University of Bolton History
University of Bolton History, The University of Bolton came into being in January 2005 when the Privy Council gave approval for its title choice. Bolton Institute of Higher Education had become Britain’s newest university the previous April when the Privy Council approved University Title for the higher education institution. Between those two dates an extensive consultation process had taken place with the university’s partners and stakeholders over what that title should be.
Bolton Institute of Higher Education came into being in 1982, but its origins can be traced back over a century and a half to the early nineteenth century when the town of Bolton became involved in a continuous programme of vocational and educational training.
The thirst for knowledge in the individual and the need for knowledge in society were recognised in the early 1800s by Dr Birkbeck who created educational opportunities for working people in Glasgow, the London Mechanics Institute in 1823 and inspired the Bolton Mechanics Institute in 1824 – the third in the country. There was something special about an organisation designed for working people that drew together the needs of the textile economy – through learning drawing, weaving, pattern design and the various branches of the sciences. Art classes were offered in 1825, a School of Art established in 1857 and a new Crompton Literary and Scientific Institute built in 1868. This was opened by the great novelist Anthony Trollope – a symbol of the many associations between writers and artists and the industrial heart of Bolton. Thomas Hardy’s novels were printed here. The great American poet Walt Whitman was studied here in the late nineteenth century. The textile industry brought together learners who already had enormous knowledge and experience. They needed knowledge of technology and design, understanding of the society in which they lived and awareness of the language and imagination to help them describe their lives