Loughborough University

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Loughborough University
Shield of Loughborough University.svg
Shield of Loughborough University
MottoLatin: Veritate, Scientia, Labore
Motto in English
By Truth, Wisdom, and Labour
Established1909 – Loughborough Technical Institute
1966 – Loughborough University of Technology established by royal charter[1][2]
Endowment£2.1 million (2018)[3]
Budget£300.8 million (2017–18)[3]
ChancellorSebastian Coe
Vice-ChancellorNick Jennings
VisitorPaul Michell[4]
Academic staff
Students18,439 (2018/2019)
Undergraduates13,885 (2019/20)[6]
Postgraduates4,410 (2019/20)[6]
Other students
1,205 FE[7]
England, United Kingdom

52°46′6″N 1°13′43″W / 52.76833°N 1.22861°W / 52.76833; -1.22861Coordinates: 52°46′6″N 1°13′43″W / 52.76833°N 1.22861°W / 52.76833; -1.22861
CampusSuburban, single-site campus (440 acres)
Colours  African Violet
AffiliationsUniversities UK, Wallace Group, AMBA, EUA, ACU, EMUA, EQUIS, ESRC, SEFI, M5 Universities, UNITECH
Loughborough Uni logo.png

Loughborough University (abbreviated as Lough or Lboro for post-nominals)[8][9] is a public research university in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England. It has been a university since 1966, but the institution dates back to 1909, when the then Loughborough Technical Institute began with a focus on skills and knowledge which would be directly applicable in the wider world. In March 2013, the university announced it had acquired the former broadcast centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which opened as a second campus in 2015.

It was a member of the 1994 Group of smaller research intensive universities until the group was dissolved in November 2013. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £300.8 million of which £41.9 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £295.5 million.[3]

Loughborough is top 7 in every national university league table in the UK, and top in its region.[10] It was named University of the Year in 2019 by The Times and Sunday Times.[11] It is the first university to receive this award twice.[11] In 2020 it was awarded University of the Year by the WhatUni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs).[12] The title was decided by over 41,000 student reviews from more than 150 higher education institutions to determine which universities provided the best experiences. Altogether, it achieved an overall rating of 4.58/5, a record-breaking score for the WUSCAs in the seven years that it has taken place.[13]


The university traces its roots back to 1909 when a Technical Institute was founded in the town centre. There followed a period of rapid expansion during which the institute was renamed Loughborough College and the development of the present campus began.

In the early years, efforts were made to mimic the environment of an Oxbridge college (e.g. requiring students to wear gowns to lectures) whilst maintaining a strong practical counterbalance to academic learning. During World War I, the institute served as an 'instructional factory', training workers for the munitions industry.[14]

The Loughborough colleges[edit]

Following the war, the institute fragmented into four separate colleges:

  • Loughborough Training College (teacher training)
  • Loughborough College of Art (art and design)
  • Loughborough College of Further Education (technical and vocational)
  • Loughborough College of Technology (technology and science)

The last was to become the nucleus of the present university. Its rapid expansion from a small provincial college to the first British technical university was due largely to the efforts of its principals, Herbert Schofield who led it from 1915 to 1950 and Herbert Haslegrave who oversaw its further expansion from 1953 to 1967, and steered its progress first to a College of Advanced Technology and then a university.[15] In 1966, the College of Advanced Technology as it had then become, received university status. In 1977, the university broadened its range of studies by amalgamating with Loughborough College of Education (formerly the Training College). More recently, in August 1998, the university merged with Loughborough College of Art and Design (LCAD). Loughborough College is still a college of further education.

The influence of Herbert Schofield[edit]

Herbert Schofield became principal in 1915 and continued to lead the College of Technology until 1950. Over his years as principal, the college changed almost beyond recognition. He purchased the estate of Burleigh Hall on the western outskirts of the town, which became the nucleus of the present 438-acre (1.77 km2) campus. He also oversaw the building of the original Hazlerigg and Rutland halls of residence, which are now home to the university's administration and the vice-chancellor's offices.

