University of Cumbria
|Established||1 August 2007|
|Chancellor||The Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Peter Strike|
Tower Hamlets, London, England
The University of Cumbria (UoC) is a university in Cumbria. Its headquarters are in Carlisle. Other major campuses are at Lancaster, Ambleside, Barrow-in-Furness, and London. It was established in 2007, following the merger of St Martin's College, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire. Its roots extend back to the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts established in 1822 and Charlotte Mason teacher training college in the 1890s. The university was originally based upon the idea of a "distributed learning network", so that teaching would take place both at the university's main campuses, and at remote colleges of further education around Cumbria, a rural county that includes the Lake District but this was too expensive to maintain.
The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin's College, Lancaster, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (CIA) (formerly Cumbria College of Art & Design (CCAD)), and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire on 1 August 2007. These institutions formerly ran degree programmes accredited by Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire. In order to facilitate the change, St Martin's College applied for independent degree-awarding powers in March 2005 and was successful in July 2006 after nine months of scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency. In January 2007 official university status was granted by the Privy Council.
The university is based upon the findings of a report by Sir Martin Harris. This plan envisaged a university based upon a "distributed learning network", so that teaching will take place both at the University's main campuses, and at colleges of further education around the county. This solved a problem for remote areas that did not previously have direct access to higher education.
The headquarters of the university are in Carlisle. Its other major campuses are at Ambleside, Lancaster (formerly St Martin's College) and it has classrooms and open workspace in the 'Energus' facility in Blackwood Road, Lillyhall, Workington. The university previously also had sites in Penrith (formerly University of Central Lancashire in Cumbria and before that Newton Rigg Agricultural College) and London. Newton Rigg has since been transferred to Askham Bryan College and the Tower Hamlets provision has moved to East India Dock Road. Furness College in Barrow-in-Furness has developed close links with the university and they share some facilities.
Carlisle campus, Fusehill Street
The site started its life as The Carlisle Union Workhouse in 1863. During World War I, from October 1917 to June 1919, the buildings were used as a military hospital, in which time nearly 10,000 soldiers were treated. In 1938, it was converted into a municipal hospital, then a military hospital once more during World War II, after which it became City General Hospital, until it closed in 1999.
The Brampton Road campus was formerly the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, founded in October 1822 as the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, later Carlisle Art College and College of Art and Design.
Lancaster campus, Bowerham Road
On 1 December 2009, it was announced that the Ambleside campus would be 'mothballed' at the end of July 2010, and would no longer take new undergraduate students. The action by the University of Cumbria interrupted over 175 years of heritage and a protest was held on the 1 December 2009 by the student body. The closure was in the face of fierce opposition from the Ambleside students, the townspeople of Ambleside, and in spite of support pledged from Tim Farron MP for the campus and its students. The timing of the closure had led many to believe that the decision had been made some time ago.
In July 2011, the university announced a plan to reopen the campus and increase student numbers at the Ambleside campus and this began in 2014.
Degree programmes including Forestry, Conservation, Outdoor Studies, Outdoor Leadership and Applied Sciences were taught from the Penrith campus based at Newton Rigg. The National School of Forestry was set up here in the 1960s and has a long history of educating forest managers, which continues to the present day. Programmes moved to their new home in Ambleside in 2013 (Outdoors programmes) and 2014 (Forestry, Conservation, and Applied Sciences).
Further education provision and assets of the Newton Rigg campus were transferred to Askham Bryan College in March 2011, but the university continued to run higher education courses there for 3 years.
Organisation and structure
Previous vice-chancellors have included; Professor Chris Carr (Jan 2007-Apr 2009), Dr Peter McCaffery (July 2009-May 2010) and Professor Graham Upton (May 2010-Jul 2011). The current vice-chancellor is Professor Peter Strike, formerly deputy vice-chancellor of University of Sunderland.
At one stage the university had debts totalling £13,000,000 and in March 2010, it received a cash advance from HEFCE to enable it to pay staff. It has since pulled itself out of debt and is profitable.
The University has two faculties, encompassing within each a breadth of subjects. The Faculty of Health and Science comprises the Departments of Nursing and Midwifery, Rehabilitation and Social Work, Medical and Sport Sciences, Lifelong and Interpersonal Learning, and Science, Natural Resources, and Outdoor Studies which includes Conservation, Forestry, and Forensics. The Faculty of Education, Arts, and Business includes undergraduate and postgraduate teacher training, Business subjects (including Computing and Accounting), Law, and Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities.
The University of Cumbria provides education in Medical Imaging, Sports Development, Education, Leadership and Economic Development, Conservation, Forestry, and the Uplands, and Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The majority of University of Cumbria campuses have sports teams which represent them in the BUCS leagues. Teams include: Cricket, Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Badminton and Pool. All teams play their home games on Wednesdays afternoons at various University's sport venues.
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