University of St Mark & St John
|University of St Mark & St John (Marjon)|
|Motto||Abeunt studia in mores
"out of studies comes character".
|Established||1923 (joint college)
St John's (1840)
St Marks (1841)
|Type||Independent Church of England voluntary|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Cara Aitchison|
|Students||5,000 full and part-time|
|Location||Plymouth, United Kingdom|
The University of St Mark & St John is based in the coastal city of Plymouth, England. It is on the northern edge of the city and close to the south-west coast, Dartmoor National Park and the neighbouring county of Cornwall. It has a single campus, a long heritage, is small in size and has a strong reputation for its range of specialisms including education, journalism and creative arts, language and linguistics, and sport.
Formerly called University College Plymouth St Mark & St John, and commonly referred to as Marjon, the institution was awarded full university status in 2012. The vice-chancellor and chief executive of the university is Professor Cara Aitchison from May 2013. Professor Aitchison was previously Head of Moray House School of Education and Chair in Social and Environmental Justice at the University of Edinburgh and formerly Dean of the Faculty of Education and Sport at the University of Bedfordshire. She is Chair of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) Sub-Panel for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism; one of 36 Chairs of Sub-Panels established by the UK Higher Education Funding Councils to assess the quality of research across UK universities from 2008–2014.
The university's history dates back to the foundation by the National Society (now National Society for Promoting Religious Education) of the constituent London colleges of St John's College in Battersea, London (1840) and St Mark's College in Chelsea, London (1841).
The St Mark's College was founded on the belief of Rev Derwent Coleridge, its first principal and son of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge that its primary purpose was to widen the educational horizons of its students. St John's College was established by Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, together with E. Carleton Tufnell, to provide teacher training to meet the social and economic needs of 19th-century industrialisation and promoted the concept of education as self-realisation. Both colleges stressed the importance of applied education, the interface between academic study and broader experience and the role of an enlightened teaching profession in furthering social and economic development. The two colleges were among the first to open access to degree level study outside the established universities.
The colleges merged in 1923, establishing a single institution in Chelsea which developed a wider reputation for academic excellence and commitment to teaching. The College of St Mark & St John then moved to Plymouth in 1973 when the Chelsea site became too small, and its educational activities have continued to evolve in response to local, regional, national and international needs.
In 1991 the college became affiliated to the University of Exeter, which accredited it to run undergraduate and postgraduate programmes leading to degree awards of the University of Exeter. In 2007, the College of St Mark & St John gained University College status and was able to award its own degrees. With the new status came the temporary name of University College Plymouth St Mark & St John. The University of St Mark & St John, which now awards its own undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees, still enjoys a strong relationship with the University of Exeter which continues to award research degrees to students of the university.
The university campus is between Dartmoor National Park and the coast, a few miles from Plymouth city centre and next to Plymouth's teaching hospital and a range of sports facilities north of the city. There are frequent buses to the city centre.
In 2013 a major investment programme in campus facilities was completed. Students now enjoy some of the best sports facilities of any UK university, including sport and exercise science laboratories, a 90 station fitness suite, swimming pool, climbing wall, sports hall, gyms and outdoor pitches. There are new state-of-the-art teaching facilities for business innovation, theatre, JaM centre (Journalism and Media) and live music production studio. Library and dining facilities are also new and upgraded residential accommodation is provided on campus with all first year students guaranteed a place in residential accommodation. Other students tend to share rented accommodation in the popular student quarters of Plymouth such as Mutley which is close to the campus.
The university campus houses the Peninsula Allied Health Centre (PAHC) which enables 814 University of Plymouth students to study a range of allied health professions that complement the university's expertise in sports therapy, speech and language therapy and physical activity and health.
The university has over 100 taught programmes of study with teaching informed by research. The university has a reputation for teaching quality and student support and offers small classes. Programmes have links with employers. The university also offers opportunities for volunteering through its 'Marjon Plus' scheme. There is a strong Students' Union which enjoys a senior management team. In 2013 the university became the first in Devon and Cornwall to be awarded Stonewall Diversity Champion status.
In the news
Students gave the university 91% for overall satisfaction. This result is 6% above the national average and represents a 4% improvement for the university on its 2012 result. Graduates have employability rate of over 90%.
The university has developed a collaboration with the University of Soran in Kurdistan in Iraq to develop a Centre for Language and Academic Development designed to support the delivery of degrees in English in Kurdistan. Other international collaborations include a 35-year partnership with the Ministry of Education in Malaysia to provide teacher training degrees, a range of business and management programmes with the University of Nicosia in Cyprus and programmes relating to the university’s specialisms in education and languages delivered in Vietnam and Mexico.
There are partnerships, including sport and exercise science support, with Plymouth Albion R.F.C., Plymouth Argyle and Exeter Chiefs. In 2013 and in collaboration with Plymouth College and funded by Sport England, the university is developing a new astro pitch for hockey to supplement existing astro and grass pitches.
- Bob Brunning, Founder member of Fleetwood Mac
- Joy Carroll, Inspiration for the Vicar of Dibley
- Sir Lewis Casson, Established the Actors' Association which became the British Actors' Equity Association.
- Bernard Cornwell, Historical novelist
- Helen Glover, London 2012 Olympic Gold medal-winning rower and 2013 World Championship Gold Medal winner
- Harry Greenway, Former MP for Ealing North
- Philip Kingsford, in 1912 held the best-ever triple jump record by an English-born athlete
- George Leighton, Teacher, philanthropist, 1st Chairman of Georgewell Hall
- Ernest Millington, Labour member of Parliament for Chelmsford 1945–50
- Ron Pickering, Athletics coach and BBC sports commentator
- Paul Potts, English tenor. Winner of ITV's Britain's Got Talent 2007
- Anthony Willis, Paralympic games silver high jump and gold Pentathlon winner.
- "Professor Cara Aitchison Staff Profile".
- "Marjon officially the University of St Mark & St John". Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "New University of St Mark & St John appoints first vice-chancellor". Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "REF 2014: Main Panel C and sub-panels membership". Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "University of St Mark & St John is first in Devon and Cornwall to sign up to Diversity Programme".
- "Bob Brunning obituary".
- "The real Vicar of Dibley gets her own TV role". Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Spartacus Educational". Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "SR Olympic Sports". Retrieved 21 March 2012.
- "Cover Story". Marjon Today 6. 1999.