From college to university[edit]

An experienced educationist, Herbert Haslegrave took over as college principal in 1953, and by both increasing the breadths and raising standards, gained it the status of Colleges of Advanced Technology in 1958. He further persuaded the department of education to buy further land and began a building programme.[15] In 1963, the Robbins Report on higher education recommended that all colleges of advanced technology should be given the status of universities. Consequently, Loughborough College of Technology was granted a Royal Charter on 19 April 1966 and became Loughborough University of Technology (LUT), with Haslegrave as its first vice-chancellor.[14]

It gradually remodelled itself in the image of the plate glass universities of the period, which had also been created under Robbins.

Later history[edit]

In 1977, Loughborough Training College (now renamed Loughborough College of Education) was absorbed into the university. The Arts College was also amalgamated with the university in 1998. These additions have diluted the technological flavour of the institution, causing it to resemble more a traditional university with its mix of humanities, arts and sciences. Consequently, in 1996, the university dropped the 'of Technology' from its title, becoming 'Loughborough University'.[14]

The shortened name 'Lboro' or 'Luff' is commonly used by the students' union,[16] the alumni association[17] and others.


Bastard Gates
Walled garden

The university's main campus is in the Leicestershire town of Loughborough. The Loughborough campus (once the estate of Burleigh Hall) covers an area of 438 acres (1.77 km2), and includes academic departments, 17 halls of residence, the Students' Union, two gyms, gardens and playing fields.

Of particular interest are the walled garden, the 'garden of remembrance', the Hazlerigg-Rutland Hall fountain-courtyard and the Bastard Gates.

In the central quadrangle of the campus stands a famous cedar, which has often appeared as a symbol for the university. Unfortunately a heavy snowfall in December 1990 led to the collapse of the upper canopy which gave the tree its distinctive shape.


Pilkington Library

The Pilkington Library opened in 1980. It covers 9,161 square metres over four floors with 1375 study places (up from 780 prior to the renovation in late 2013). The library has a history of undertaking research in the field of library and information work. There is an open access area where students are allowed to take in cold food and drinks as well as to engage in group discussions.

Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel[edit]

Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel[18] is a four-star hotel and conference centre on campus that has 225 bedrooms and incorporates Burleigh Springs Leisure and Therapy Centre, a spa and leisure facility.

Holywell Park Conference Centre[edit]

Holywell Park Conference Centre[19] is a conference and meeting venue located on campus. It was used as the kitting out location for Team GB[20] prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel[edit]

Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel[21] is a training base and hotel for elite athletes opening in November 2018.[22]

University Stadium[edit]

The University Stadium in 2018

The £4 million[23] stadium for the university's rugby and football first teams was opened in 2012 and has a capacity of 3,000.[24] It is home to Loughborough University FC who are one of the few university sides to play in the English football league system, currently competing in the United Counties League.[25] The stadium has many features not normally found at that level of football including a digital scoreboard, conference facilities and 14 changing rooms. In 2018 it hosted four matches in the group stages of the European Under-17 Championships.[26]


Brockington Building is the home of the Department of Social Sciences

Loughborough University is headed by a vice-chancellor and is organised into ten schools:

  • School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering (comprising the departments of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials)
  • School of Business and Economics
  • School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
  • Loughborough Design School
  • Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • School of Science (comprising the departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics and the Mathematical Sciences)
  • School of Social Sciences (comprising the departments of Communication and Media, Geography, PHIR and Social and Policy Studies)
  • School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
  • School of the Arts, English and Drama (comprising the School of the Arts and the Department of English & Drama)
  • Loughborough University London (comprising the Institute for Design Innovation, Institute for Digital Technologies, Academy of Diplomacy and International Governance, Glendonbrook Institute for Enterprise Development, Institute for International Management, Institute for Media and Creative Industries, Institute for Sport Business)

Each of these 10 schools has a senior management team (School SMTs) consisting of deans, associate deans for teaching, research and enterprise, and operations managers. With this change of organisation within the university the new Academic Leadership Team (ALT), made up of the vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellor, chief operating officer, director of finance, the pro vice-chancellors for research, teaching and enterprise, and the 10 new deans, replaced the previous Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
School of Civil and Building Engineering
Department of Chemistry
British Aerospace EAP at the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Department of Politics, History and International Relations[edit]

