Leeds Trinity University

As Hugh Jones' Higher Education Postcard joins Wonkhe, a student sit-in breaks all records.

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

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Here’s Leeds Trinity University on a postcard from the 1980’s, back when it was Trinity and All Saints College.

The campus is to the North of Leeds – you can see the edge of Horsforth at the top of the card. Originally the university was two colleges – Trinity, on the north of the site, was for women, and All Saints, to the south, for men. Both were catholic teacher training colleges founded in 1966.

A history of UK higher education for the next half century can be read through Leeds Trinity’s development:

  • Diversification of provision and growth in the number of courses and students in the 1970’s
  • Merger in the 1980’s to create a single college
  • Retrenchment in the 1980’s: closing economically unviable courses, growing numbers on other programmes
  • Accreditation by the University of Leeds after the demise of the Council for National Academic Awards
  • University status in 2012, when the size criterion was reduced

Leeds Trinity also claims the longest student sit-in in the UK – against the 2012 fee rises. But in a very Leeds Trinity way, it was done with the cooperation of the university, using empty offices so as not to disrupt teaching and exams – and to avoid imposing costs on the university.

And the occupiers were supported by staff very practically – with tea and cakes.

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