University Of Cumbria UK
The University of Cumbria is a public university in Cumbria. Its headquarters are in Carlisle.Other major campuses are at Lancaster, Ambleside, and London. It was established in 2007, following the merger of St Martin’s College, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire. Its roots extend back to the “Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts” established in 1822 and Charlotte Mason teacher training college in the 1890s.
The university is continuing to grow, geographically as well as in academic scope.
The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin’s College, Lancaster, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (formerly Cumbria College of Art & Design), and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire on 1 August 2007. These institutions formerly ran degree programmes accredited by Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire. In order to facilitate the change, St Martin’s College applied for independent degree-awarding powers in March 2005 and was successful in July 2006 after nine months of scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency. In January 2007 official university status was granted by the Privy Council.
The university is based upon the findings of a report by Sir Martin Harris.This plan envisaged a university based upon a “distributed learning network”, so that teaching will take place both at the University’s main campuses, and at colleges of further education around the county. This solved a problem for remote areas that did not previously have direct access to higher education.
The headquarters of the university are in Carlisle. Its other major campuses are at Ambleside, Lancaster (formerly St Martin’s College) and it has classrooms and open workspace in the “Energus” facility in Blackwood Road, Lillyhall, Workington. The university previously also had sites in Penrith (formerly University of Central Lancashire in Cumbria and before that Newton Rigg Agricultural College) and London. Newton Rigg has since been transferred to Askham Bryan College and the Tower Hamlets provision has moved to East India Dock Road. Furness College in Barrow-in-Furness has developed close links with the university and they share some facilities.
Carlisle campus, Fusehill Street
The site started its life as The Carlisle Union Workhouse in 1863. During the First World War, from October 1917 to June 1919, the buildings were used as a military hospital, in which time nearly 10,000 soldiers were treated. In 1938, it was converted into a municipal hospital, then a military hospital once more during the Second World War, after which it became City General Hospital until it closed in 1999.
Carlisle campus, Brampton Road
The Brampton Road campus was formerly the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, founded in October 1822 as the “Society for the Encouragement of the Arts”, later Carlisle Art College and College of Art and Design.
The Brampton Road campus is now home to the university’s Institute of the Arts, with over 1000 full-time arts students.
Lancaster campus, Bowerham Road
The site was formerly Bowerham Barracks, the depot of the King’s Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster). In 1962 it became a teaching college.
From the start, the college planned to teach degrees as well as Certificates of Education and pioneered the four year BA Hons with qualified teacher status. By 1966 the college was teaching PGCE students.
The college then developed courses in nursing and later radiography, occupational health, social work and continuing professional development courses for health professionals. Strong relationships were forged with NHS trust training departments.
The college developed further courses in humanities, arts and sport, and a mini building boom ensued in the late 1990s with the development of the Sports Centre, Humanities building, Hugh Pollard Lecture Theatre, as well as student accommodation.
On 1 December 2009 it was announced that the Ambleside campus would be “mothballed” at the end of July 2010, and would no longer take new undergraduate students. A protest was held on 1 December 2009 by the student body.This was in spite of support pledged from Tim Farron MP for the campus and its students. The timing of the closure had led many to believe that the decision had been made some time ago.
In July 2011, the university announced a plan to reopen the campus and increase student numbers at the Ambleside campus and this began in 2014.Ambleside continues to host courses in outdoor studies, business, leadership and sustainability.
Degree programmes including Forestry, Conservation, Outdoor Studies, Outdoor Leadership and Applied Sciences were taught from the Penrith campus based at Newton Rigg. The National School of Forestry was set up here in the 1960s and has a long history of educating forest managers, which continues to the present day. Programmes moved to their new home in Ambleside in 2013 (Outdoors programmes) and 2014 (Forestry, Conservation, and Applied Sciences).
Further education provision and assets of the Newton Rigg campus were transferred to Askham Bryan College in March 2011, but the university continued to run higher education courses there for three years.
The university has space at the “Energus” facility in Blackwood Road, Lillyhall, Workington. The facility opened in June 2009 and was the university’s first presence in West Cumbria.