Coventry University

Coventry University
Coventry University
Logo of Coventry University
Established 1992 – gained University Status
1987 – Coventry Polytechnic
1970 – Lanchester Polytechnic
1843 – Coventry College of Design
Type Post 1992
Endowment £834,000[1]
Chancellor Sir John Egan
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Madeleine Atkins
Students 19,415[2]
Undergraduates 16,430[2]
Postgraduates 2,875[2]
Location Coventry, England
52°24′24″N 1°30′06″W / 52.406654°N 1.501672°W / 52.406654; -1.501672Coordinates: 52°24′24″N 1°30′06″W / 52.406654°N 1.501672°W / 52.406654; -1.501672

Coventry University is a post-1992 university in Coventry, West Midlands, England. Under the terms of the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992, the institution's name was changed from Coventry Polytechnic to Coventry University. However, its roots can be traced back to 1843 with the Coventry College of Design.

The university is the first institution in the UK to offer the disaster management programme.[3] Its faculties and schools include the Coventry School of Art and Design, The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, The Faculty of Engineering and Computing and the Faculty of Business, Environment and Society which includes the expanding Coventry Business School.



The Frederick Lanchester Building housing the library

Coventry University has a long tradition as a provider of education. It can trace its roots as far back as Coventry College of Design in 1843. It was in 1970 that Coventry College of Art amalgamated with Lanchester College of Technology and Rugby College of Engineering Technology. The resulting institution was called Lanchester Polytechnic: 'Lanchester' after the Midlands automotive industry pioneer, Dr Frederick Lanchester. In 1987 the name changed to Coventry Polytechnic and in 1992 it adopted the title Coventry University.

  • 1829 Mechanics Institute: merges with the Religious and Useful Knowledge Society in 1835; becomes the Coventry Institute in 1855, merges with the new Technical Institute in 1902 and becomes the Lanchester College of Technology in 1960.
  • 1929 Rugby College of Technology and Arts: work divided between Lanchester College of Technology and Rugby College of Engineering Technology in 1960.
  • 1843 Coventry College of Design: becomes Coventry School of Art, 1852, and transfers science classes to the Technical Institute in 1888, becomes Municipal School of Art in 1902, and is designated College of Art in 1954.
  • 1970 Merge of all three of the above (Lanchester College of Technology, Rugby College of Engineering Technology and College of Art) leads to Lanchester Polytechnic.
  • 1987 Coventry Polytechnic
  • 1992 Coventry University

Between 1970 and 1987 the institution's name (then Lanchester Polytechnic) caused a certain degree of confusion as it was occasionally mistaken for both Manchester Polytechnic and Lancaster University, whilst there is also a small town in Co. Durham called Lanchester. The history of the institution is explored in its new publication The Phoenix Rises.

  • Cheesewright, P. (2009). The Phoenix Rises – A Portrait of Coventry University in its City. Third Millenium Information. ISBN 9781903942765. 

The Alan Berry Building and pedestrian area, situated opposite Coventry Cathedral

The University's logo designed by A. Faris shows a phoenix, a mythical bird with splendid plumage, reputed to live in the Arabian Desert. Fabled to be the only one of its kind, it lived for five or six centuries, after which it burned itself to death on a funeral pyre of aromatic twigs ignited by the sun and fanned by its own wings. It rose from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle. Such a symbol is a fitting reminder of the way in which the City of Coventry rebuilt itself after suffering devastation during the Second World War. It is a symbol with which Coventry University is proud to be associated and to have adopted as its own. In the summer of 2006 the symbol was flipped on its vertical axis in order to portray the head of the phoenix looking to the right. The reason behind the decision was the desire to portray the university as looking forward rather than back. As such all of the signs on the campus buildings were removed and replaced with new stainless steel ones in which the phoenix looked right. The difference can be seen on this page. The logo to the top right of this page is the revised logo (post 2006). In the picture of Coventry University's main building, the Alan Berry Building to the right, the logo is pre-2006, as the building predates the change of logo.


The William Morris Building, a converted factory
The Ellen Terry arts and media building, a converted cinema
Maurice Foss Building
James Starley Building
Graham Sutherland Building

The University currently occupies a purpose-built 33-acre (130,000 m2) campus in Coventry City Centre. Recent changes have included upgrading the accommodation for Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Science students in the newly refurbished Richard Crossman Building, and the opening of a Sports Centre. In addition, Coventry University Advanced Digitising and Modelling Laboratory opened in December 2002 and is formally known as the Bugatti Building. It provides full-sized vehicle design and styling facilities and is the only resource of its kind in the world attached to a university. The University has a £20 million library that has won awards for its highly innovative interior design which features a light distribution system to make the most of natural light throughout the building.[4][5]

One of the most recent additions to the campus is an aerospace laboratory, which features a Harrier Jump Jet and Scout helicopter.

