Lancaster University, also officially known as the University of Lancaster, is a public research university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964, one of several new universities created in the 1960s.
After the Second World War higher education became an important concern of government as it tried to cope with the demands of an expanding population and the advent of a new technological age. Between 1958 and 1961 seven new plate glass universities were announced including Lancaster. The university was established by royal charter in 1964. The charter stipulated that Princess Alexandra of Kent be the first chancellor. She was inaugurated in 1964. The ceremony also saw the granting of various honorary degrees to dignitaries including the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. Princess Alexandra retired as chancellor in 2004 and was the longest serving chancellor of any British university. On her departure, she gave approval for the Chancellor’s Medal to be awarded for academic merit to the highest-performing undergraduates and postgraduates. Each year presentations are made to up to five graduates of taught masters’ courses and up to six to the highest-performing undergraduates. The university accepted its first students in October 1964 and there were initially 13 professors, 32 additional members of teaching and research staff, 8 library staff and 14 administrators on academic grades.
The motto, “patet omnibus veritas“, (“Truth lies open to all”), was adopted. The first science students were admitted in 1965. The university was temporarily based in the city. A lecture theatre and the university’s first Junior Common Room were based in Centenary Church, a former Congregational church beside the old factory premises of Waring & Gillow, which were used to accommodate the new students. Many new students were housed in Morecambe. The Grand Theatre was leased as a main lecture room and 112 and 114 in the St Leonard’s Gate area became teaching and recreational rooms. The library occupied the old workshops of Shrigley and Hunt on Castle Hill. In 2014, Lancaster University celebrated its 50th anniversary with a series of events throughout the year, involving alumni, staff, students and local community members.
The university has nine colleges. Formerly, these were quasi-autonomous bodies providing for accommodation, welfare, social-life and student discipline, but are currently centrally controlled. All members of the university are members of a college, although in recent years academic staff have had decreasing involvement. Most colleges have about eight or nine hundred members and all on-campus accommodation is linked to a college, with blocks or individual flats being linked to one college or another each year according to demand. The colleges were governed by a syndicate, including a principal (originally a senior academic but nowadays more usually a middle-ranking administrator or IT professional), a Dean and assistant deans (responsible for student discipline), together with a Senior Advisor, heading a team of College Advisors. These were previously known as Senior Tutor and College Tutors, but the titles were changed in 2011 to Advisor to avoid possible confusion with “Academic Advisors” in students’ academic departments. Collectively, the colleges are run by their individual SCR (Senior Common Room) and JCR (Junior Common Room), the latter being made up of student members of the college.
The university has eight undergraduate colleges, seven of which are named after regions of the traditional county of Lancashire, and County College is named after Lancashire County Council, which financed its construction.
The four faculties are:
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Health and Medicine
- Faculty of Sciences and Technology
- Faculty of Management
To study at Lancaster the student would need to ensure it meet their they requirements, and it is essential that it have the right level of English to be successful on its degree course. The student may need to complete a foundation course before it begin to study at a UK undergraduate level. They accept qualifications from a wide range of institutions, including Lancaster’s own International Foundation Year and courses offered by partners overseas.
The growing reputation of Lancaster is reflected by high rankings year-on-year in each of the UK’s major university league tables. Lancaster has been ranked as the best value for money university in England and is located in one of the UK’s top 10 most vibrant cities. Students at Lancaster University are more satisfied with their course than the average UK student according to the latest National Student Survey. Overall, 91% of final year students at Lancaster say they were satisfied with their course. These results reflect the dedication of staff who work hard to ensure that every student who comes there will receive the very best education. Lancaster graduates are performing well in what is an increasingly competitive job market. Through the work of their Careers staff and new initiatives such as the Lancaster Award, which helps students communicate to future employers their skills and accomplishments such as voluntary work, they aim to enhance their students’ future career prospects.
Focus on independent study, philosophy of research-led teaching, feedback and assessment approach and virtual learning environment. Their main teaching approach is through independent study. This means the student takes responsibility for its own learning and performance whilst delivering work within set timescales. This will feel different at first, with less contact than it is used to, but the college tutor system and teaching staff are there to support and guide the student as it makes the transition. This approach develops strong research skills and the ability to make sense of new material quickly, while improving communication skills. All members of the academic staff are current experts within their respective fields and work on a philosophy of research-led teaching. Their research culture results in pioneering contributions that translate into an active and stimulating environment for them to learn in.
The 97% of Lancaster students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. A dedicated team support students through a variety of services, which help students to develop skills, connect with working professionals, build networks and realise their potential. The Lancaster Award rewards for taking part in those extra-curricular activities outside academic studies that supplement the excellent education the student receive at Lancaster University. Developed in partnership with employers, it is a certificate that rewards for making the most of their time at university and will enhance their future employment prospects by encouraging them to undertake extra-curricular activities and acquire new skills and experiences valued by employers.