Higher Education Postcard: University of Lincoln

This week's card from Hugh Jones’ postbag shows one of Britain’s newest-named universities in one of its oldest cities

Hugh Jones is a freelance HE consultant. You’ll find a daily #HigherEducationPostcard if you follow him on Twitter.

Greetings from Lincoln!

This is the view of Brayford Pool, looking across to the University of Lincoln’s City Centre Campus. And a very pleasant place it looks, too.

But even though Lincoln is one of the UK’s older cities, and certainly full of history and drama, its university is shiny and new, and has its origins about 50 miles northwards, up the old Roman Road to Hull.

The story begins in 1861, with the establishment of the Hull School of Art, one similar to schools of art and design being established across the UK’s growing cities. Initially teaching in the Public Assembly Rooms, the school of art eventually moved to dedicated and purpose-built premises in 1905.

In the meantime, in 1893, Hull Technical Institute was established, in the wake of legislation enabling boroughs to fund and own technical colleges.

Teacher training was developing too: in 1905 Endsleigh College, a catholic teacher training college was established; and in 1913 the Hull Municipal Training College was founded.

Now we have almost a full-house of antecedents. In 1930 the fifth element was created: the Hull Central College of Commerce.
These five institutions merged in 1976 to create the Hull College of Higher Education; which in 1983, with the incorporation of provision based in Grimsby, across the Humber, became the Humberside College of Higher Education.

In 1990 the College became Humberside Polytechnic, just in time to become Humberside University in 1992. So far, so good: and so synchronous with the development of higher education in towns and cities across industrial England.

But all of this is, very noticeably, taking place on the rivers Hull and Humber, and not on the River Witham, which feeds the pool in the card. What happened?

In September 1996, a second campus was opened in Lincoln, on Brayford Pool. The first 500 students enrolled in Lincoln to study at the newly renamed University of Lincolnshire and Humberside.

This was no accident, but part of a planned move. The University renamed itself yet again, in 2001, to the University of Lincoln, and in 2002 designated Lincoln as its main campus. Provision in Hull ceased in 2012. The University has also incorporated various Lincolnshire-based provision from De Montfort University, Leicester.

The University’s alumni include Juan Watterson, the current (as at May 2022) speaker of the House of Keys, the Isle of Man Parliament.

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