The Department of Politics, History and International Relations (PHIR) is a department of Loughborough University located in Leicestershire. PHIR evolved from the Department of European Studies, which was established in 1972. In 2001 in the Research Assessment Exercise PHIR was awarded a grade of 5B and in the same year it scored 23/24 in the External Subject Review. It was not until 2003 that the department took the decision to invest in the study of Politics and International Relations and began to offer undergraduate degrees in International Relations. It was after this that the department had a change of name and became the Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies. In 2005 the department greatly expanded in size and added a further three members of staff. It added a further three lecturers to its number in 2007.

As of 2009 PHIR now offers History as one half of a selection of joint honours degrees. As History has become a major component of the department it was renamed to reflect this fact. European Studies was dropped from the name and replaced by History, the Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies (PIRES) becoming the Department of Politics, History and International Relations or 'PHIR'.

The department currently offers seven undergraduate courses, three Masters courses and provides research possibilities (with the department being recognised by the ESRC). PHIR is the center for the university-wide Languages Programme. This programme offers the chance to include French, German or Spanish as part of an undergraduate degree. After hours tuition is also available as part of the Extra-curricular Language Programme. Languages provided for as of 2007 include: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Russian. The Schofield Building on campus houses the Mathematics Education Centre. Here students can get support and guidance regarding mathematical skills. In particular the staff have in depth knowledge of statistics and the statistics research based programme SPSS.

The Department of PHIR focusses its research primarily on three main areas: Politics and Public Policy (an area which the university won the Queen's Anniversary Prize for in 2005), International Relations and European Studies. Within these broad areas aspects of particular interest include the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU; EU-Asia relations; political thought and theory; security studies; intelligence studies; sexual politics; human rights.

PHIR has earned the respect of many for its high standards in teaching and for its tradition of good quality research.

As of 2007 there were 21 academic, 9 teaching and 6 support staff all working within the department of PHIR. Notably, Ruth Kinna is Professor of Political Theory. Notable alumni include Paula Radcliffe, Tanni Grey-Thompson and James Gibson.

Loughborough Sport[edit]

Loughborough Sport is the brand identity for the sport-related activities and facilities at the university. The university is host to a number of sports governing bodies including England cricket, British swimming, British Triathlon, England Netball, British athletics and British weight lifting [29]


The official colour of the university is African violet. The coat of arms incorporates several symbols relevant to the history of the Loughborough area, including Offa of Mercia's cross (a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Mercia, within whose borders the town now stands) and the peafowl from the arms of the Dukes of Rutland. The motto of the university is veritate scientia labore ("with truth, wisdom and labour", or, alternatively, "with truth, knowledge and work", depending on the translation).[30]

The university has a strong tradition in both engineering and sport. From its strong engineering and technical background it has now expanded, becoming a centre of excellence in the field of sports and sports science.[citation needed] It has graduated a number of world-class athletes including Paula Radcliffe and Lord Coe. In keeping with this tradition, Loughborough students have won the British Universities & Colleges Sport Association (BUCS) championship every year for four decades. The university is the home of the England and Wales Cricket Board's National Academy, opened in November 2003.[citation needed]

The phonetic spelling "Lufbra" is sometimes used amongst students, graduates, and in Students' Union publications, and the name is also often abbreviated to "lboro" both casually as well as within more formal/academic circles, stemmed from the university's URL of "www.lboro.ac.uk".

There is a one-week break between semester one and semester two. Normally little to no exams are scheduled in this week therefore students are presented with a week free from studies. This week is referred to as Refreshers Week by most students.

The university (and Loughborough College before it) once had a "mascot" consisting of an oversized knight's helmet with a lowered visor, commonly called "Thor". This was constructed in 1958 by students of Hazlerigg-Rutland hall in the college welding shop.[31] In the late 1980s Thor was displayed in the Students' Union foyer, but it has since gone missing.[32] There is much speculation concerning its current whereabouts.

