Buckinghamshire New University is a public university with campuses in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Uxbridge, West London. The Vice-Chancellor of the University is Rebecca Bunting. The institution dates from 1891 when it was founded as the School of Science and Art, and has since that date been re-invented variously as the Wycombe Technical Institute, the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology, and the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. It was a university college from 1999 until 2007 when it announced that its application for university status had been accepted.
The University is a member of the GuildHE.
Founded in 1891 as the School of Science and Art, it was initially established with public funds raised from a tax on beer and spirits and set about providing evening classes to residents of High Wycombe and the local area.
After World War I, it was renamed the Wycombe Technical Institute, forging close links with local crafts such as furniture making and cabinetry and helping to provide skills to injured war veterans in order that they might find work in local industries.
Further building took place after World War II, and on 6 May 1963 the new facilities were officially opened by the Minister of Education, Sir Edward Boyle. A new change of name, the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology accompanied this expansion.
Even as late as the 1960s, around 3,000 people worked in the manufacture of furniture in High Wycombe, and 80% of the wooden chairs manufactured in Britain were made there.
In 1975 High Wycombe College of Art and Technology merged with the Newland Park College of Education in Chalfont St Giles, and was renamed the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. In the same decade Missenden Abbey, a former Augustinian monastery founded in 1133, was acquired, and in May 1988 it was officially opened as a management centre by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
In March 1999 it was awarded University College status by the Government, changing its name once again to Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. Around this time the Which University guide described it as a “concrete labyrinth”, which was unlikely to be “bringing home architectural awards”.
In 2007 it changed its name again, this time from “Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College” to its current name of “Buckinghamshire New University” (“Bucks”) when its application for university status was approved by the Privy Council.
Alternative names such as “University of Wycombe”, “University of High Wycombe”, “High Wycombe University”, “University of Buckinghamshire” and “Buckinghamshire Chilterns University” were rejected. The chosen name was swiftly attacked by the University of Buckingham for using the county name. Critics have argued that the ‘New’ element of the university’s name will look out of place in the long-term.
The University is a lead academic sponsor of Buckinghamshire University Technical College, a new university technical college which opened in Aylesbury in September 2013.
Several courses run at the university are rarities in British universities.
The Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training is a course offering students the opportunity to study for a professional pilot’s licence whilst undertaking university studies in areas such as globalization of the air transport industry and health safety and security for airlines and airports.Many former students (including Virgin Atlantic deputy chief pilot David Brooks) have gone on to attain jobs as pilots in flying schools, charter companies and airlines around the world including Susi Air, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, BMI and Ryanair.
Although the Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training course aims to provide guidance and support to students with the aim of becoming commercial pilots, many students are inspired by various modules of the course and pursue careers in other areas within the air transport industry. In 2009 graduate Antony Coe set up his own business DexFix computer repairs. Following this and in conjunction with his studies in Health safety and security for airlines and airports Antony now provides contract services to the counter terrorism task forces worldwide.
The university offers several other innovative courses such as Music Management and Film and Television Production. The university also offers a course in Animation and Visual Effects, launched in September 2013.
Bucks New University is one of very few universities that has created a degree in Policing. In partnership with territorial Police service Thames Valley Police, Bucks New University is one of only two UK Universities to offer the Foundation Degree in Policing as a pre-entry route into Police careers. The University also hosts a CKP course, which allows applicants into the majority of UK forces.
Bucks New University is one of the leading providers of nursing students in London. Students can choose to follow one of three routes: adult, child and mental health pre-qualifying nursing. The University’s Society and Health Faculty offers a range of courses in advanced healthcare; community care and public health; social work and integrated care; psychology; criminal justice and social studies; and applied education.
Most courses require 80–96 or 96–112 UCAS points, with Maths and English GCSE at grade C or above also required (we do accept equivalent level 2 qualifications).
Entry requirements for each course can vary – check individual course pages on their website.
Bucks offers a broad range of subject including:
- Art, Design and Creativity
- Aviation and Travel
- Business and Management
- Human Performance and Sport
- Nursing and Healthcare
- Media and New Technologies
- Performance and Events
- Resilience and Justice
- Social Sciences
- The university won the Education Provider of the Year (post registration) Award at the 2015 Student Nursing Times Awards.
- Since 2000, Creative Advertising students have won a number of Firsts, Seconds and Commendations in the D&AD Student Awards.
- The university celebrated twenty years of music and event management courses in 2015.
Bucks is a new generation university that is always open to fresh ideas and thinking. They aim to provide their students with an innovative, supportive and dynamic culture.
The university has developed a large number of courses through its industry contacts, so that students are well prepared for the world of work when they graduate.
The university, as an award-granting body under the Royal Charter, has taken steps to assure the quality of its programmes leading to its qualifications.
Courses are overseen by staff with a high level of expertise gained through their research activity, connections with industry, or professional experience.
Their goal as an institution is to develop students who are enterprising, employable, and who can lead. To enable that, they will support them to achieve their potential, build their independence as a learner, their discipline expertise, their professionalism, their awareness of theirself and others, their confidence and efficacy.
Their institutional approach to employability, enterprise and leadership development is informed by research and scholarship and will be explicit in the curriculum of all their courses. They have adopted the Higher Education Academy’s Framework for Employability for a more consistent, university-wide approach, with course teams taking ownership at subject level.
They have a dedicated team of careers and employment specialists, who work in partnership with academic colleagues, employers and the Students’ Union to prepare the students for the world of work and guide their career management.
Collectively, they provide opportunities for employability, enterprise and leadership development in a range of extra-curricular activities and their curriculum features an increasing range of work-related learning opportunities for all students.