University of Bedfordshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

University of Bedfordshire
University Bedfordshire logo.png
Established1882 - Teacher Training College
1993 - University of Luton gained University Status
2006 – renamed to University of Bedfordshire after merging with the Bedford campus of De Montfort University
EndowmentUnknown (2015)[1]
Vice-ChancellorProfessor Rebecca Bunting
Students16,725 (2019/20)[2]
Undergraduates13,155 (2019/20)[2]
Postgraduates3,575 (2019/20)[2]
Location, ,

51°52′40″N 0°24′41″W / 51.87778°N 0.41139°W / 51.87778; -0.41139Coordinates: 51°52′40″N 0°24′41″W / 51.87778°N 0.41139°W / 51.87778; -0.41139
CampusUrban Edit this at Wikidata
University of Bedfordshire – Luton Campus

The University of Bedfordshire is a public research university situated in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, England. The university has roots from 1882, however, it gained university status in 1992 as University of Luton. Then changed the name to the University of Bedfordshire in 2006 by the approval of the Privy Council by merging the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University.

It has 16,725 students, including approximately 4,500 international students. It is spread across six campuses: there are four campuses in Bedfordshire, in Bedford and Luton; and two campuses in Buckinghamshire, in Aylesbury (for students studying Nursing and Midwifery), and in Milton Keynes (where business studies, electronic engineering, and telecommunications are taught).

The university entered the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008 and achieved a GPA of 2.087 with 34.7% world-leading or internationally excellent.[3] The top units of assessment were in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Social Work Social Policy and Administration and English Language and Literature. In 2012 it achieved FairTrade status.[4]

The most recent Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire was John Bercow, the former Speaker of the House of Commons.[5]


The University of Luton had its roots in the Luton Modern School, which was established in 1908 and the Luton Modern School and Technical Institute which opened in 1937. This became Luton College of Higher Education with the merger of Luton College of Technology and Putteridge Bury College of Education in 1976. It obtained university status in 1993. The Bedford campus of De Montfort University was originally part of the Bedford College of Higher Education, which stemmed from Bedford Teacher Training College, founded in 1882, and Bedford Physical Training College, founded in 1903. The university was created by the merger of the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University in August 2006 following approval by the Privy Council.[6]


The university's two main campuses are in Luton and Bedford.

There are also two dedicated campuses for the teaching of nursing and midwifery degrees at Butterfield Park on the outskirts of Luton and at the Buckinghamshire campus at Aylesbury College in Aylesbury. The university also has a site at Putteridge Bury which is home to its Knowledge Hub and postgraduate Business School.[7] The campus is situated in approximately 30 acres of landscaped gardens. The current building was completed in 1911 and was designed by architects Sir Ernest George and Alfred Yeats in the style of Chequers, having had various redesigns and rebuilds over the years. The campus is home to the university's postgraduate Business School as well as the university's Conference Centre.[8][9] A smaller fourth campus, the University Campus Milton Keynes, became part of the university in 2012.[10]

Luton Campus[edit]

The university's £34m Campus Centre opened in October 2010.[11] Designed for social activity as well as teaching the Campus Centre incorporates learning zones. It houses a 240-seat lecture theatre, an exhibition area for displaying student work, the Student Information Desk offering help and support for students and the Students' Union's support services and executive offices. There are also several places to eat and drink.

A £20m Postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development Centre is scheduled to be completed in early 2013 and includes state-of-the-art IT and AV equipment, informal and quiet learning spaces, two "Harvard-style" lecture theatres, as well as a student lounge and cafe. The Luton Learning Resource Centre has over 200,000 books and specialist texts, 9,000 journals and 300 fully networked PCs that are available at the Park Square campus. There is also an extensive online library of resources.

Luton campus is home to the following schools of study: Business; Media, Art and Design; Science; Computing; Law; Psychology; and Social Sciences.

