Buckinghamshire New University

Coordinates: 51°37′41″N 0°45′07″W / 51.628°N 0.752°W / 51.628; -0.752

Buckinghamshire New University
Former names
School of Science and Art (1891)
Wycombe Technical Institute (1920)
High Wycombe College of Technology and Art (1961)
Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education (1975)
Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (1999)
Motto Latin: Arte et industria
Motto in English
"By Art and Industry"
Type Public
Established 2007 – gained University Status
1891 – Science and Art School
Vice-Chancellor Rebecca Bunting
Students 8,870 (2016/17)[1]
Undergraduates 7,850 (2016/17)[1]
Postgraduates 1,020 (2016/17)[1]
Other students
125 FE[2]
Location High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Campus in Uxbridge, Middlesex
England, UK
Affiliations Million+, GuildHE
Website http://www.bucks.ac.uk/

Buckinghamshire New University, styled bucks new university, is a public university with campuses in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Uxbridge, Middlesex. The Vice-Chancellor of the University is Rebecca Bunting.[3] The institution dates from 1891 when it was founded as the School of Science and Art, and has since that date been re-invented variously as the Wycombe Technical Institute, the High Wycombe College of Technology and Art, and the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. It was a university college from 1999 until 2007 when it announced that its application for university status had been accepted.

The University is a member of the GuildHE.


19th century origins

Founded in 1891 as the School of Science and Art,[4] it was initially established with public funds raised from a tax on beer and spirits and set about providing evening classes to residents of High Wycombe and the local area.[5]

20th century

After World War I, it was renamed the Wycombe Technical Institute, forging close links with local crafts such as furniture making and cabinetry and helping to provide skills to injured war veterans in order that they might find work in local industries.[5]

Further building took place after World War II, and on 6 May 1963 the new facilities were officially opened by the Minister of Education, Sir Edward Boyle.[5] A new change of name, the High Wycombe College of Technology and Art accompanied this expansion.[5]

Even as late as the 1960s, around 3,000 people worked in the manufacture of furniture in High Wycombe,[6] and 80% of the wooden chairs manufactured in Britain were made there.[7]

In 1975 High Wycombe College of Art and Technology merged with the Newland Park College of Education in Chalfont St Giles, and was renamed the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. In the same decade Missenden Abbey, a former Augustinian monastery founded in 1133, was acquired, and in May 1988 it was officially opened as a management centre by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.[5]

In March 1999 it was awarded University College status by the Government, changing its name once again to Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. Around this time the Which University guide described it as a "concrete labyrinth", which was unlikely to be "bringing home architectural awards".[8]

21st century

In 2007 it changed its name again, this time from "Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College" to its current name of "Buckinghamshire New University" ("Bucks") when its application for university status was approved by the Privy Council.[9]

Alternative names such as 'University of Wycombe', 'Wycombe University', 'University of High Wycombe', 'High Wycombe University', 'University of Buckinghamshire' and 'Buckinghamshire Chilterns University' were rejected. The chosen name was swiftly attacked by the University of Buckingham for using the county name.[10] Critics have argued that the 'New' element of the university's name will look out of place in the long-term.

Bucks had ambitious plans to consolidate its divided campuses into a purpose-built site near to Hughenden Park in High Wycombe on land previously owned by CompAir. While these plans fell through, the University changed plans to renovate and enlarge the main campus as well as consolidate both the Wellesbourne and Chalfont campuses onto the High Wycombe site. Additionally new halls of residence have been built at the Hughenden Park site.

The University is a lead academic sponsor of Buckinghamshire University Technical College, a new university technical college which opened in Aylesbury in September 2013.

In February 2015, Professor Rebecca Bunting was appointed as the new Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Buckinghamshire New University, taking over from Professor Ruth Farwell on her retirement.


The University currently consists of two campuses: High Wycombe Campus (previously belonging to the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology), and since 2009 a site in Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon, a thriving base for nursing students and applied healthcare research.

