Anglia Ruskin University Notable Alumni
Anglia Ruskin University has a proud history built on the success of several institutions since 1858. This page has been created because your University wishes to stay in touch with you, our alumni, to maintain a community that celebrates the institutions it has evolved from and into and the memories and successes shared by those who studied here.
Anglia Ruskin University has its origins in the Cambridge School of Art, founded by William John Beamont in 1858. The inaugural address was given by John Ruskin (often incorrectly described as the founder; in fact he founded the Ruskin School of Drawing in Oxford). The original location was near Sidney Sussex College, later moving to its present location in East Road, Cambridge. In 1960 this became the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (CCAT). In 1989 CCAT merged with the Essex Institute of Higher Education to form the Anglia Higher Education College. The merged college became a polytechnic in 1991, using the name Anglia Polytechnic, and was then awarded university status in 1992.
Initially Anglia Polytechnic University (APU), it retained the word ‘polytechnic’ in its title because “the term ‘polytechnic’ still had value to students and their potential employers, symbolising as it did the sort of education that they were known for – equipping students with effective practical skills for the world of work”although in 2000 there was some self-doubt about including the term ‘polytechnic’ – it was the last university in the country to have done so. Wanting to keep the ‘APU’ abbreviation, a suggestion put forward by the governors was ‘Anglia Prior University’ (after a former Chancellor), but the Governors decided to keep ‘polytechnic’ in the title.
The university eventually reconsidered a name change and chose Anglia Ruskin University (thus incorporating into the title the surname of John Ruskin, who gave the inaugural address of the Cambridge School of Art), with the new name taking effect following the approval of the Privy Council on 29 September 2005.
Past lecturers include Odile Crick, wife of Francis Crick, who created the simple iconic image of DNA. Author Tom Sharpe was a lecturer in History at CCAT between 1963 and 1972 and Anne Campbell, the Labour MP for Cambridge from 1992 to 2005, was formerly a lecturer in Statistics at CCAT.
Chelmsford Campus move
The Chelmsford Central campus closed at the end of the 2007/8 academic year, with all facilities moving to the new buildings at the Rivermead campus (now called the Chelmsford Campus) on Bishop Hall Lane.
Three buildings were saved – the East building (built 1931), the Frederick Chancellor building (built 1902), and the Grade-2-listed Anne Knight building (built in the mid-19th century), which was used by Quakers. The East and Frederick Chancellor buildings fall under a conservation area, meaning they cannot be demolished without planning permission, as they are historically important due to their uses in the early days of higher education in Essex. The site is currently vacant due to the recession halting development which had been planned for many years; however, new plans have been released by Genesis Housing, who currently own the site.
The Chelmsford Campus facilities include a mock law court, mock hospital wards and operating theatres and labs.
In a BBC News article from 3 June 2014, Anglia Ruskin University was reported to have received more complaints and appeals from its students than any of the other 120 universities who responded to freedom of information requests. In the year 2012/3 it received 992 “complaints and appeals”.In response, Professor Lesley Dobree, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), said that only 9 of the 992 recorded complaints were actual complaints – the others were protests about examination and assignment marking.
Anglia Ruskin was awarded Entrepreneurial University of the Year in the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.
The university has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough, University Centres in King’s Lynn and Peterborough, and collaborative partnerships with institutions in a variety of locations throughout the world, including London, Berlin, Budapest, Athens, Basel, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Trinidad.
Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge Campus is home to one of only 9 optometry schools in the UK, having its own optometry clinic.
The Cambridge campus has recently been redeveloped, which began with the refurbishment of Helmore, the main building on East Road, completed in 2006. In 2009, one of the University’s largest buildings, Rackham, in the centre of the campus, was demolished to make way for the brand new Lord Ashcroft International Business School. The Mumford Theatre, which presents a range of professional touring, local community and student theatre for both the public and members of the University, is housed at the centre of the campus.
The Chelmsford campus houses the Queen’s Building (opened in 1995) and the Sawyer’s Building (opened in 2001). The Michael A Ashcroft Building opened in 2003 (renamed the Lord Ashcroft Building); the Mildmay Sports Centre, and the Tindal Building, in 2005; the William Harvey Building in 2007; The Faculty Building (renamed The Marconi Building in 2011) in 2008; and the Postgraduate Medical Institute building, opened 2011.
Both the Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses have accommodation for students to live in during term-time.