University of Hertfordshire

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University of Hertfordshire
UK COA University of Hertfordshire.svg
Coat of arms of University of Hertfordshire
Motto Quaere scientiam tota vita
Motto in English Seek Knowledge Throughout Life
Established 1952 - Hatfield Technical College
1958 - Hatfield College of Technology
1969 - Hatfield Polytechnic
1992 - University of Hertfordshire
Type Public
Endowment £617,000[1]
Chancellor Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury
Vice-Chancellor Quintin McKellar[2]
Students 27,725
Undergraduates 21,170
Postgraduates 6,040
Other students 515 FE[3]
Location Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England
Campus 199.79 hectares,[4] Urban
Colours      Hertfordshire Purple
Affiliations Non-Aligned Universities, ACU, University Alliance
University of Hertfordshire logo.png

The University of Hertfordshire is a British new university based largely in Hatfield, in the county of Hertfordshire, England, from which the university takes its name. It has more than 27,000 students and 2358 staff, 812 of which are academic members of staff.[1] It has over 5,200 international students and a global network of over 160,000 alumni.

Throughout its history, the university has been strong in aerospace engineering and computer science. More recently, it has built up its strengths in other areas such as pharmacology, history, business, geography and astrophysics. The university is ranked 9th for physics by the Guardian University guide for 2011.[5] The university has a unique history in training aerospace engineers.[6]



Hatfield Technical College
Hatfield Polytechnic

In 1951, the de Havilland company gave land in Hatfield adjoining the A1 to Hertfordshire County Council for educational use in perpetuity; in 1952, the Council used this to build and operate Hatfield Technical College which would train engineers for Hatfield’s aerospace industry.[7] In 1958, Hatfield Technical College was redesignated as Hatfield College of Technology.[8] The institution was identified as one of 25 Colleges of Technology in United Kingdom in 1959.[9]

20th Century[edit]

Hatfield College of Technology became a polytechnic offering degrees in technology in 1969.[8] The renamed Hatfield Polytechnic was given corporate status in 1989, giving it more control over how it was run.[8] In 1992, the institution was awarded university status and became self-governing, adopting the name of University of Hertfordshire.[8]

21st Century[edit]

2003 saw the de Havilland campus open, as well as the opening of the Hertfordshire Sports Village.[10] In May 2004 a false rape allegation led to a change in the law on retention of innocent folks DNA samples. In 2005 the University launched the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Postgraduate Medical School and the School of Pharmacy to enhance medical education, training and research in the region.[11] In 2006 the University open new School of Film, Music and Media. The university officially opened the MacLaurin building in 2007, named in honour of its former Chancellor Lord MacLaurin, designed to support its business facing activities. This was followed by the University opening a new Law Building in 2011.[12] The university is a lead academic sponsor of Elstree University Technical College, a new university technical college which opened in September 2013.[13]

Organisation and administration[edit]

The Board of Governors has overall responsibility for running the University, while the Academic Board is responsible for academic quality and standards, academic policies, research and scholarship. The Vice-Chancellor oversees the day-to-day running of the University. The current Chancellor of the university is Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury and the Vice-Chancellor is Quintin Mckellar.[14]


The university has ten academic schools:[15]

  • Computer Science
  • Creative Arts
  • Education
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Health and Social Work
  • Hertfordshire Business School
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Life and Medical Sciences
  • Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics

Campuses and facilities[edit]

The university is primarily based on two campuses, College Lane and de Havilland.

College Lane Campus[edit]

The main site of the university remains the College Lane campus, which houses the original Hatfield Technical College building. Notable among these is the Learning Resources Centre, a combined library and computer centre.[16] There is also a substantial collection of halls of residence and student houses, and the University of Hertfordshire Students' Union based on this campus. The University of Hertfordshire is also home to HIBT and Hertfordshire Intensive Care & Emergency Simulation Centre (HICESC). HIBT is part of the Navitas group, providing a direct pathway for international students to the University.[17]

de Havilland Campus[edit]

The £120-million de Havilland campus opened in September 2003 and is situated within 15 minutes walk of College Lane, and is built on a former BAe site. This campus also has its own Learning Resources Centre, a combined library and computer centre.[10] Hertfordshire Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool, squash courts is also on this site.

Bayfordbury Campus[edit]

A third 50 ha site in Bayfordbury houses the university's astronomical and atmospheric physics remote sensing observatory,[18] Regional Science Learning Centre,[19] and geography/biology field stations.[20]


University symbols[edit]

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban is the location of the University's annual award ceremonies. Graduates and diplomates are presented to The Marquess of Salisbury in front of the ceremonial mace and in the presence of the Vice-Chancellor, Deans, academic faculty, graduates and their families.

