University of Bolton

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University of Bolton
University of Bolton Crest.jpg
Motto: "SAPIENTIA SUPERAT MORAS" ~ 'Wisdom overcomes difficulty'
Motto Latin: Sapientia Superat Moras
Established 2004 - gained University Status
1982 - Bolton Institute of Higher Education
Type Public
Endowment £160,000[1]
Chancellor Ernest Ryder
Vice-Chancellor George Holmes
Administrative staff
Students 6,835 (2013/14)[3]
Undergraduates 5,740 (2013/14)[3]
Postgraduates 1,095 (2013/14)[3]
Location Bolton, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 53°34′25″N 2°26′9″W / 53.57361°N 2.43583°W / 53.57361; -2.43583
Campus Urban
Colours Gold, navy blue
Affiliations Million+
University of Bolton Logo.png

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,[4] and has hardly climbed the league tables ever since - it is currently ranked 121st out of 126, almost at the bottom.[5]

The Times newspaper profile states: ‘The university sees itself as a regional institution, with around three quarters of the students coming from the North West, many through partner colleges.’[6]


Chancellor's Building

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.


Senate House[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Eagle Tower[edit]

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.

Bolton One[edit]

Bolton One building on University campus

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.[7]

Halls of Residence[edit]

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.[8]

Growth and future plans[edit]

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.[9]

There will also be a renovation and expansion of the current campus through to 2017.

International presence[edit]

A Bolton University Campus in United Arab Emirates

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.[citation needed]

In December 2011, the University of Bolton launched its campus in Colombo, Sri Lanka,[10] in partnership with the KES Group of Institutions.


Chancellor and Vice-Chancellors[edit]


Vice Chancellors[edit]

  • 2004-2005: Dr Mollie Temple CBE
  • 2005–present: Professor George E Holmes DL

Academic profile[edit]

The University of Bolton consists of the following academic faculties:

  • School of the Arts
  • Business School
  • School of Creative Technologies
  • School of Education and Psychology
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Health and Human Sciences
  • School of Law
  • School of Sport and Biomedical Sciences
  • Centre for Islamic Finance

Reputation and rankings[edit]

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.

(2016, national)
The Guardian[12]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[13]
(2015, national)

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’.[6] The Times made this statement despite the University ranking so low.

In November 2014 it became the first University in the North West to become a Living Wage employer.[14] The University is also above average in closing the gender pay gap.[15]

The Eagle library

Student life[edit]

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.[16] The university also has a Chaplaincy that accommodates several different faiths.

Students' Union[edit]

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.[17] This agreement ran for two years up until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Controversy surrounding management of the University[edit]

Sacking of trade union representative[edit]

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.[18] 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.[19]

University of Bolton pays £100k for strategy away day[edit]

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.[20]

Bridging loan made to Vice Chancellor[edit]

On 21 February 2015[21] 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.[22]

Illegal expulsion of Students' Union President[edit]

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,[23] in breach of section 22(d) of the Education Act 1994.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Financial Report Year Ended 31 July 2009" (PDF). University of Bolton. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Key Facts". University of Bolton. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "2013/14 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "University of Bolton is worst in country says guide". The Bolton News. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Top UK University League Tables and Rankings 2016". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Profile: University of Bolton". The Times (London). Retrieved 27 May 2009.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ "Partners". Bolton One. [dead link]
  8. ^ "New student village for Bolton town centre - University of Bolton". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "University Board approves further £25 million investment in student teaching facilities - University of Bolton". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "UK university to launch centre here in Dec.". ITpro. 9 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "University League Table 2016". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "University league table 2016". The Guardian. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2015". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "University a Living Wage leader - University of Bolton". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Student Profile". University of Bolton. 
  17. ^ "Statement:Shirt sponsor announcement". Bolton Wanderers F.C. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "University of Bolton sackings: Rally for dismissed workers". BBC news. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "UCU furious over Bolton ‘sackings for alleged press leaks’". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  20. ^ "University of Bolton pays £100K for strategy awayday". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  21. ^ "University of Bolton gives £1m 'bridging loan' to vice chancellor so he can move to town". The Bolton News. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "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. 
  23. ^ "Socialist Party :: Bolton Uni: Reinstate Shana Begum!". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Education Act 1994". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 

External links[edit]