university status was approved by the Privy Council.[7]

Alternative names such as "University of Wycombe", "University of High Wycombe", "High Wycombe University", "University of Buckinghamshire" and "Buckinghamshire Chilterns University" were rejected. The chosen name was swiftly attacked by the University of Buckingham for using the county name.[8] Critics have argued that the 'New' element of the university's name will look out of place in the long-term.

Bucks had ambitious plans to consolidate its divided campuses into a purpose-built site near to Hughenden Park in High Wycombe on land previously owned by CompAir.[citation needed] While these plans fell through, the university changed plans to renovate and enlarge the main campus as well as consolidate both the Wellesbourne and Chalfont campuses onto the High Wycombe site.[citation needed] Additionally new halls of residence have been built at the Hughenden Park site.

The university is a lead academic sponsor of Buckinghamshire University Technical College, a new university technical college which is opened in Aylesbury in September 2013.


Hughenden Park Student Village under construction in 2009

The University currently consists of two campuses: High Wycombe Campus (previously belonging to the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology), and since 2009 a site in Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon, which is the base for its nursing students.

The University in 2008 disposed of two existing campuses; the Chalfont Campus (near Little Chalfont) and the Wellesbourne Campus (near Hazlemere).

The university sponsor Wycombe Wanderers F.C. and London Wasps who play at the Adams Park Stadium; this agreement entitles all players of the teams to education from the university if they so wish.[9]

Gateway Building

Gateway building[edit]

The University undertook a major development of the High Wycombe Campus with a large structure, known as the Gateway Building, being built onto the front of the existing building. The building itself is based on a study of its contexts and the irregular urban gain of the town centre. It won a RIBA award in 2010.[10]

A state-of-the-art complex, the Gateway offers a rich mix of commercial-standard facilities, including a sports/events hall, fitness centre and performance lab, dance and drama studios, sound design labs, music recording studios and video production suites, a modern integrated learning resources centre and meeting and conference rooms. It also has green screen facilities and a motion capture system.[11]

Halls of residence[edit]

Brook Street Halls

Off-site student accommodation exists in halls of residence which have grown consistently since its University accreditation:

  • Brook Street Halls, the first to be built for BNU, consists of 396 rooms, and is situated 5 minutes' walk from the University opposite High Wycombe station and the Eden shopping centre.
  • Hughenden Park Student Village was first built throughout 2008 and completed the following year. Student rooms at Hughenden are of en-suite style, and the area is 15 minutes' walk from the University (and main town centre). Since 2010, Bucks New University has invested in expanding the site of the Hughenden Halls, leading to a greater capacity of 402 by 2014.[12]
  • Windsor House, one of the newer Halls based on Frogmoor in the town centre. Much of the estate used to build the halls has been bought from The Chilterns Shopping Centre.
  • Alexandra House, which (by capacity) are the smallest halls. Situated opposite Wycombe General Hospital on Queen Alexandra Road, the halls offers the most luxurious of accommodation, and lies adjacent (and thus closest to) the main Wycombe campus.

Academic profile[edit]

Cabair at Denham International

Several courses run at the university are rarities in British universities.

The Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training is a course offering students the opportunity to study for a professional pilots licence whilst undertaking university studies in areas such as globalization of the air transport industry and health safety and security for airlines and airports.[13] Many former students (including Virgin Atlantic deputy chief pilot David Brooks) have gone on to attain jobs as pilots in flying schools, charter companies and airlines around the world including Susi Air, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, BMI and Ryanair.[14]

The university offers several other innovative courses such as Airline and Airport Management, Music Management and Film and Television Production, as well as the extensive Furniture Design and Restoration, Textiles and Advertising departments are offered and is one of very few that has created a degree in Policing. It also offers a foundation degree course in bed sales management, in partnership with bed manufacturer Dreams.[15]

In partnership with territorial Police service Thames Valley Police, Bucks New Uni is one of only two UK Universities to offer the Foundation Degree in Policing as a pre-entry route into Police careers. The University also hosts a CKP course, which allows applicants into the majority of UK forces.

The university also offers a course in Animation and Visual Effects, launched in September 2013.[16]

As of 2009 it was the largest provider of nursing training across London.[17]

Reputation and rankings[edit]

(2015, national)
The Guardian[19]
(2015, national)
Times/Sunday Times[20]
(2015, national)

The university was ranked 104th by the Complete University Guide, 119th by The Guardian Good University Guide and 106th by The Times/ Sunday Times guide. In November 2013 it was ranked 12th in the UK by the Huffington Post in a list of creative universities.[21] It was also included in a list of the top 14 creative universities in the UK by The Daily Telegraph in December 2013.[22]


Trevor Baylis is a frequent guest lecturer, and was present at a 2004 graduation ceremony and graduate degree show; he received an honorary degree from the University in 2007, and was present at the official opening of the Gateway building in 2010.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Table 0a – All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  2. ^ Official Site Retrieved November 2013
  3. ^ a b c d e Official history Retrieved January 2014
  4. ^ Ashton, John, p.4, The Epidemiological Imagination: A Reader Retrieved January 2014
  5. ^ Ashton, John, p.21, The Epidemiological Imagination: A Reader Retrieved January 2014
  6. ^ Rich, Jonny, p.96 Push Guide to Which University Retrieved January 2014
  7. ^ www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk Retrieved January 2014
  8. ^ Kealey, Terence (2007-11-13). "What's in a name? Our reputation, for a start". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  9. ^ http://bucks.ac.uk/newsroom/news/june_2009/partnership_announced.aspx
  10. ^ Top architectural award for the Gateway
  11. ^ Bucks Animation Blog 12 January 2014 Retrieved January 2014
  12. ^ "Hughenden Student Village". Buckinghamshire New University. Buckinghamshire New University. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  13. ^ http://bucks.ac.uk/courses/course/bs2acp1
  14. ^ http://bucks.ac.uk/content/newsroom/2012/cathay-pacific
  15. ^ "Selling beds is now degree course". BBC News. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  16. ^ Bucks New University Official Site Retrieved November 2012
  17. ^ The Guardian, 10 May 2009 Retrieved January 2014
  18. ^ "University League Table 2015". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "University league table 2015 - the complete list". The Guardian. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2015". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  21. ^ Huffington Post 5 November 2013 Retrieved November 2013
  22. ^ Daily Telegraph December 2013 Retrieved December 2013

External links[edit]