University of Central Lancashire

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University of Central Lancashire
UCLan Coat of Arms.jpg
Motto Latin: Ex solo ad solem
Motto in English "From the Ground to the Sun"
Established

1828 – Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge established

1992 – University status granted
Type Public
Chancellor Sir Richard Evans
Vice-Chancellor Gerry Kelleher
Students 32,040[1]
Undergraduates 27,845[1]
Postgraduates 4,195[1]
Location Preston, England
Coordinates: 53°45′47″N 2°42′27″W / 53.763021°N 2.7074°W / 53.763021; -2.7074
Campus Urban
Colours
                                 
Affiliations Million+
Website http://www.uclan.ac.uk/
University of Central Lancashire

The University of Central Lancashire (abbreviated UCLan) is a public university based in Preston, Lancashire, England. It has its roots in The Institution For The Diffusion Of Useful Knowledge founded in 1828. Subsequently known as Harris Art College, then Preston Polytechnic, then Lancashire Polytechnic, in 1992 it was granted university status by the Privy Council. The university is the eighth largest in the UK in terms of student numbers.[2]

History[edit]

The Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was founded in 1828 by Joseph Livesey's Temperance Society. The society was born from a pledge made by seven Preston working men (whose names can be seen on a plaque in the university's library) to never again consume alcohol.

The institute was housed in a classical-revivalist building on Cannon Street, before eventually expanding under the endowment of a local lawyer, Edmund Robert Harris, who died in 1877. The expansion brought with it several new buildings and houses in the nearby Regent Street were purchased and demolished as a consequence. The institute became a regional centre of excellence for the arts and sciences.

As part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897, the institutes trustees paid the Victorian/Edwardian architect Henry Cheers to design the "Victoria Jubilee Technical School" (later known as the Harris Institute and now known as the Harris Building), to be built on Corporation Street. Its goal was to provide local youths with a technical education in all areas. The building was progressive for the period, being powered entirely by electricity.

The institute existed in this state until 1932 when it changed its name to become the Harris Art College. It underwent further expansion and in 1952 and became the Harris College. In 1973 this became Preston Polytechnic then the Lancashire Polytechnic in 1984. In 1992, full university status was awarded and the University of Central Lancashire came into existence. The first chancellor of the university was Sir Francis Kennedy and he was succeeded in 2001 by Sir Richard Evans.

The journalism division, now part of the School of Journalism and Media, is one of the oldest in the country, opening as part of the Harris College in 1962. In 1991, it became one of the first to teach journalism undergraduate degrees, with a strong emphasis on practical work.

In 2013 the School of Dentistry and the School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education merged to create the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In 2013 the University announced the launch of a self-funded undergraduate medical degree programme, available within the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Commencing in September 2015, spaces on the five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS) programme are limited to 35 international and self-funded students.

In 2013 UCLan’s British Sign Language and Deaf Studies programme marked its 20th anniversary. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of British Sign Language/English interpreters working in the UK have been taught on courses delivered at UCLan.

The university sponsors the Visions Learning Trust and Wigan UTC, two university technical colleges which opened in September 2013.[3][4]

Campus[edit]

The university is on an urban campus in Preston. as well as another in Burnley. UCLan has further campuses at Westlakes in West Cumbria (nuclear and energy related research programmes), alongside a new €53 million Cyprus campus which opened in October 2012.[5]

The University has students and researchers from over 100 countries and partnerships with 125 international institutions.

The University has a base in China’s Shenzhen Virtual University Park, conducting collaborative research with some of China’s leading universities into nanotechnology with applications in drug delivery, water purification and fire toxicity.

Within our School of Languages, Literature and International Studies, staff speak 30 languages and represent 22 nationalities. UCLan has 69 professors, over 600 research or knowledge transfer-active members of staff, and 550 research students.

In the 2013 Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCI Survey) UCLan was named the top North West University, and among the top three nationally, for producing sustainable student and graduate start-up ventures. Over 1,000 students or graduates started a business or became self-employed in the last five years and an impressive 77 percent are still trading after two years.

Undergraduate research[edit]

UCLan has established one of the UK’s largest undergraduate research internship schemes.

Since the scheme launched in 2008, nearly 350 interns have worked directly alongside UCLan researchers on projects as diverse as digital publishing, wind power analysis, facial composite development and smart bandage exploration.

The initiative enhances a variety of academic and employability skills, leading to some fantastic outputs including presentations at the Houses of Parliament and published journal articles.

In 2011 UCLan hosted the first British Conference of Undergraduate Research at the Preston Campus.

Buildings[edit]

The School of Education and Social Science building, Livesey House, was named after the temperance activist Joseph Livesey.

The university opened the brand new JB Firth building in September 2011, at a cost of £12.5 million. The building houses the School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, which includes subjects such as chemistry and forensic science. The new building has a 4,000 m2 teaching area, which includes six laboratories: two for chemistry undergraduate teaching, one for chemistry research, one analytical laboratory and two fire laboratories. The building was named after James Brierly Firth, a founder of forensic science in Britain.[5]

The Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre opened, replacing the Foster Sports Centre, in 2011. It is a purpose built indoor facility on the main campus and offers Students' Union sports clubs, instructor-led classes and individual training.

