Lancaster University Information
Lancaster University Information
Lancaster University, also officially known as the University of Lancaster, is a public research university in the City of Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964, one of several new universities created in the 1960s.
The university was initially based in St Leonard’s Gate in the city centre, until moving to a purpose-built 300 acres (120 ha) campus at Bailrigg in 1968.The campus buildings are arranged around a central walkway known as the Spine, which is connected to a central plaza, named Alexandra Square in honour of its first chancellor, Princess Alexandra.
Lancaster is one of only six collegiate universities in the UK; the colleges are weakly autonomous. The eight undergraduate colleges are named after places of interest in the North West of England, and have their own campus residence blocks, common rooms, administration staff and bar.
It is currently one of only seven universities to be ranked in the top 10 across all national league tables of UK universities. Along with the universities of Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York, Lancaster is a member of the N8 Group of research universities. Elizabeth II, Duke of Lancaster, is the Visitor of the University. The Chancellor is Alan Milburn.
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 choice of Lancaster as the site of the fourth new university was announced on 23 November 1961 in a written answer in the House of Commons.
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.
Vision and Mission
A powerful and distinctive centre that addresses emerging global environmental challenges through its world leading research, teaching, collegiate environment and multi-disciplinary collaborations.
- To work together with governments, civil society, business, the third sector, the international research community and the public to analyse, understand and solve global and environmental challenges
- To define and lead the global research agenda
- To make a difference by increasing the sustainable impact of our research
Lancaster Environment Centre,
Lancaster, LA1 4YQ,
LEC general office
+44 (0)1524 510082
+44 (0)1524 510249
+44 (0)1524 510476