University of Gloucestershire

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The University of Gloucestershire is a public university based in Gloucestershire, England. It is located over three campuses, two in Cheltenham and one in Gloucester, namely Francis Close Hall, The Park, Oxstalls and The Centre for Art and Photography.

The university is the recent successor of a large number of merged, name-changed and reformed institutions of further and higher education. Its history spans nearly two centuries. It originates from the merger of two distinct strands of educational provision in Gloucestershire being that provided by Local Government and that founded by the Anglican Church.The university traces its earliest Civic history to the Cheltenham Mechanics' Institute in 1834, and to the Cheltenham Training College in its Church history, established in 1847, by the Reverend Francis Close.Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education was created in 1990 from the two distinct strands. In October 2001, the college was awarded University status.

The university provides almost 100 undergraduate courses and around 57 taught post-graduate courses within eight schools.

A 10-year Memorandum of Understanding exists between the university, Gloucestershire College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College to support access to higher education.

Campuses

The university has three campuses located in Cheltenham and Gloucester.

The Park

Main article: The Park, University of Gloucestershire

Park Campus – Elwes Reception

The Park, Cheltenham, is the largest of the campuses and is the administrative centre. It is located in the Park district of Cheltenham. The estate dates from the 19th century and was originally designed as zoological, botanical and horticultural gardens.

The Media School was relocated to the Park Campus in 2011 from the former Pittville campus. The new facilities include a newsroom, television & radio studios, edit suites, and teaching facilities. It has been awarded Skillset Media Academy status and is part of the North by Southwest – The Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Skillset Media Academy Partnership.

Student accommodation is available in the Park villas, Challinor, Eldon & Merrowdown and Eldon & Merrowdown Annexe located on and next to the campus, as well as Spa Court and Regency Halls across the town of Cheltenham. A partnership with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust was launched in May 2009 and the Park Campus grounds became designated as a community green space. The garden includes over 900 trees, both native and ornamental, a shallow lake and a meadow with native species.

Francis Close Hall

Main Entrance to Francis Close Hall Campus

Chapel at Francis Close Hall Campus

Francis Close Hall site includes restored historic buildings close to Cheltenham's town centre. The campus can trace its history back to the Cheltenham Training College founded by the Revd. Francis Close in 1847.

The campus is also home to the university's Special Collections and Archives service, the official repository for the historic records of the university and predecessor institutions. It contains several special collections relating to Gloucestershire and beyond. The department is custodian of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Library, and curates and maintains the Gloucestershire Poets, Writers and Artists Collection, which includes works and artefacts relating to the Dymock Poets, Whittington Press, U A Fanthorpe, Michael Henry, James Elroy Flecker and the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. Other collections include the Local Heritage Initiative Archive. The service is open to staff, students and the public.

The campus has a mix of Humanities, Education, Natural & Social Science and creative subjects.

Student accommodation is available in Shaftsbury Hall (on campus), Hardwick Halls and Regency Halls. Further accommodation includes St George's, St Mary's, Maidenhorn and Whitehart.

The Centre for Fashion, Art and Photography

The Hardwick Centre for Fashion, Art and Photography opened in 2011 and is in close proximity to Francis Close Hall. The purpose built studios cater for students studying a mixture of creative subjects including its Fine Art (undergraduate and postgraduate), Photography and Fashion degrees. There is a Gallery for public exhibitions. It has recently been renamed as The Centre for Fashion, Art and Photography.

Oxstalls

Oxstalls Entrance

Oxstalls campus

The campus is located in Gloucester and re-opened in 2002. It was closed in August 1993. Following protests about the removal of higher education from the city, a solution was reached with Gloucester City Council.The campus site is from a predecessor college. It was a purpose-built site for the Gloucestershire College of Domestic Science until 1962 and became renamed as the Gloucestershire College of Education in 1967. The College was closed in 1980 to be part of the merger of four Gloucestershire Colleges in Gloucester and Cheltenham to form Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology.

The campus has range of sports facilities including a floodlit all-weather pitch, a fitness suite and laboratory facilities for a range of disciplines, including bio-assessment and a drumming laboratory, which has developed from the Clem Burke Drumming Project exploring the physical and psychological effects of drumming.

Halls of residence were built on site in 2002 and house 175 students divided into 6 blocks (May, Birdlip, Cooper's, Crickley, Robinswood and Chalford). Additional Gloucester-based accommodation includes Ermin Hall and Upper Quay.

A new £1.8 million performing arts centre at Oxstalls including four performance spaces and drama rooms opened in September 2015.

In September 2018, the new School of Business and Technology, which was part of a £20 million development opened at Oxstalls. This new building houses the Business, Accounting and Law courses.

Pittville Student Village

The universities' estates strategy outlines a 10-year investment plan to refurbish, upgrade and develop facilities which includes the Pittville Student Village project. In May 2013 some initial concepts and ideas for the redevelopment were presented. Plans included creating 450 extra bedrooms, to the existing 214 student rooms, plus a small retail unit and sports facilities.Additional public consultation sessions in August and September 2014 presented plans to build additional accommodation to a total of 791 beds against widespread opposition from the local residents.The plans for Pittville Student Village were approved by Cheltenham Borough Council's planning committee on 16 July 2015.The new student village will increase the number of beds to 794 and also includes new office space for several administrative departments as well as sports facilities.It is intended for the site to be ready for the start of the 2017 academic year.

Former campuses

Pittville

The Pittville site is located on Albert Road, Cheltenham, and was the home of the Faculty of Media, Art and Communications. It was founded as Cheltenham School of Art over 150 years agoThe campus closed in 2011 with courses from the Faculty of Media, Arts and Technology located at Hardwick and the Park and has since been reopened as a new student village.

Environmental sustainability

The university has had an environmental sustainability strategy since 1993, and was the first British university to meet the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. In the People & Planet Green League 2016 it was ranked as the second greenest university in the UK. The university is the only British institution to be consistently ranked in the top six of the league since its inception in 2007.The university is also a regular winner at the EUAC Green Gown Awards, winning the award for Continuous Improvement in 2008 and 2014. RCE Severn is a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) in Sustainability Education based at the university. It is endorsed by the United Nations University and one of 85 similar centres throughout the world.