Other key facilities include:

  • The £15 million Media Factory which incorporates state-of-the-art facilities for digital media and performing arts students, together with a business incubator facility.
  • UCLan has one of Europe’s largest 3D lecture theatres, adding a third dimension to a number of subject areas including health and engineering.
  • Our £5.3 million Allen Building incorporates some of Europe’s most advanced facilities for students studying within the School of Medicine and Dentistry.


Academic profile[edit]

The Harris Building, built in 1897
The Adelphi Building

The university has the following schools:

  • Art, Design and Performance
  • Built and Natural Environment
  • Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
  • Education and Social Science
  • Forensic and Investigative Sciences
  • Health
  • Journalism and Media
  • Lancashire Business School
  • Lancashire Law School
  • Languages and International Studies
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors

International developments[edit]

UCLan enrols students from over 100 countries and has partnerships with 125 international institutions located across the world. Each year over 2,000 international students study at the University’s Preston Campus.

UCLan was the first modern university in the UK to be included in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. In 2013 QS awarded UCLan the full five stars for its approach to ‘Internationalisation’ with a proven track record for specialising in all aspects of international educational provision.

UCLan has over 3,000 students enrolled offshore, across a diverse range of countries including China, Greece, India, Mauritius, Singapore and the USA.

In 2013, following receipt of Chinese Ministry of Education approval and together with its partner Hebei University (HBU), the UCLan established the ‘Hebei/UCLan School of Media, Communication and Creative Industries’.

Initially the joint School will have non-independent status, meaning that although it will be a separate entity from HBU it will be wholly owned by it. The School will have 800 students, recruiting 200 per year for the four-year duration of the programmes. The intention is to grow to 1,600 students and then to focus on a broader range of subjects, targeting science in the second wave. When successfully operating at the expanded level, the School will apply for independent campus status.

Alumni[edit]

  • Dr Darren Groombridge, Senior Nuclear Safety Consultant, BSc(Hons) Astrophysics. Class of 1997.
  • Richard Frediani, Programme Editor of ITV’s early evening news programme, PG Dip Journalism. Class of 1990.
  • Carl Lygo, CEO and Head of BPP University College, LLB(Hons). Class of 1989.
  • Alfred Hitchcock, Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service. MBA. Class of 2002.


Film production[edit]

UCLAN is the only university in the UK to run a feature film module, the most recent of this series is Audax (2014). Previous include The Wedding (2013), Wraith (2012)[6] and Needle In The Hay (2011) [7]

Research project[edit]

In 2012, UCLAN announced a partnership with the UK's biggest arms company, (BAE Systems), and four other north-western universities (Liverpool, Salford, Lancaster and Manchester) in order to work on the Gamma Programme which aims to develop "autonomous systems". According to the University of Liverpool when referring to the programme, "autonomous systems are technology based solutions that replace humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous and dirty, or detailed and precise, across sectors, including aerospace, nuclear, automotive and petrochemicals".[8]

Student life[edit]

Students' Union[edit]

The Students' Union venue, 53 Degrees.

The nightclub and live music venue at the Students' Union, '53 Degrees', has two floors with a bar on each and occasionally hosts well known musical performers. Across two rooms, total capacities are 1,100 & 350 for club nights and 1,400 and 350 for all live gigs. The adjoining bar, 'Source', is open seven days a week during term times.

The Student's Union played host to the legendary Feel clubnights that began in January 1994 and ran until 2005.[9][10]

Sports[edit]

There are over 35 sports clubs run by the students’ union. Many have block bookings at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre in term-time for training and matches. The sports clubs participate in British Universities and Colleges Sport competitions and have home and away fixtures.

The university outdoor sport facilities can be found at UCLan Sports Arena (USA) which is located just 2 miles away and was opened in 2000 by The Princess Royal. The £12 million[citation needed] arena provides facilities for Rugby League, Rugby Union, Football (5 grass pitches) Hockey (2 floodlit all weather pitches) Netball and Tennis (4 floodlit courts) and Cycling (1 mile (1.6 km) circuit), as well as an eight lane athletics area, equipped for school, club and county competitions.

The university's Motor Sports Engineering and Operations students run a motor racing team, UCLAN Racing.[11]

Pluto[edit]

Pluto is the student newspaper. It is usually published every fortnight, and began in 1985 as the Ribble Echo. It is now printed in tabloid format with colour photography. In 1998, it was awarded Guardian 'Student Newspaper of the Year'.[12][13]

In 2007 the paper undertook two investigations which gained wider media coverage.

The first published in October 2007 exposed the chairman of the Conservative Future Society at the Students' Union, Fergus Bowman, as the leader of a homophobic Facebook (public) group called 'Homos Burn in Hell'. Bowman was quoted on the group making homophobic comments. The BBC reported Bowman resigned his position and the Mirror reported he had been suspended by the University of Central Lancashire Students' Union.

In December 2007 a three-week long undercover investigation exposed a UCLan masters student Kai Li for running an essay-writing scam across a number of UK universities. The Preston Citizen reported how the student had been charging up to £1,000 for essays and the BBC reported he had been suspended and disciplined by the university.

Deputy News Editor Ricki Dewsbury, now at the Daily Mail, won three awards[14] at the Press Gazette Student Journalism Awards in June 2008, for his work in both stories.[15] Dewsbury was made Student Journalist of the Year, News Writer of the Year and picked up Scoop of the Year for the investigation into the essay-writing scam.

Notable alumni[edit]

Scottish MSP Aileen McLeod
Deputy Leader of UKIP Paul Nuttall

References[edit]

External links[edit]