Another development for both the University and for the city has been the creation of the 20-acre (81,000 m2) Coventry University Technology Park. It is home to the TechnoCentre, a unique complex offering a focus for training, conferences and business opportunities; the Enterprise Centre, a £3 million development providing dedicated accommodation for new small- and medium-sized enterprises; and the Coventry and Warwickshire New Technology Institute, which works with companies to address skills shortages in ICT and advanced technology.

Building names

Coventry University has adopted a policy of naming its buildings after those with a significant local or regional impact. Buildings and their main faculty or school are:

  • Alan Berry, Director and Chief Executive, West Midlands Engineering Employers' Association
  • Alma, The street upon which this building stands is named after the Battle of the Alma in the Crimean War (used for the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, specifically the engineering subjects)
  • Armstrong Siddeley Building, Coventry company, renowned for the design and manufacture of cars, aero engines and aircraft, which became part of the Rolls Royce group in 1966.. Armstrong Siddley is one of the main buildings for the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, (specifically the Computing and Maths subjects).
  • Charles Ward Building, Governor 1973–1988 and Vice Chair of the Board of Governors 1982–1988 (building shared between the use of the Faculty of Business, Environment and Society & Faculty of Health and Life Science)
  • Ellen Terry, the famous Shakespearean English actress of the nineteenth century. This building houses the School of Art and Design (specifically performing arts, music and media production)
  • Frederick Lanchester Building, Coventry-based designer and constructor of the first British petrol-driven motor car; inventor and major international figure in aeronautics. (this houses the library, a book shop and a resource shop)
  • George Eliot building, Novelist, critic and poet. George Eliot was the pseudonym of Mary Ann Marian née Evans born at Arbury, near Nuneaton. Like the Charles Ward building is shared between Faculty of HLS and BES
  • Graham Sutherland, painter and print-maker, especially for his contribution to Coventry through the creation of the world-famous tapestry, which hangs in the Cathedral. Is one of the main buildings for the School of Art and Design.
  • Jaguar Building, sponsored by the car/engineering company 'Jaguar'. (Home of the School of Life Long Learning and The Centre For The Study of Higher Education)
  • James Starley Building, British inventor of the Coventry tricycle and father of the bicycle industry. Is again shared between the Faculties BES and HLS
  • Maurice Foss Building, former Deputy Director of Coventry Polytechnic and one of the University's Honorary Life Fellows. Is mainly used by the Faculty of Engineering and Computing.
  • Richard Crossman, political journalist and British Labour politician, representing Coventry East from 1945–1974. This is the main building for the Faculty of Health and Life Science.
  • Sir Frank Whittle, inventor and pioneer of the jet engine and supersonic flight. (This used to be used for the Faculty of E&C but has recently been demolished. It will be replaced by the new, as-yet unnamed Student Enterprise Centre, and is scheduled for completion by 2012)
  • Sir John Laing, builder; civil engineering contractor; benefactor to many charitable organisations.

Honorary Graduates

Each year the University awards a number of Honorary Degrees. Some notable recipients are:

  • Steven Hoggett, Theatre (Doctor of Literature 2010)
  • Sir David Phillips, Policing (Doctor of Laws 2010)[6]
  • Sir Bruce Keogh, Clinician (Doctor of Science 2010)
  • Douglas Chamberlain, Medicine (Doctor of Science 2008)[7]
  • Kevin Warwick, Scientist (Doctor of Science 2008)
  • Sarah Tremellen, Fashion Designer (Doctor of Business Administration 2008)

Academic reputation


Based on the Sunday Times Good University Guide (UK) 2012, Coventry University is ranked 52 out of 122 ranked universities in the U.K. It is ranked among the Top Ten modern, post 92 universities. According to the Guardian University Guide, Coventry University is ranked 62 out of 119 ranked universities.

The HEFCE data (2009-2010) showed that based on the number of students entering the university with minimum A levels results of AAB, Coventry University is ranked 42 overall in the U.K.

Radio and TV station

Source Radio is the radio station of the Students' Union. The hot mix station has been running for several years, previously under the guise of Phoenix Radio, set-up by now Virgin Radio jockey Kelly-Anne Smith. The station was rebranded Source FM in 2001, ahead of a full relaunch in January 2006 as Source Radio. In Early 2007 Source Radio acquired its AM license. In 2008 Coventry University launched an internet TV station called CUTV, the link can be found in the video clips section below. In June 2009 Coventry University launches the University's iTunes U site which now has over 600 educational podcasts and videos for anyone to download for free.

Students' Union

Coventry University Students' Union has a variety of membership services including over 80 Sports Clubs and Societies, a free advice centre, a volunteering department. A Student Union building is located on Cox Street with a bar and venue, a Subway and a hall, which is used for Bands as well as sales.

A new Student Union building is currently being built incorporating 5 bars, a prayer room, advice centre, and employability centre, along with the new headquarters of Source Student Media, which will incorporate The Source, the newspaper of CUSU, Source Radio and, the website. This building is planned for a 2011 opening.

See also


External links

Video clips

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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