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Our History

We have a long and proud history, which can be traced back to 1828. We believe in the spirit of opportunity for all, which is the same motto and ethos as when we were created as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge.

  • 1828 – Founded as the ‘Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge’.
  • 1882 – Following a substantial donation from the Trustees of Edmund Robert Harris, we changed our name to the ‘Harris Institute’.
  • 1956 – Following a government re-organisation of technical education, our name changed to the ‘Harris College’.
  • 1973 – The Harris College was designated by Central Government as a polytechnic and became ‘Preston Polytechnic’.
  • 1984 – Preston Polytechnic changed its name to ‘Lancashire Polytechnic’.
  • 1992 – Lancashire Polytechnic became the ‘University of Central Lancashire’ after the Government bestowed degree-awarding powers to polytechnics.
  • 2007 – New logo to emphasise the abbreviation 'UCLan'.
  • 2020 – In September 2020, the University launched its new brand, with a new logo and colour scheme to emphasise its position as a place of learning, where opportunity creates success. Watch the new brand video.

The University through the years01 / 08