University of Cumbria
|Charlotte Mason College, St Martin's College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts|
|Established||1 August 2007|
|Chancellor||The Rt Hon John Sentamu, Archbishop of York|
The University of Cumbria is a public university in Cumbria, with its headquarters in Carlisle and other major campuses in Lancaster, Ambleside, and London. It opened its doors in 2007, and has roots extending back to the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts, established in 1822, and the teacher training college established by Charlotte Mason in the 1890s.
The University of Cumbria was formed from the merger of St Martin's College, Lancaster, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (formerly Cumbria College of Art & Design), and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire on 1 August 2007, which ran degree programmes accredited by Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire. 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
Carlisle campus, Brampton Road
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.
The Brampton Road campus is now home to the university's Institute of the Arts, with over 1000 full-time arts students.
Lancaster campus, Bowerham Road
From the start, the college planned to teach degrees as well as Certificates of Education and pioneered the four year BA Hons with qualified teacher status. By 1966 the college was teaching PGCE students.
The college then developed courses in nursing and later radiography, occupational health, social work and continuing professional development courses for health professionals. Strong relationships were forged with NHS trust training departments.
The college developed further courses in humanities, arts and sport, and a mini building boom ensued in the late 1990s with the development of the Sports Centre, Humanities building, Hugh Pollard Lecture Theatre, as well as student accommodation.
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. A protest was held on 1 December 2009 by the student body. This was 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. Ambleside continues to host courses in outdoor studies, forestry, conservation business, leadership and sustainability.
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 three years.
Organisation and structure
Previous vice-chancellors have included;
- Chris Carr (Jan 2007-Apr 2009),
- Peter McCaffery (July 2009-May 2010) and
- Graham Upton (May 2010-Jul 2011)
- Peter Strike (Aug 2011-Jul 2016)
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.
|Times / Sunday Times (2022)||114|
|British Government assessment|
|Teaching Excellence Framework||Bronze|
The university has five specialist departmental areas that offer a range of flexible, multidisciplinary courses:
- Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership
- Institute of Health
- Institute of the Arts
- Institute of Education
- Institute of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies
The University of Cumbria provides education in Medical Imaging, Sports Development, Arts, Law, Education, Leadership and Economic Development, Conservation, Forestry, and the Uplands, and Mental Health and Wellbeing, among other subject areas.
The majority of University of Cumbria campuses have sports teams which represent them in the British Universities and Colleges Sport 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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- "New vice-chancellor for University of Cumbria". News and Star. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "Cumbria University got cash advance to pay staff". BBC News. 19 April 2010.
- Newman, Melanie (15 April 2010). "Cumbria admits 'unacceptable' financial results". Times Higher Education.
- Eve, Kelly (3 December 2011). "University of Cumbria makes 'profit' for first time". News and Star.
- "Complete University Guide 2022". The Complete University Guide. 8 June 2021.
- "Guardian University Guide 2022". The Guardian. 11 September 2021.
- "Good University Guide 2022". The Times. 17 September 2021.
- "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England.
- "Fields of study - University of Cumbria". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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