Academic profile[edit]

The university has 20 academic departments and over 100 research groups, institutes and centres divided between ten schools since the university's new school structure was implemented for the academic year 2011/12. Previous to this, the departments and research institutes were split between three faculties: Science, Engineering and Social Science & Humanities.

It has 18,295 students; 13,885 of whom are undergraduates and 4,410 are pursuing postgraduate courses and/or research (based on 2019/20 figures).[6] Its current Chancellor is Lord Sebastian Coe, (the previous chancellor, Sir Nigel Rudd retired from the position in summer 2015, having served for five years).

Loughborough University's acting vice-chancellor and president is Professor Chris Linton. Nick Jennings CB will take up the post in October 2021 following the departure of Robert Allison, who left the post at the end of the 2020/21 academic year.

The university has won seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for work with the aeronautical and automotive industries (1994); support for developing countries (1998); for a pioneering role in developing applications of modern optics and laser technologies (2000); for its world leading roles in sports research, education and development (2002); for its world leading role in social policy in recognition of its outstanding and widely respected work in evaluating and helping develop social policy-related programmes, such as those for cared for children, social security policy, crime prevention, education initiatives and young carers (2005); for recognition of its vehicle, road and driver safety research (2007); and for its impact through research and skills development in High Value Manufacturing to create economic growth (2013).[33]

The university has the largest sports scholarship programme in the UK with currently over 250 international athletes studying and training.[34]


UCAS Admission Statistics
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Applications[35] 31,215 29,390 25,225 24,470 21,920
Offer Rate (%)[36] 77.9 79.3 81.8 83.7 85.7
Enrols[37] 3,980 3,945 4,050 3,530 4,125
Yield (%) 16.4 16.9 19.6 17.2 22.0
Applicant/Enrolled Ratio 7.84 7.45 6.23 6.93 5.31
Average Entry Tariff[38][a] n/a 162 400 410 397

In terms of average UCAS points of entrants, Loughborough ranked 30th in Britain in 2014.[39] According to the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, approximately 17% of Loughborough's undergraduates come from independent schools.[40] In the 2016–17 academic year, the university had a domicile breakdown of 79:5:16 of UK:EU:non-EU students respectively with a female to male ratio of 39:61.[41]

Rankings and reputation[edit]

National rankings
Complete (2022)[42]7
Guardian (2022)[43]7
Times / Sunday Times (2022)[44]10
Global rankings
ARWU (2021)[45]501–600
CWTS Leiden (2021)[46]271
QS (2022)[47]231
THE (2022)[48]351–400
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[49]Gold

Loughborough was named University of the Year 2019 in The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide.[50] Loughborough is the only university to have won the title twice. Loughborough also moved up to 5th overall in the Good University Guide.[51] Loughborough was also given the title of university of the year at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.[52]

In 2018 Loughborough was named best in the UK for student experience in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for the fifth time since 2009.[53]

Loughborough University was ranked 4th in the 2019 Guardian University League table.[54]

Loughborough kept its position as the best university in the world to study sports-related subjects in the global 2018 QS higher education league table.[55] In 2017 Loughborough achieved a five star plus rating in the QS Stars University Ratings.[56]

The Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology, or CREST, runs the internationally recognised masters programme in renewable energy. The Department of Politics, History and International Relations, or PHIR as it is commonly known, is home to researchers in European politics and international relations. The Centre for Research in Social Policy is an independent research centre based within the Department of Social Sciences. It is responsible for calculating the Minimum Income Standard in the United Kingdom for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


University Centre of Cricket Excellence (UCCE) cricket ground
England and Wales Cricket Board's National Academy

Loughborough is renowned in the UK for its sports provisions.[57] Loughborough is home to the world's largest university-based sports technology research group, which is part of the Sports Technology Institute. SportPark, based at the university provides a home for national sporting bodies including Youth Sport Trust, British Swimming and several other national governing bodies.[58] Loughborough Students have performed well in the BUCS Overall Championship for more than forty years, winning the overall trophy for 40 successive years.[59]