Academic dress[edit]

The University of Hertfordshire prescribes academic dress for its members.[21] Both dress and undress are prescribed, though only dress is used in practice - for example, at the graduation ceremonies, held in St Albans Cathedral.[22]

Coat of arms[edit]

The University's coat of arms was granted in 1992. The shield is charged with an oak tree taken from the coat of arms of the former Hatfield Rural District, the constellation Perseus (containing the binary star Algol) and a representation of the letter "H" recalling the emblem of the former Hatfield Polytechnic. The crest, a Phoenix rising from an astral crown, represents the University's evolution from a technical college training apprentices for the aviation industry. The two harts supporting the shield represent the county of Hertfordshire, with the covered cups referring to A.S. Butler, who donated the land upon which the original campus was built. A scroll bears the motto "Seek Knowledge Throughout Life".[23]

Ceremonial mace[edit]

The ceremonial mace was produced in 1999 by craftsman Martyn Pugh. Its design supposedly symbolises the University's origins, expertise and associations. Its shape is inspired by the shape of an aeroplane wing symbolising the university's origin in the aviation industry. The head of the mace is engraved with zodiac symbols representing the university's contribution to astronomy and also contains the DNA double helix representing the biological sciences and microprocessor chips representing information and communications technology.[24]


Current Rankings[edit]

(2013/14, world)
(2013/14, world)
(2015, national)
The Guardian[28]
(2015, national)
Times/Sunday Times[29]
(2014, national)

University of Hertfordshire ranks 301-350 among world universities by Times Higher Education, which has been maintained since 2010.[30] The University also ranks 60th globally on Times Higher Education 100 Under 50, a global ranking of the top 100 world universities under 50 years old.[31] The university is ranked 52nd in the top 100 most international universities in the world.[32] It ranks 651-700 on QS World University Rankings[33]

As one of the UK's Modern universities, achieving university status after 1992, the university is currently ranked 42nd out of 67, by the Sunday Times University Guide, for modern university rankings.[34] The Sunday Times has ranked the university 15th place, out of the 19 universities, based in the south east of England.[34]

According to the National Student Survey the University of Hertfordshire has a score of 82 out of 100, for overall student satisfaction. This is below the national average of 85 out of 100.[35]

QAA and OIA[edit]

The last Quality Assurance Agency institutional audit for the University was in March 2009. The outcome was that "confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards of the awards that it offers"[9]

According to the complaint statistics, from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, the university issued 69 completion of procedures letters in relation to student complaints, in 2013. This is below the band medium of 81, possibly suggesting greater student satisfaction when compared to university's of a similar size.[36] The OIA received 22 complaints in 2013. This is above the band medium of 18.5, possibly suggesting that more students are dissatisfied with the outcome of internal complaints procedure's, compared to university's of a similar size.[36]

The University has also never been named in an OIA annual report for a shortfall in practice, or a failure to comply with a recommendation set by the Adjudicator.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Annual Report 2011-12
  2. ^ "Key People". University of Hertfordshire website (Hatfield, Herts). 
  3. ^ "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 2008-04-09. 
  4. ^ Estates Vision University of Hertfordshire
  5. ^ "Physics". The Guardian (London). 2010-06-08. 
  6. ^ "The de Havilland Aircraft Company". Geoffrey de Havilland (Hatfield). 1920. 
  7. ^ Hatfield Technical College Our Hatfield
  8. ^ a b c d History of the University of Hertfordshire
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ a b Brave Herts The Guardian, 23 September 2003
  11. ^ Corporate Plan HertsDirect
  12. ^ Case Study - University of Hertfordshire Law Court Building Breathing buildings
  13. ^ Elstree University Technical College HertsDirect
  14. ^ Whitaker's Almanack 2012, p. 383
  15. ^ Our structure University of Hertfordshire
  16. ^ SCONUL library design award for College Lane LRC - SCONUL
  17. ^ HIBT
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Christianson and Piggott, Academic Dress in the University of Hertfordshire, ISBN 978-1-898543-01-5; 2ed ISBN 1-905313-39-X
  22. ^ Sir Roger Moore Meets The New Q at St Albans Cathedral St Albans Cathedral
  23. ^ Myth, Mystery and Materiality Futures, Winter 2010, p. 9
  24. ^ Martyn Pugh, Furniture - at Commission a Craftsman
  25. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2013/14". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "THE Top 400 Universities 2013-14". THE. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "University League Table 2015". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  28. ^ "University league table 2015 - the complete list". The Guardian. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  29. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2014". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "University of Hertfordshire - World University Rankings - 2013-14". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2013-11-08. 
  31. ^ "THE 100 Under 50 universities 2014". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  32. ^ "The 100 most international universities in the world". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 6-2-2014. 
  33. ^ Quacquarelli Symonds |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  34. ^ a b "University Guide". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2013-11-08. 
  35. ^ "University of Hertfordshire Details". Times Higher Education. 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2013-11-08. 
  36. ^ a b

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′12″N 0°14′38″W / 51.75333°N 0.24389°W / 51.75333; -0.24389