University of Cumbria

University of Cumbria
University of Cumbria
Established 1 August 2007
Type Public
Chancellor The Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Strike
Students 13,105[1]
Undergraduates 10,415[1]
Postgraduates 2,690[1]
Location Ambleside, Carlisle, Lancaster, Penrith, London, England

The University of Cumbria is a university in Cumbria, England. Its headquarters are in Carlisle.[2] and other major campuses are at Lancaster, Ambleside and Penrith. It was established in 2007, with roots extending back to the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts established in 1822 and Charlotte Mason teacher training College in the 1890s.[3] The university is based upon the idea of a "distributed learning network", so that teaching takes place both at the university's main campuses, and at colleges of further education around Cumbria, a rural county that includes the Lake District. The university also has further education provision at its Penrith and Carlisle campuses.



The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin's College, Lancaster, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (CIA)[4] and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire.[3] These institutions formerly ran degree programmes accredited by Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire. In order to facilitate the change, St Martin's College applied for independent degree-awarding powers in March 2005 and was successful in July 2006 after nine months of scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency.[citation needed] In January 2007 official university status was granted by the Privy Council.[5]


Brampton Road campus, Carlisle.

The University is based upon the findings of a report by Sir Martin Harris.[4] This plan envisaged a university based upon a "distributed learning network".[6] This network is based upon the idea that teaching will take place both at the University's main campuses, and at colleges of further education around the county. This will solve problems of access for remote areas that did not previously have direct access to higher education.[4]

The headquarters of the University are in Carlisle.[2] Its other major campuses are at Ambleside, Lancaster (formerly St Martin's College) and Energus in Lilyhall. The University also has sites in London and Penrith (formerly University of Central Lancashire in Cumbria).

On 1 December 2009, it was announced that the Ambleside Campus would be 'mothballed' at the end of July 2010, and will no longer take new undergraduate students. The action by the University of Cumbria ended over 175 years of heritage[3] and a protest was held on the 1 December 2009 by the student body. The closure was in the face of fierce opposition from the Ambleside students,[7] the townspeople of Ambleside, and in spite of the support that Tim Farron MP who pledged support to the campus and students. The timing of the closure had led many to believe that the decision was made 'a long time ago'[8][9][10]

Organisation and structure

On 21 May 2010 a new interim Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Upton, was appointed.[11]

The University has debts totalling £30,000,000 and in March 2010, the University received a cash advance from HEFCE to enable it to pay staff.[12] In May 2010, Peter McCaffery left his position as Vice-Chancellor by mutual agreement with the Board of Governors.[13]

Academic profile

As well as its work in the areas of the arts, health and teacher training, the university has a faculty of Arts, Business and Science which, as well as the subjects in its title, incorporates a full range of courses including law, computing, and police studies. Sciences include Forestry, Land Management, Forensic Science and Environment. The University also provides Further Education provision at its Penrith and Carlisle campuses.

University of Cumbria is notable for being one of only a handful of chosen universities in the country to be accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.[citation needed]

Student life


The majority of University of Cumbria campuses have sports teams which represent them in the BUCS leagues. Teams include: Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby League, Rugby Union and Badminton. All teams play their home games on Wednesdays afternoons at various University's sport venues.

As well as the usual sports, at the Newton Rigg campus in Penrith, there are a number of outdoor activity societies using a wide range of equipment on site, including a climbing wall.


  1. ^ a b c "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2008/09" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  2. ^ a b Green light for University of Cumbria plans Macleod, Gordon; The Guardian; 1 February 2005; Accessed 30 March 2006
  3. ^ a b c "County university opens its doors". BBC News. 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  4. ^ a b c Initial Proposal for a New University of Cumbria Harris, Sir Martin; 2005; Accessed 30 March 2006
  5. ^ St Martin’s College awarded University title University 4 Cumbria; 7 January 2007; Accessed 10 February 2007
  6. ^ The Distributed Learning Network (DLN) for Cumbria University 4 Cumbria; 2006; Accessed 10 February 2007
  7. ^ "Facebook Petition Group". Facebook. Retrieved 01-12-2009. 
  8. ^ "Tim Farron presenting rational argument to UoC Chancellor, to keep Ambleside open". Tim Farron. Retrieved 01-12-2009. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Cumbria University got cash advance to pay staff". BBC News. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Debt university executive leaves". BBC News. 19 May 2010. 

External links

Coordinates: 54°53′27″N 2°55′20″W / 54.89083°N 2.92222°W / 54.89083; -2.92222

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