In 1947 a public meeting in Lancaster endorsed a proposal that there might be a university college established in the city. Although the idea lapsed for lack of government funding, in early 1961 it was revived by Lancashire County Council, and a Promotion Committee for a University in North-West Lancashire, chaired by Lord Derby, presented a proposal to the University Grants Committee for Lancaster to be chosen.
On 23 November 1961 an announcement was made in the House of Commons to that effect, and two bodies were set up to bring the new institution to life: an Academic Planning Board, chaired by Sir Noel Hall of Brasenose College, Oxford, and an Executive Council for the Establishment of a University at Lancaster, chaired by Sir Alfred Bates.
From the outset the university was committed to undertaking research as well as teaching, and many successful teams built on early initiatives; for example, on the environment, low temperature physics, or the study of the creative arts.
The seven research assessment exercises between 1986 and 2014 saw Lancaster rising steadily in the ascendant, especially in 1992 when the institution appeared in the top ten overall for the first time. Furthermore, Lancaster is highly ranked in each of the UK's major university league tables, including The Guardian (10th) the Complete University Guide (9th) and the Times (11th). The University has maintained its outstanding research reputation, and continuously seeks ways in which its research can be applied for the good of society. This work includes the development of three knowledge business centres, based on InfoLab21, the Management School, and the Lancaster Environment Centre.
The University now has about twelve thousand full-time students studying at Lancaster for first and higher degrees, and about seven hundred academic staff out of a total staff complement of over two thousand. In addition, the university confers the degrees of two colleges at Blackburn and Blackpool and has partnerships with higher education establishments overseas, including Sunway University College in Kuala Lumpur and the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil.
There are now over one hundred thousand Lancaster alumni across the world.
We are a university that is globally significant - a leader in higher education that provides the highest quality research and teaching, and engages locally and internationally on the issues and debates of the day and future. Driven by research, and stimulating learning, the globally significant university informs and changes practice and thinking worldwide.