Anglia Ruskin University

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Anglia Ruskin University
File:Anglia Ruskin Logo.jpg
Latin: Universitas Anglicus de Ruskin
Former names
Cambridge School of Art,
Cambridge College of Arts and Technology,
Mid-Essex Technical College,
Chelmer Institute of Higher Education,
Essex Institute of Higher Education,
Anglia Polytechnic University
Motto Excellentia per societatem (Latin)
Motto in English
Excellence through partnership
Established 1858 (as a school)
1992 (as a university)
Type Public university
Chancellor Michael Ashcroft
Vice-Chancellor Michael Thorne
Students 19,830 (2014/15)[1]
Undergraduates 16,490 (2014/15)[1]
Postgraduates 3,340 (2014/15)[1]
Location Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough, United Kingdom
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Campus Urban
Colours Blue and yellow          

Anglia Ruskin University is a public university in the East of England, United Kingdom. It has 39,400 students world-wide and has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough. It also shares campuses with the College of West Anglia in King's Lynn, Wisbech and Cambridge.

It has its origins in the Cambridge School of Art, founded by William John Beamont[2] in 1858. The school became Anglia Polytechnic after it joined with the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology and the Essex Institute of Higher Education. It became a university in 1992 and was renamed Anglia Ruskin University (after John Ruskin) in 2005.


Founder William John Beamont, the decorated Cambridge-educated clergyman and author.
Henry Acland and John Ruskin (left), the latter playing a key role in the institution's journey forward after foundation.[citation needed]
Front view of Helmore Building of Anglia Ruskin Cambridge campus.

Anglia Ruskin University has its origins in the Cambridge School of Art, founded by William John Beamont in 1858. The inaugural address was given by John Ruskin[3] (often incorrectly described as the founder; in fact he founded the Ruskin School of Drawing in Oxford). The original location was near Sidney Sussex College, later moving to its present location in East Road, Cambridge. In 1960 this became the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (CCAT). In 1989 CCAT merged with the Essex Institute of Higher Education to form the Anglia Higher Education College. The merged college became a polytechnic in 1991, using the name Anglia Polytechnic, and was then awarded university status in 1992.

Initially Anglia Polytechnic University (APU), it retained the word 'polytechnic' in its title because "the term 'polytechnic' still had value to students and their potential employers, symbolising as it did the sort of education that they were known for – equipping students with effective practical skills for the world of work"[4] although in 2000 there was some self-doubt about including the term 'polytechnic' – it was the last university in the country to have done so. Wanting to keep the 'APU' abbreviation, a suggestion put forward by the governors was 'Anglia Prior University' (after a former Chancellor), but the Governors decided to keep 'polytechnic' in the title.

The University eventually reconsidered a name change, because "Nowadays, few remember the old polytechnics and technical colleges, and there was no longer any value to students or faculty in retaining the word 'polytechnic' in the title. Indeed, it was sometimes seen as a hindrance, especially in non-vocational subject areas."[4] From over two hundred suggestions and consultations with staff, students and local residents, communities and businesses, the University chose Anglia Ruskin University (thus incorporating into the title the surname of John Ruskin, who gave the inaugural address of the Cambridge School of Art), with the new name taking effect following the approval of the Privy Council on 29 September 2005.

Past lecturers include Odile Crick, wife of Francis Crick, who created the simple iconic image of DNA as two intertwined ribbons linked by ten rungs per turn of the double helix that appeared in the article in Nature announcing the discovery of its structure.[5] Author Tom Sharpe was a lecturer in History at CCAT between 1963 and 1972 and Anne Campbell,[6] the Labour MP for Cambridge from 1992 to 2005, was formerly a lecturer in Statistics at CCAT.

Chelmsford Campus move

The Chelmsford Central campus closed at the end of the 2007/8 academic year, with all facilities moving to the new buildings at the Rivermead campus (now called the Chelmsford Campus) on Bishop Hall Lane. Certain facilities had started to move at the end of the 2005/6 academic year when the site was sold to a private developer (with an agreement that the University could still use the site until 2008), and a brief period of demolition work was carried out in early 2007. No further demolition works took place until the beginning of 2010, when most of the ageing buildings on the site were demolished.

Three buildings were saved – the East building (built 1931), the Frederick Chancellor building (built 1902), and the Grade-2-listed Anne Knight building (built in the mid-19th century), which was used by Quakers. The East and Frederick Chancellor buildings fall under a conservation area, meaning they cannot be demolished without planning permission, as they are historically important due to their uses in the early days of higher education in Essex. The site is currently vacant due to the recession halting development which had been planned for many years; however, new plans have been released by Genesis Housing, who currently own the site.[7][8][9]

The Chelmsford Campus is spacious and modern, and facilities include a mock law court, mock hospital wards and operating theatres and labs.


