Hull College Wiki

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Hull College Wiki

Hull College is a further education college based in Kingston upon Hull, England.


Hull College is operated by Hull College Group, which operates three centres in the city located in Queen’s Gardens, Cannon Street, and within the KCOM Stadium. It also operates centres in Goole and Harrogate.[1] The group purports to have a turnover of at least £60 million, 1,200 staff members and 25,000 students across its campuses.[2]

The main bulk of courses in Hull are run in an eight-storey tower block overlooking Queen’s Gardens. Built in the 1950s, the block is an example of brutalist architecture. An £11 million extension housing a learning resource centre was opened in 2004 and financed jointly by Yorkshire Forward and the Learning and Skills Council.[3] During the construction of this in 2003, a time capsule was buried within its foundations.[4] There is also a smaller building situated next to the tower block, known as the Wilberforce. In 2012, this was converted into the Hull Studio School. Following the school’s closure in 2014, the building was reverted back into classrooms for further education courses. The site is also home to the Hull School of Art and Design, which was founded in 1861 and currently offers higher education courses. The school is housed in 1970s buildings, adjacent to the tower block.[5] Further education courses in Art and Design were previously offered at the college’s former Park Street site until June 2016, when the building was sold off.[6] There is a monument dedicated to politician William Wilberforce, a 102-foot (31 m) Greek Doric column topped by a statue of Wilberforce stands in the Queen’s Gardens grounds.[7] In 1967, the college took over the former Carthusian monastery known as the Charterhouse, converting part of the building into an annex of the college.[8] By 2015, the site had been relinquished.[9] In 2003,[10] the college unveiled a building known as the Horncastle as part of the Queen’s Gardens site. Housing drama, media and musical courses, it has a 200-seat theatre allowing performing arts students to put on shows for the general public. Students also have access to drama studios, a radio suite and an operational television studio.[11] Architects DLA Interiors were responsible for the design of all public areas, including the refectory and classrooms.[12]

In June 2009, plans for an expansive £80 million rebuild of the college buildings were halted by the British Government. The Queen’s Gardens site was one of a number of colleges expected to be given the go-ahead for building projects under the Building Schools for the Future programme. Plans included the demolition of the main tower block and the provision of modern facilities that would house workshops, laboratories, kitchens, salons and a sports centre.[13] The whole programme would eventually be terminated in July 2010.

In November 2014, the Hull College Group announced that they would be taking over the University of Hull Scarborough campus. The University of Hull had since 2000 offered higher education on its satellite campus in Scarborough.[14] In January 2016, it was revealed that the college had ‘pulled out’ of buying the campus for unknown reasons.[15]

A November 2015 Ofsted report rated Hull College as ‘good’ in terms of its overall effectiveness.[16] The college is a member of the Collab Group of high-performing further-education institutions.[17] In June 2017, the college was awarded a bronze rating by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) according to their standard of undergraduate teaching.[18]

The Horncastle building at Hull College, January 2008.


The chief executive of Hull College Group is Michelle Swithenbank.[19] She was made the chief executive on a permanent basis in June 2017, having served the role temporarily from March 2017.[20]

Prior to February 2017, the principal of Hull College was Graham Towse. Towse had joined the college in 1996 and took up the post as principal in April 2013.[21] On 10 October 2016, it was announced that Towse would be leaving the college in February 2017 due to ‘personal reasons’. Leaving alongside him would be Antony Sutton, chief operating officer and former chief executive of Hull FC.[22]

The principal of Harrogate College is Debra Forsythe-Conroy and the principal of Goole College is Caron Wright.[23]

The chair of the Hull College Group Corporation is Pat Tomlinson. The vice chairs are Andrew Manderfield, Paul Hollins and Chris Fenwick. Governors include Melissa Askew, Stuart Clark, Alliah Hamid, Hilary Jack, Karen Keaney, Shane McMurray, Lee Pearson (Students’ Union President), Chris Roberts, James Tabor and Lottie Thompson (Chair to the Corporation).[24]

Notable alumni

  • Alfred Harker, geologist specialised in petrology.