Putteridge Bury, Luton[edit]

Built in 1911, Putteridge Bury is a country mansion set in 30 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, just four miles from the Park Square campus on the Hertfordshire – Bedfordshire border. It is home to the Bedfordshire Business School postgraduate programmes and the university's Conference Centre.[12]

Bedford Campus[edit]

Polhill Library on the Bedford campus

The Bedford campus on Polhill Avenue is about 20 minutes walk from Bedford town centre. The university provides a free bus service running between the town centre and the campus. The campus has recently undergone a redevelopment which includes a Physical Education and Sport Science Centre used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics, and a Bedford Campus Centre boasting a 280-seat theatre, dance studios, restaurant and social spaces for students. Liberty Park, the recently completed £20m on-campus student accommodation, offers 500 en-suite study bedrooms. The Polhill Library was designed by van Heyningen and Haward Architects as a gateway to the campus. The building was completed in 2001 and provides approximately 360 individual study spaces, teaching space, staff work areas and traditional library services.[13]

The Bedford campus has the following schools: Primary Education, Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education, Education Studies, Physical Education and Sport Studies, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Tourism and Leisure.

Butterfield Park (closed)[edit]

Butterfield serves Health, Nursing and Midwifery students, and £1m has been invested to offer students appropriate teaching and learning resources. The 85-acre 'building and technology' zone provides facilities that including a skills lab and a £500,000 clinical simulation centre, complete with operating theatre suite, hospital ward and family room, that ensure students develop and refine their clinical abilities in realistic settings.[14]

Butterfield Park was named Green Office of the Year 2008 in The Office Development Awards competition for the environmental development of the future.

It is home to the Luton Institute of Research in the Applied Natural Sciences (LIRANS), which focuses on postgraduate training, research, applied research and product development – in association with other academic groups and in collaboration with industry. LIRANS carries out research in three broad areas: cryobiology, environmental change and sensors.

Butterfield Park is located on the north-east side of Luton. It is also near to the university's Putteridge Bury Campus, which is four miles from the main Park Square campus.

During the 2016/17 academic year the University of Bedfordshire, tendered its lease from Butterflied Business Park, with students being moved to either Luton Park Square campus or Bedford campus.

Buckinghamshire campus, Aylesbury[edit]

Aylesbury College, the university's Buckinghamshire campus, for Nursing (Adult and Mental Health) and Midwifery students, in Aylesbury, is equipped with facilities including a multi-purpose skills lab with simulation facilities. Students can undertake clinical placements at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Wycombe Hospital in High Wycombe or in Amersham Hospital in Amersham, as well as in a range of community based healthcare settings. Students have access to Nursing accommodation in both the Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville hospitals.

University Campus Milton Keynes[edit]

The Milton Keynes campus became part of the university in September 2012.[10] It teaches Foundation Degrees and master's degrees in a variety of business, electronics, and Information and Communications Technology subjects.

Organisation and structure[edit]

The university has four faculties: Creative Arts, Technologies and Science; Education and Sport; Health and Social Sciences; and according to the Daily Telegraph it has "one of the most generous" scholarship programmes in the United Kingdom.[15] The university has regional representatives in several parts of India who have extensive training to give free counselling, advice and, where possible, a face to face interview to students, based in Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad and Vadodara.[citation needed]

Bedfordshire University also has a business school that is based on the Putteridge Bury campus and offers postgraduate and undergraduate degrees to students who want to study business and management.

Academic profile[edit]

In 2000 the University of Luton was ranked 83 out of 93 British universities by The Times[16] in their annual university ranking, rising to 72 out of 101 two years later.[17] In 2004, the university's then high drop-out rate, and decision to allow students to progress on to their third year of their degree even if they fail to pass their first and second-year exams led the Sunday Telegraph to ask "Is this the worst university in Britain?"[18] Luton's vice-chancellor responded by drawing attention to its teaching quality, which had been rated 14th out of 121 similar institutions the previous year by The Times.[19]

The Sunday Times also awarded the University of Luton the title of Best New university in 2004 (prior to the purchase of the Bedford campus and rebranding).[20] The QAA conducted a thorough institutional audit of the university as a whole in 2005 (prior to the merger of the university), which resulted in the audit team's questioning of the academic standards of its awards and its lack of confidence in the university's quality standards.[21] However, after the audit was taken the QAA was provided with information that indicates that appropriate action was taken by the university in response to the findings of this report. As a result, the audit was signed off in July 2007.[22]

The university hosts the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research opened in 2012[23] which carried out the first British study of cyberstalking and other forms of harassment online.[24] In 2012 it established a UNESCO chair in New Media Forms of the Book to analyse trends in the use of electronic media, mobile media and Internet technologies[25] through research and practice.[26]

Teaching quality[edit]

University of Bedfordshire – Bedford Campus Centre

In 2004 The Sunday Times awarded the university the title of 'Best New University'[27] and in 2007 it was short-listed for the Times Higher Education Supplement's University of the Year 2007.[28]


  • Awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade in 2011.[29]
  • Outstanding Finance Team winners in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2011.[30]
  • 'Gold' award from Investors in People in 2011.