In a BBC News article from 3 June 2014, Anglia Ruskin University was reported to have received more complaints and appeals from its students than any of the other 120 universities who responded to freedom of information requests. In the year 2012/3 it received 992 "complaints and appeals".[10] In response, Professor Lesley Dobree, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), said that only 9 of the 992 recorded complaints were actual complaints - the others were protests about examination and assignment marking.

The Students’ Union publicly stated that the press coverage had been misreported.[citation needed]


Anglia Ruskin was awarded Entrepreneurial University of the Year in the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.[11] Anglia Ruskin University has a 'Promote Your Business' page where former students can publicize their company.


The university has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough, University Centres in King's Lynn, Peterborough and Harlow, and collaborative partnerships with institutions in a variety of locations throughout the world, including London, Berlin, Budapest, Athens, Basel, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Trinidad.

The campuses have seen over £122 million of investment over the last five years.[when?][12]


Anglia Ruskin's Cambridge Campus is home to one of only 9 optometry schools in the UK, having its own optometry clinic offering free eye tests and other optometric services to members of the public throughout the academic year.[13]

Hallway through Helmore toward Mumford Library. The university reception as well as the bookshop and the utility shop are situated by this hallway.

The Cambridge campus has recently been redeveloped, which began with the refurbishment of Helmore, the main building on East Road, completed in 2006. In 2009, one of the University's largest buildings, Rackham, in the centre of the campus, was demolished to make way for the brand new Lord Ashcroft International Business School. The Mumford Theatre, which presents a range of professional touring, local community and student theatre for both the public and members of the University, is housed at the centre of the campus.

The Chelmsford campus has also been redeveloped. The campus already housed the Queen's Building (opened in 1995) and the Sawyer's Building (opened in 2001). The Michael A Ashcroft Building opened in 2003 (renamed the Lord Ashcroft Building); the Mildmay Sports Centre, and the Tindal Building, in 2005; the William Harvey Building in 2007; The Faculty Building (renamed The Marconi Building in 2011) in 2008; and the Postgraduate Medical Institute building, opened 2011. More minor developments include roadworks to incorporate Park & Ride buses on the site, and the redevelopment of the nearby Bishop Hall Mill Pond.[14][15]

Both the Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses have accommodation for students to live in during term-time.

Ruskin Gallery

The Ruskin Gallery is the University's public art gallery. Admission is free. Exhibits have included historic and contemporary art, as well as works by students and staff. The gallery is surrounded by fine art, illustration, design, and media studios. On 9 May 2011 Ruskin Gallery unveiled its new digital gallery, which displays art in a digital format on High Definition screens, including the world's first Panasonic 103" 3D Full HD plasma screen specially imported from Japan.[16]


Panorama of Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Panorama of Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford

Organization and administration

The Department of English, Communication, Film and Media takes place in Mellish Clarke Building.

There are five Faculties of study at Anglia Ruskin University:

Faculties are sub-divided into departments or divisions.

HSHS, the former Homerton School of Health Studies, was acquired by the University from the Trustees of Homerton College in 2005, after working closely in partnership for a number of years.


Webb Building, one of the university’s pre-WWII establishments, houses administrative and academic organs of the Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education.
Peter Taylor House is one of the residencies within the university campus in Cambridge.
Lord Ashcroft Building houses the Lord Ashcroft International Business School.
Bryant Building, named after historian Sir Arthur Bryant, houses the Postgraduate Medical Institute (PMI) of Anglia Ruskin University.

Lord Ashcroft International Business School

The Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS) is the business school of Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and Chelmsford, England, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest business schools in the East of England, with nearly 100 full-time teaching staff and approximately 7,200 students from over 100 countries. The Lord Ashcroft International Business School of the Anglia Ruskin University is a global business school that provides business programmes through partner institutions worldwide as well.

LAIBS is a member of the EFMD and offers degrees. The business school has a strong global reputation and recognition. Several programmes of the LAIBS are accredited by ACCA and CIMA, and many other professional bodies in the United Kingdom.

Faculty of Medical Science

Faculty of Science & Technology

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest faculties at Anglia Ruskin University, with five departments spread across both Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses.

The Department of Built Environment is a large multidisciplinary department with the most comprehensive Built Environment portfolio in Eastern England and is based at the Chelmsford campus.[17]

The Department of Computing and Technology is located at both the Chelmsford and Cambridge campuses. The department maintains close links with the electronics, software, automotive and creative industries, and is a Cisco Systems Regional Networking Academy.[18]

The Department of Life Sciences is located at the Cambridge campus. State-of-the art industry-standard equipment for teaching includes well-equipped laboratories, gas and liquid chromatographic systems, and facilities for drugs analysis, toxicology, fire investigation and DNA analysis.[19]

The Department of Psychology is based at the Cambridge campus. It was recognised for its outstanding performance in the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise, making it the UK’s top-rated Psychology department in a post-1992 university for the quality of its research.[20]

The Department of Vision & Hearing Sciences is based at the Cambridge Campus for Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing[21]

Research: Psychology, Vision, and Environmental Sciences research was rated as world leading or of international quality in the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise.[22] Successes include discoveries of new animal species,[23] design of new car bonnets for improved pedestrian safety,[24] and leading study in the first to study the toxic effects of benzylpiperazine (BZP).[25]

Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (ALSS) offers courses from Foundation to PhD level through its five departments, which include the Cambridge School of Art itself.

