The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. ‘Ex solo ad solem’, or in translation, ‘From the Earth to the Sun’, has been its motto ever since – helping people from all walks of life to make the most of their potential is what UCLan’s all about.
Today UCLan is one of the UK’s largest universities. With a student and staff community approaching 38,000 it is the fifth largest employer in the North West of England. Internationally UCLan has academic partners in all regions of the globe and it is on a world stage that the first class quality of its education was first recognised. The University has an increasingly thriving campus in Cyprus delivering UCLan programmes and original research within a UCLan environment and culture.
In 2010 UCLan became the first UK modern university to appear in the QS World University Rankings. In 2015 the Centre for World University Rankings placed UCLan in the top 3.8 percent of all worldwide universities, highlighting the progress the institution has made in providing students with real-world learning experiences and reflecting the institution’s broad pool of academic talent.
Amongst its programme portfolio of some 400 undergraduate and 200+ postgraduate courses, UCLan has been at the forefront of developing degrees in emerging disciplines such as Fashion and Forensic Science to more recent additions such as Dentistry and, new for 2015, undergraduate Medicine which is being delivered in the UK’s newest Medical School.
Aerospace Engineering is another new programme, part of UCLan’s commitment to grow its portfolio of engineering-related courses, and is coupled with the development of a £30 million+ Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC). The aim is to provide a rich source of new graduates that reflect the economic priorities of the North West, the UK and indeed the global economy.
The EIC forms a key pillar of the University’s £200 million Campus Masterplan which over the next 10 years will create a world-class educational environment that blends new facilities with the creation of public, green spaces to benefit the University, the City of Preston, and the economy of the North West. UCLan’s plans are being informed by the local, regional, business and civic communities, with whom it continues to build close relationships.
Creating a remodelled campus environment will help drive UCLan’s commitment to academic excellence, striving to ensure that its teaching and learning, research and knowledge exchange activities are all recognised as being of exceptional quality. The impact is perhaps best seen in the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework: all 16 subject areas in which UCLan’s research was assessed were judged to contain ‘world leading’ quality.
The University’s reputation as a regional economy powerhouse has been boosted through its strong track record in supporting graduate business start-ups; UCLan is ranked as the leading UK university for incubated start-up businesses still active after three years of trading. It is ranked second in the UK for the number of graduate start-ups still active overall and ranked third in the UK for estimate turnover for active firms. In the last five years UCLan has helped over 1,000 students or graduates start a business or became self-employed, the second highest figure in the UK.
In the future UCLan will enhance its standing as an institution with a world-class academic reputation firmly rooted in modern-day relevance. It is a future which focuses on the provision of innovative thinking – for the real world.