This article is more than 7 years old

Rock & Enrol: Universities named after bands

Let’s not forget those universities which were either named after bands or perhaps provided the inspiration for the naming of popular beat combos. The list is longer than you think.
This article is more than 7 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

Music and higher education have a long and close association. As previous posts here have noted there are some big bands everyone associates with universities as well as some forgotten ones (and some other even less well-remembered outfits).



Also, in terms of the top Higher Ed songs we have Vice-Chancellor Desert Island Discs and, of course, your top Teaching Excellence Framework playlist.

But let’s not forget those universities which were either named after bands or perhaps provided the inspiration for the naming of popular beat combos:

  • Rush University
  • Emerson College
  • (James) Brown U
  • Genesis University
  • Yes Academy
  • Kean(e) University
  • Queen’s University (Belfast or Canada)
  • University of (John) Denver
  • Asia University
  • Université de Saint-Etienne
  • University of (Whitney) Houston
  • Boston University
  • (Leonard) Cohen University
  • (Lou) Reed College
  • Hatfield (and the North) Polytechnic (as was)
  • University of Chicago
  • Focus University  (NB not actually a university)
  • Bowie State University
  • (Dionne) Warwick University
  • Drake University
  • Ottawa(n) University
  • Madonna University
  • (David) Essex University
  • University of Texas
  • Abba University (no really, but seems to have gone a bit quiet lately judging by its Facebook page)
  • (Dusty) Springfield College
  • (And, of course, Frankie goes to) Digital Hollywood University in Japan
  • Kansas State and University of Kansas (Ed.)
  • Prince(ton) University (No? Ed.)
  • (Wu-Tang) UCLAN (This is getting a bit silly… Ed.)

And, finally, there is the Invincible Donovan University. However, this is sadly yet to happen. Following a big announcement back in 2007 everyone is still waiting for the first courses to be offered.

There does seem to be a bit of a prog rock bias there. I’m still hoping to stumble across The Fall University, Buzzcocks College and University of the Damned. Have I missed any others?

10 responses to “Rock & Enrol: Universities named after bands

  1. Just realised I unaccountably omitted the Slade (Slade School of Fine Art at UCL). An appalling oversight for which I apologise.

  2. These additions kindly provided on Twitter:

    University of Slipiknottingham via @BrilliantClub

    Air University (Pakistan). Alice (Cooper) Lloyd College. Buena Vista (Social Club) Uni. Bryan (Adams) College courtesy of @BenVerinder

    Nazareth College, Hendrix College, National Film and _Television_ School – thanks to @PhilPurnell

    Not a band, but Aarhus University is in the middle of our street. There’s always something happening and it’s usually quite loud. Thank you for that @Cash4Questions

    Not forgetting (I had) the low profile but big named outfit, Glasgow (thanks @black_dug )

    And Swedish rockers, Kent, we were reminded by @RowlstoneS

    Skid(s)more College too (me)

  3. A few more late additions

    (Sus)sex pistols, New(Castle) Order, (Jilted) John(s) Hopkins all via @Wuchereria1

    U2CLAN, (Michael) Bolton U, Guns n’ Rose(s) Bruford College, (Terence Trent) Derby University, Kings (College) of Leon, Empire of the Sun(derland) University The Beautiful South(ampton), all from @JoanHolloway101

    @LindaAnneEast had Nottingham (Terence) Trent (D’Arby) University, St (Julie) Andrews (also from @AcadRegUK )

    And we also had the institution that is The THE from @SamWeirHE

  4. A few more…

    (Liverpool) Hope
    King (‘s College London)
    (St) Andrews Sisters
    The (Notting) Hamsters
    Lincoln Park (Linkin Park)
    Stone Roses (Bruford)
    The Tee(s) Party
    SO(A)S Band
    East (London) 17
    Jesus and (Queen) Mary Chain
    (University College) Cork

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