The faculty also houses the Anglia Ruskin University Language Centre, which provides language training and courses to students, staff and the general public, and supports 11 research clusters, including the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE) Research Institute.

Anglia Law School runs courses on both Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses, with a mock courtroom on each. Course provision includes undergraduate, postgraduate, research and professional qualifications. Their LLB (Hons) Law was rated in the top third of undergraduate law courses in the Guardian League Tables 2013.[26]

Lord Ashcroft Building houses the Chelmsford section of the business school.

Cambridge School of Art. An academic community of art, design and media professionals focused on developing the creative practice of our students through studio, workshop and classroom based experimentation. Cambridge School of Art is home to some 800 students studying for undergraduate, taught masters and doctoral qualifications. Its graduates include Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Spitting Image Creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law and Creator of St Trinian's Ronald Searle.[27]

English, Communication, Film and Media. The department offers courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and research level over three programmes: Film and Media; English Literature, writing and publishing; and English Language and Intercultural Communication. Their Film and Media provision ranked in the top quarter, and BA (Hons) in the top third, of The Guardian University League Table 2013.[28]

Humanities and Social Sciences. Offers courses in History, Philosophy, Sociology, Public Service and Psychosocial Studies at undergraduate, postgraduate and degree level. Their History and Sociology provision both ranked in the top third of The Guardian University League Table 2013, while Philosophy ranked 16th.[29]

Music and Performing Arts. Offers courses at undergraduate level in Music, Drama, Creative Music Technology, Popular Music and Performing Arts and at postgraduate level in Music Therapy and Dramatherapy. Research Degree supervision is also offered in a range of subjects. The department organises a varied programme of events each semester, including Lunchtime Concerts, Anglia Opera and Festival Week, and provides individual instrumental and vocal tuition.[30]

Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses across the East of England[citation needed] with campuses based in Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough. The Faculty is divided in 5 departments including Acute Care, Allied Health & Medicine, Education, Family & Community Studies and Primary & Public Health.

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education offers courses over a range of study levels, from foundation and undergraduate degrees to postgraduate qualifications. A variety of disciplines are available from nursing, operating department practice and social work to midwifery, education studies, public health and laparoscopic surgery.

Academic profile and reputation

(2016, national)
The Guardian[32]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[33]
(2016, national)

Anglia Ruskin University is one of the largest universities in the East of England, and one of the largest providers of face-to-face part-time training in the country.[citation needed]

Anglia Ruskin University’s academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 12 areas classed as generating “world-leading” research. The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 released on 18 December show that Anglia Ruskin is making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe. The 12 subject areas within Anglia Ruskin classified by REF 2014 as producing world-leading research are: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy; Architecture, Built Environment and Planning; Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory; Business and Management Studies; Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management; English Language and Literature; Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology; History; Law; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts; Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Social Work and Social Policy.[citation needed]

Anglia Ruskin was named the UK 'Entrepreneurial University of the Year' at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2014.[citation needed]

Anglia Ruskin University's Student Services team was recognised as the best in the country at the Times Higher Education Awards 2012.[citation needed]

Anglia Ruskin University was awarded a First in the Green League 2012 by People & Planet.[citation needed] The league is based on ten environmental criteria, both policy and performance related. It incorporates data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, including the percentage of waste recycled and CO2 emissions for each individual institution.

An investigation performed at the end of 2007 by the QAA reveal that as a result of its investigations, the audit team's view of Anglia Ruskin University is that confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards of the awards that it offers and the quality of the learning opportunities available to students.[34] However, an external inspection of Initial Teacher Education revealed inadequacies in 2010. The areas highlighted were the effectiveness of the provision in securing high quality outcomes for trainees, and the extent to which the training and assessment ensures that all trainees progress to fulfil their potential given their ability and starting points.[35] It was only the Primary ITE that was found to be inadequate in the inspection, the Secondary and FE ITE were awarded a mark of satisfactory. Since this inspection the Primary ITE has been awarded 'satisfactory' grades by Ofsted in May 2011 and 'good' in 2012.


The bust of Lord Ashcroft, an alumnus of the university and after whom its business school as well as the building where it is housed is named, can be seen at the university's Cambridge campus.


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External links

Media related to Anglia Ruskin University at Wikimedia Commons