On Tuesday 25 August, the University of Northampton welcomed hundreds of former staff and students back to Park Campus, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the University receiving formal University title and research degree awarding powers.
Higher Education in Northampton has a unique history: between 1261 and 1265, Northampton was sanctioned by Henry III as an alternative place of study for hundreds of students displaced from Oxford and Cambridge during a period of civil unrest. A mere four years later, the original University in Northampton was dissolved by the King. Ancient folklore tells that Henry III’s dissolution prevented the town from ever having a university again.
During the 19th Century various teaching colleges were established in Northampton, offering vocational Higher Education in Northampton. Over the years these colleges amalgamated and in 1999 became Nene College, later University College Northampton.
In 2005, ancient folklore was proven wrong and the University of Northampton was formally established. In the 10 years since receiving degree awarding powers, the University has established itself as a leading provider of Higher Education in the region, nationally and internationally.
Speaking in 2005, the then Vice Chancellor, Ann Tate said: “Having a university will provide a unique resource and bring extensive economic benefits to Northampton and the wider region, not only through the learning and skills development we can offer to individuals and employees, but also from the highly skilled graduate workforce, bespoke consultancy and research we can deliver.”
At the event, Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor said: “It has been a great pleasure to welcome so many people back to the University today, as well as staff and students currently studying with us.
“We are immensely proud of our graduates, students, staff and former staff all of whom have contributed to the ongoing success of the University. Our future in Northampton is an exciting one; over the next three years the construction of our new Waterside Campus will place us in the very heart of the community.
“Our new strategy ‘Transforming Live + Inspiring Change’ will increase the positive social impact the University has on Northamptonshire; working to improve the opportunities for young people to flourish and learn in the county, supporting the counties health and wellbeing, building the profile of our cultural and heritage attractions and making Northamptonshire the best place to start, build and run a business.”
Over the next year, the University will host a number of celebration events for staff, students and the local community.