The University of Bedfordshire is a public university situated in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, England. The university has been known with its current name since August 2006 by the approval of the Privy Council by merging the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University.
It has 14,000 students, including approximately 4,500 international students. It is spread across six campuses: there are four campuses in Bedfordshire, in Bedford and Luton; and two campuses in Buckinghamshire, in Aylesbury (for students studying Nursing and Midwifery), and in Milton Keynes (where business studies, electronic engineering, and telecommunications are taught).
The university entered the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008 and achieved a GPA of 2.087 with 34.7% world-leading or internationally excellent. The top units of assessment were in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Social Work Social Policy and Administration and English Language and Literature. In 2012 it achieved FairTrade status.
The current Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire is John Bercow, the current Speaker of the House of Commons.
The university's two main campuses are in Luton and Bedford.
There are also two dedicated campuses for the teaching of nursing and midwifery degrees at Butterfield Park on the outskirts of Luton and at the Buckinghamshire campus at Aylesbury College in Aylesbury. The university also has a site at Putteridge Bury which is home to its Knowledge Hub and postgraduate Business School. The campus is situated in approximately 30 acres of landscaped gardens. The current building was completed in 1911 and was designed by architects Sir Ernest George and Alfred Yeats in the style of Chequers, having had various redesigns and rebuilds over the years. The campus is home to the university's postgraduate Business School as well as the university's Conference Centre. A smaller fourth campus, the University Campus Milton Keynes, became part of the university in 2012.
The university's £34m Campus Centre opened in October 2010. Designed for social activity as well as teaching the Campus Centre incorporates learning zones. It houses a 240-seat lecture theatre, an exhibition area for displaying student work, the Student Information Desk offering help and support for students and the Students' Union's support services and executive offices. There are also several places to eat and drink.
A £20m Postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development Centre is scheduled to be completed in early 2013 and includes state-of-the-art IT and AV equipment, informal and quiet learning spaces, two "Harvard-style" lecture theatres, as well as a student lounge and cafe. The Luton Learning Resource Centre has over 200,000 books and specialist texts, 9,000 journals and 300 fully networked PCs that are available at the Park Square campus. There is also an extensive online library of resources.
Luton campus is home to the following schools of study: Business; Media, Art and Design; Science; Computing; Law; Psychology; and Social Sciences.
Putteridge Bury, Luton
Built in 1911, Putteridge Bury is a country mansion set in 30 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, just four miles from the Park Square campus on the Hertfordshire – Bedfordshire border. It is home to the Bedfordshire Business School postgraduate programmes and the university's Conference Centre.
Polhill Library on the Bedford campus
The Bedford campus on Polhill Avenue is about 20 minutes walk from Bedford town centre. The university provides a free bus service running between the town centre and the campus. The campus has recently undergone a redevelopment which includes a Physical Education and Sport Science Centre used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics,and a Bedford Campus Centre boasting a 280-seat theatre, dance studios, restaurant and social spaces for students. Liberty Park, the recently completed £20m on-campus student accommodation, offers 500 en-suite study bedrooms. The Polhill Library was designed by van Heyningen and Haward Architects as a gateway to the campus. The building was completed in 2001 and provides approximately 360 individual study spaces, teaching space, staff work areas and traditional library services.
The Bedford campus has the following schools: Primary Education, Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education, Education Studies, Physical Education and Sport Studies, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Tourism and Leisure.
Butterfield Park (closed)
Butterfield serves Health, Nursing and Midwifery students, and £1m has been invested to offer students appropriate teaching and learning resources. The 85-acre 'building and technology' zone provides facilities that including a skills lab and a £500,000 clinical simulation centre, complete with operating theatre suite, hospital ward and family room, that ensure students develop and refine their clinical abilities in realistic settings.
Butterfield Park was named Green Office of the Year 2008 in The Office Development Awards competition for the environmental development of the future.
It is home to the Luton Institute of Research in the Applied Natural Sciences (LIRANS), which focuses on postgraduate training, research, applied research and product development – in association with other academic groups and in collaboration with industry. LIRANS carries out research in three broad areas: cryobiology, environmental change and sensors.
Butterfield Park is located on the north-east side of Luton. It is also near to the university's Putteridge Bury Campus, which is four miles from the main Park Square campus.
During the 2016/17 academic year the University of Bedfordshire, tendered its lease from Butterflied Business Park, with students being moved to either Luton Park Square campus or Bedford campus.
Buckinghamshire campus, Aylesbury
Aylesbury College, the university's Buckinghamshire campus, for Nursing (Adult and Mental Health) and Midwifery students, in Aylesbury, is equipped with facilities including a multi-purpose skills lab with simulation facilities. Students can undertake clinical placements at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Wycombe Hospital in High Wycombe or in Amersham Hospital in Amersham, as well as in a range of community based healthcare settings. Students have access to Nursing accommodation in both the Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville hospitals.
University Campus Milton KeynesMain article: University Campus Milton Keynes
The Milton Keynes campus became part of the university in September 2012.It teaches Foundation Degrees and master's degrees in a variety of business, electronics, and Information and Communications Technology subjects.