ECB National Academy which is also known as the National Cricket Performance Centre has been based at Loughborough since 2003 and provides indoor and outdoor training facilities for cricketers.[60]

Loughborough was chosen by the British Olympic Association as the training base and official Preparation Camp for Team GB in the run-up to the London 2012 Games. Students and graduates of Loughborough won four bronze medals and six Paralympic medals (one gold, three silver and two bronze) in the 2012 Summer Olympics.[61]

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, over 120 athletes from Loughborough represented 8 teams, across 10 sports. In total, 35 medals were won by athletes with Loughborough connections; 13 bronze, 13 silver and nine gold medals. If Loughborough was a country, the university would have finished 11th on the medal table at the 2014 Games.[62]

In 2016 over 80 students, graduates and Loughborough-linked athletes travelled to Rio to participate in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In the Olympic competition their athletes secured 12 medals, including 5 golds.[63] Loughborough-linked coaches also played a key role in the Games, with alumni guiding Team GB, Canada and Fiji to gold medals. During the Paralympic competition Loughborough-linked athletes secured a further 22 medals.[63]

Student life[edit]

Students' Union[edit]

The Union building sits in the north-eastern corner of the campus, and offers a range of facilities for clubs and societies, retail, entertainment and other activities. The Union has five rooms, each with its own theme. Loughborough Students' Union (LSU), was awarded the International Experience Award 2011 by the National Union of Students (NUS).

As well as representing the student body through Union Council and offering academic support through Loughborough Students' Voice, the Union has five main sections for students to get involved with.; the athletic union offers 56 different sporting clubs, the Societies Federation consists of over 80 societies, Action is the volunteering section offering a range of opportunities for students. There are 45 regular projects working with young people, the elderly, special needs, the homeless or the environment.

Loughborough Students' Rag is a student fundraising organisation. For the last eight years they have raised over £1M per year for local, national and international charities. The total raised since records began is now over £16M

Loughborough has its own media centre which offers the opportunity to make TV shows with LSUTV, have your own radio show with LCR, write for the student magazine Label or improve your photography with Lens.[64] The School of the Arts, English and Drama runs The Lamplight Press, the UK's first student-led publishing company.[65]

Loughborough University, Epinal Way entrance.

Student halls[edit]

As of 2016, there are a total of 17 halls of residence, many of which are named after famous scientists and engineers.[66] The halls are as follows:

Name Location Open to Catering status
Robert Bakewell Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Butler Court (with A Block) East Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Cayley Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Claudia Parsons Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
David Collett West Park Undergraduates only Catered
Falkner–Eggington Central Park Undergraduates and postgraduates Self-catering
Faraday Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Forest Court Off campus Postgraduates only Self-catering
Harry French Historic Hall Off campus Undergraduates and postgraduates Self-catering
Hazlerigg–Rutland Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
The Holt Off Campus Undergraduates only Self-catering
William Morris Off campus Undergraduates only Self-catering
John Phillips Village Park Postgraduates only Self-catering
Elvyn Richards Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Royce Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Rutherford Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Telford Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Towers East Park Undergraduates only Catered

Of these, Hazlerigg–Rutland, John Phillips, Elvyn Richards and Telford have names that were previously used for halls of residence that have since been repurposed, renamed or merged with other halls. In 2015 Loughborough University ranked 1st in the UK for accommodation on a university review platform StudentCrowd.[67]

Fitness facilities[edit]

Loughborough University has two main gyms, namely Powerbase and Holywell.

University leadership[edit]

Loughborough University's campus from the town's Carillon tower.

Chairmen of Governors[edit]




International programmes[edit]

Loughborough University and Kazakhstan's Bolashak scholarship programme signed a cooperation agreement in 2018. The agreement enables taught master's and PhD students to study at the university's two campuses in the East Midlands and London.[69]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ New UCAS Tariff system from 2016


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Further reading[edit]

  • L. M. Cantor & G. F. Matthews (1977). Loughborough from College to University: A History of Higher Education at Loughborough, 1909–66. ISBN 0-902761-19-6.
  • Leonard Cantor (1990). Loughborough University of Technology: Past and Present. OCLC 505085455.

External links[edit]