University of Bolton
|Established||2004 - gained University Status
1982 - Bolton Institute of Higher Education
|Location||Bolton, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
|Colours||Gold, navy blue|
The University of Bolton (formerly Bolton Institute of Higher Education or simply Bolton Institute) is a public university in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. It has approximately 14,000 students across all sites and courses, with 700 academic and professional staff. Around 70% of its students come from Bolton and the North West region. In 2012 it was voted the worst in the country, and has hardly climbed the league tables ever since - it is currently ranked 121st out of 126, so is almost at the bottom.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Governance
- 4 Academic profile
- 5 Student life
- 6 Sponsorship
- 7 Controversy surrounding management of the University
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Bolton Institute of Higher Education was formed in 1982 by the merger of the Bolton Institute of Technology (or simply Bolton Institute) and Bolton College of Education (Technical).
Bolton Institute was awarded the right to award taught degrees in 1992, with the powers to award research degrees in 1995.
In April 2004, the institute was awarded university status with immediate effect. The institution then set about searching for a new name to match its university status. A long consultation period considered many titles, including 'Bolton University', 'Bolton Institute University', 'West Pennines University', 'Bolton Metropolitan University' and 'Bolton Leverhulme University', before announcing 'University of Bolton' as the new title on 2 September 2004. The title was approved by the Privy Council on 27 January 2005 and officially adopted.
The university is primarily situated on an urban campus between Deane Road and Derby Street in Bolton. There are two halls of residence, although the university intends to relocate all services on to a single site in the centre of Bolton. There is a campus in Ras Al Khaima, United Arab Emirates.
Formally known as Deane Tower, Senate House underwent refurbishment in 2004 to become a centre for design disciplines, research and consultancy services.
The Chancellor’s Building
Following the remodelling and centralization of the University campus in 2007, a new £2.5 million Social Learning Zone for student study and Students’ Union bar was built. The building also houses the small university library (this has only one level), student services and coffee shop, the latter of which is situated right near the library; as there is no front wall on the library, this makes for a noisy environment.
The five storey building houses the majority of the University's subjects including the Faculty of Wellbeing and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts and Media Studies.
The Bolton One facility is a £31 million, three-way partnership with Bolton Council and NHS Bolton situated on the university's campus. The university contributed around £7 million to the development. The purpose built centre houses new health, science and sports teaching and research facilities - as well as a sports complex. These facilities were already available, but the Vice-Chancellor chose to spend money on building the exact same thing as before instead of on student computing and other facilities.
Halls of Residence
The University owns and manages two purpose-built Halls of Residence, Orlando Village and The Hollins, which provide 700 single study bedrooms.
The University and Bolton Council announced plans for a new £40 million student village in February 2015, which is set to accommodate up to 850 students in the heart of Bolton town centre, facing the iconic Le Mans Crescent.
Growth and future plans
The university has recently been successful in winning Government approval for a £10 million University Technical College on campus. Opening in September 2015, the state of the art building will be situated on the former Holts Mill site. Bolton UTC will focus on Health Sciences and Engineering Technologies for pupils aged 14–18.
The university has also announced plans for a new £10m facility for Science and Engineering which will house its Centre for Advanced Performance Engineering. Construction will begin following the completion of the UTC building in September 2015.
There will also be a renovation and expansion of the current campus through to 2017.
The University has a campus in Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates and established international links with a number of overseas academic establishments in Germany, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Malawi and Greece.
Chancellor and Pro-Chancellors
The University Chancellor is Ernest Ryder, a British Lord Justice of Appeal.
The current Vice-Chancellor is Professor George Holmes, who has held the post since 2005.
The university has three academic faculties and five research centres.
- Academic faculties
- Faculty of Advanced Engineering and Sciences
- School of Arts
- School for Creative Industries
- Faculty of Well Being and Social Sciences
- Research centres
- Business, Logistics and Information Systems Research Centre
- Institute of Materials Research and Innovation
- Institute of Renewable Energy and Environmental Technologies
- Institute for Educational Cybernetics
- Centre for Research Health and Wellbeing
Reputation and rankings
The 2013 Guardian University League tables and the 2013 Complete University Guide both ranked the University of Bolton last in the UK, and its position has only improved slightly in the 2014 rankings.
As well as offering research opportunities, Masters and PhD degree, it is known for its vocationally focused and industry-relevant taught degree programmes. Its courses include Business and Media programmes. The Times states: ‘The university is not research-driven, but engineering, architecture and the built environment, social work and social policy all contained some ‘world-leading’ research in the 2008 assessments’. The Times made this statement despite the University ranking so low.
The University of Bolton has a diverse student population. Around 13% of home students are from ethnic minority communities, with about 8% of its students being classed as international. This portion of students come from 70 countries outside the UK. The university also has a Chaplaincy that accommodates several different faiths.
The main Students' Union building is on Deane Road at the centre of the University Campus. As well as being home to the SU bar (Loft Bar) and the hub of many social events, the union provides numerous other roles, such as student support and advice (The Advice Unit), representation and sporting societies.
Bolton has many different sports teams competing in the BUCS leagues. Teams include: Basketball, Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby League and Rugby Union.
Bolton One also offers students an eight-lane, 25-metre competition swimming pool, 50 foot climbing wall and sports hall.
On 5 June 2013, University of Bolton sustainable energy company Fibrlec was announced as the new principal sponsor of Bolton Wanderers. This agreement ran for two years up until the end of the 2014-15 season.
Controversy surrounding management of the University
Illegal expulsion of Students' Union President
Based on a complaint by a member of staff, in 2012 the University illegally replaced the Students' Union President, Shana Begum, with the very same unelected member of staff who had complained about her, in breach of section 22(d) of the Education Act 1994.
Bridging loan made to Vice Chancellor
On 21 February 2015 The Bolton News reported that the Vice Chancellor George Holmes had been provided with a bridging loan of £960,000 from University funds to assist him in moving home. Further coverage of the story was provided by The Daily Mail on 22 February 2015.
University of Bolton pays £100k for strategy away day
On 5 March 2015 The Times Higher Education ran a story covering The University of Bolton spending about £100,000 to take all 700 of its staff for an overnight stay in the Lake District so that they can hear from the vice-chancellor about the strategic aims of the institution. All staff were expected to stay for a night at the four-star Lakeside Hotel on the shore of Lake Windermere, some 70 miles outside Bolton, where a room with a view of the lake usually costs about £220 a night. George Holmes, vice-chancellor of the university since 2006, owns a yacht that is currently moored at a marina on the lake.
Sacking of trade union representative
On 20 March 2015 Damien Markey, a trade union representative for the University and College Union (UCU), was pulled out of an internal review meeting and told to report to a disciplinary hearing. At the disciplinary hearing Mr Markey was accused of “making malicious statements about colleagues, leaking information to the press aimed at damaging the university, and bringing the university into disrepute” and summarily dismissed. Mr Markey's wife, Jennifer, herself a Unison member was also sacked a couple of days later. Mr Markey denies all of the charges and is believed to be taking action against the University.
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- "Partners". Bolton One.[dead link]
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- "UK university to launch centre here in Dec.". ITpro. 9 November 2011.
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- "Statement:Shirt sponsor announcement". Bolton Wanderers F.C. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Socialist Party :: Bolton Uni: Reinstate Shana Begum!". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "Education Act 1994". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "University of Bolton gives £1m 'bridging loan' to vice chancellor so he can move to town". The Bolton News. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Struggling university under fire for loaning its £200k-a-year vice-chancellor £1MILLION to buy Edwardian mansion so he didn't have to make 50-mile commute". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
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