Canterbury Christ Church University History

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Canterbury Christ Church University History

Our University started out as a teacher training college in the 1960s in response to a national shortage of teachers. Today we continue to shape our courses and research around critical social issues both nationally and globally.

  • 1962

    Christ Church College opened its doors with just 70 students and nine teachers. The Principal was Dr Frederic Mason.

  • 1964

    Moved to the purpose-built North Holmes Road site.

  • Early 1970s

    First degree programme, Bachelor of Education, introduced.

  • 1975

    Dr Michael Berry appointed Principal.

  • 1976

    First non-teacher training degrees were launched.

  • Late 1980s

    Health-related professional courses began.

  • 1995

    Awarded the power to grant our own degrees for taught courses, and with it came the name change to Canterbury Christ Church University College.

  • 1996

    Took over Salomons Centre, near Tunbridge Wells, and created a centre in West Kent.

  • 1997

    Professor Michael Wright appointed Principal (and later Vice-Chancellor).

  • 2000

    Broadstairs Campus formally opened by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey.

  • 2004

    Medway Campus opened by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at the Universities at Medway site.

  • 2005

    Awarded full university title by the Privy Council; inauguration of Canterbury Christ Church University and the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury as Chancellor.

  • May 2009

    Multi-million pound Christ Church Sports Centre opened.

  • August 2009

    Granted the power to award research degrees.

  • September 2009

    Augustine House, our award winning library and student services centre, opened.

  • 2010

    Dr Robin Baker appointed Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

  • 2012

    Opening of St George’s Centre, St Gregory’s Centre for Music, and Maxwell Davies building.

  • 2013

    The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby becomes Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University.

  • 2013

    Professor Rama Thirunamachandran appointed Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

  • 2014

    The former Canterbury Prison site purchased by the University as part of an ambitious redevelopment plan for the Canterbury Campus.

  • 2015

    Opened new Petros Court student accommodation in Canterbury, and new indoor sports centre at Polo Farm Sports Club.

Walk through Canterbury and you are walking through History. Two miles west of the city lie the Iron Age remains of Bigbury Camp, a hill fort abandoned when Julius Caesar stormed it around 54 BC. Later the Romans founded a settlement in the present location of Canterbury. The street plan has hardly changed since and a medieval monk would have little difficulty finding his way along the cobbled streets.

The Cathedral has, of course, a central place in the fabric of the City. The heart of the Anglican Church, Canterbury Cathedral hums with historic stories. The place where Beckett was famously murdered and where the Black Prince and numerous other historical figures rest, the building that famously survived the Baedeker raids of WW II that destroyed so much of the old city is irresistible to the Historian.

Walk through the lovely Cathedral grounds, across the road, through our campus and the remains of St Augustine’s abbey where Ethelbert and other Saxon kings are buried, then carry on up the hill to the oldest Parish church in the country, St Martin’s. Canterbury is a truly historic city and our campus, nestled amongst so many places of historic importance, makes a wonderful place to study the past.