National rankings
Complete (2021)[31]123
Guardian (2021)[32]121
Times / Sunday Times (2021)[33]131
Global rankings
THE (2021)[34]801–1000
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[35]Silver

Postgraduate studies[edit]

The university offers courses at the postgraduate level with 3,575 such students enrolled in 2019/20.[2] There are also 1,200 members of staff from more than 100 countries, with more than 46 per cent of students aged over 25.[citation needed]

In the latest Government Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, the university was recognised as 'world-leading' for its research in Earth Systems and Environmental Science; Social Work, Social Policy and Administration; English Language and Literature; and Communications, Cultural and Media Studies.[36] The university has also been recognised as 'internationally excellent' in the areas of Computer Science and Informatics; and Business and Management Studies.

Educational partner institutions[edit]

The university works together with a number of partner institutions to offer a range of courses:[37]

The university was a co-sponsor of UTC Central Bedfordshire, a university technical college which operated in Houghton Regis from 2012 until 2016.

Student life[edit]

The University of Bedfordshire Student Union is affiliated to the National Union of Students, which represents students nationwide.[38]

Notable alumni[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "RAE 2008: results for UK universities". The Guardian. London. 18 December 2008.
  4. ^ "People & Planet Green League 2012 - University Profile - People & Planet". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  5. ^ "University Court". Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Luton University: Taking on a new identity". The Independent. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Contact/Find us". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  8. ^ James Dyer, The Stopsley Book, Book Castle, 1998, ISBN 1-871199-04-2, pp. 56–64.
  9. ^ Good Stuff. "Putteridge Bury (Luton College of Higher Education) - Offley - Hertfordshire - England - British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b "'University College Milton Keynes' to open in 2012 -". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Dame Kelly Holmes opens University buildings". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  12. ^ See James Dyer, The Stopsley Book, Book Castle, 1998, ISBN 1-871199-04-2, pp. 56–64.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Top nurse opens university centre". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  15. ^ Paton, Graeme (9 March 2012). "Brightest students tempted by £3k university scholarships". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  16. ^ "Times University Ranking 2000 - Good University Ranking Guide". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Times University Ranking 2002 - Good University Ranking Guide". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  18. ^ Julie Henry, Is this the worst university in Britain?, Sunday Telegraph, 8 February 2004; page updated 30 March 2004
  19. ^ Alan Thomson, Lay off, says Luton, as it plays to strengths, Times Higher Education Supplement, 9 April 2004.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ University of Luton – APRIL 2005 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Institutional audit – University of Luton". Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "Social networks 'should do more' on cyberstalking". The Daily Telegraph. London. 11 July 2011.
  25. ^ "UK National Commission for UNESCO". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  26. ^ emplod. "augmentedwonder". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Times Higher Education" (PDF). Retrieved 16 July 2015.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "University of Bedfordshire «". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  30. ^ "Search". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  31. ^ "University League Table 2021". The Complete University Guide. 1 June 2020.
  32. ^ "University league tables 2021". The Guardian. 5 September 2020.
  33. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2021". Times Newspapers.
  34. ^ "World University Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education.
  35. ^ "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England.
  36. ^ "RAE 2008 : Submissions : Submissions list". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  37. ^ "Partnership and Community -". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  38. ^ Bed SU. "ISSUU - The Blend Summer edition by Bed SU". Issuu. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  39. ^ "Abbey makes up for lost time | Nationwide 1 | Football | Sport | Telegraph". Telegraph. 24 May 2007. Archived from the original on 24 May 2007.
  40. ^ "Media student success stories - | University of Bedfordshire". University of Bedfordshire.
  41. ^ "Gemma Hunt: BA Hons Media Performance -". University of Bedfordshire. 22 October 2013. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013.
  42. ^ "Becky Jago: BA Hons Media Performance - University of Bedfordshire". University of Bedfordshire. 27 September 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  43. ^ "Graduation season at Bedfordshire comes to an end in Luton - | University of Bedfordshire". University of Bedfordshire.
  45. ^ "Melvin Odoom - | University of Bedfordshire". University of Bedfordshire.
  46. ^ "Dami Olonisakin - | University of Bedfordshire". Retrieved 13 January 2021.

External links[edit]