In 2008, the University disposed of two existing campuses; the Chalfont Campus (near Little Chalfont) and the Wellesbourne Campus (near Hazlemere).

Gateway building

The University undertook a major development of the High Wycombe Campus with a large structure, known as the Gateway Building, being built onto the front of the existing building. It won a RIBA award in 2010.[11]

A state-of-the-art complex, the Gateway offers a rich mix of commercial-standard facilities, including a sports/events hall, fitness centre and performance lab, dance and drama studios, sound design labs, music recording studios and video production suites, a modern integrated learning resources centre and meeting and conference rooms. It also has green screen facilities and a motion capture system.[12]

Halls of residence

There is a range of accommodation at Bucks New University including halls of residence, managed houses and the student village:

  • Brook Street Halls, the first to be built for Bucks New University, has 396 rooms and is situated opposite High Wycombe bus station, a five minutes' walk from the University campus.
  • Hughenden Park Student Village was completed in 2009. All 410 student rooms are en-suite and the area is a 15 minutes' walk from the University's Wycombe campus.
  • Windsor House is located in High Wycombe town centre. Much of the estate used to build the halls has been bought from The Chilterns Shopping Centre.

Academic profile

Several courses run at the university are rarities in British universities.

The Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training is a course offering students the opportunity to study for a professional pilot's licence whilst undertaking university studies in areas such as globalization of the air transport industry and health safety and security for airlines and airports.[13] Many former students (including Virgin Atlantic deputy chief pilot David Brooks) have gone on to attain jobs as pilots in flying schools, charter companies and airlines around the world including Susi Air, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, BMI and Ryanair.[14]

Although the Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training course aims to provide guidance and support to students with the aim of becoming commercial pilots, many students are inspired by various modules of the course and pursue careers in other areas within the air transport industry. In 2009 graduate Antony Coe set up his own business DexFix computer repairs. Following this and in conjunction with his studies in Health safety and security for airlines and airports Antony now provides contract services to the counter terrorism task forces worldwide.

The university offers several other innovative courses such as Music Management and Film and Television Production. The university also offers a course in Animation and Visual Effects, launched in September 2013.[15]

Bucks New University is one of very few universities that has created a degree in Policing. In partnership with territorial Police service Thames Valley Police, Bucks New University is one of only two UK Universities to offer the Foundation Degree in Policing as a pre-entry route into Police careers. The University also hosts a CKP course, which allows applicants into the majority of UK forces.

Bucks New University is one of the leading providers of nursing students in London. Students can choose to follow one of three routes: adult, child and mental health pre-qualifying nursing.[16] The University's Society and Health Faculty offers a range of courses in advanced healthcare; community care and public health; social work and integrated care; psychology; criminal justice and social studies; and applied education.

Reputation and rankings

Global rankings
(2019, national)
The Guardian[18]
(2019, national)
Times/Sunday Times[19]
(2018, national)
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[20] Silver [21]

In November 2013 it was ranked 12th in the UK by the Huffington Post in a list of creative universities.[22] It was also included in a list of the top 14 creative universities in the UK by The Daily Telegraph in December 2013.[23]


Trevor Baylis is a frequent guest lecturer, and was present at a 2004 graduation ceremony and graduate degree show; he received an honorary degree from the University in 2007, and was present at the official opening of the Gateway building in 2010.


See also


  1. 1 2 3 "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  2. "Table 0a – All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
  3. "Rebecca Bunting announced as new Vice Chancellor of Buckinghamshire N…". archive.is. 9 March 2015. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  4. Official Site Retrieved November 2013
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Official history Archived 23 January 2014 at Archive.is Retrieved January 2014
  6. Ashton, John, p.4, The Epidemiological Imagination: A Reader Retrieved January 2014
  7. Ashton, John, p.21, The Epidemiological Imagination: A Reader Retrieved January 2014
  8. Rich, Jonny, p.96 Push Guide to Which University Retrieved January 2014
  9. www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk Retrieved January 2014
  10. Kealey, Terence (13 November 2007). "What's in a name? Our reputation, for a start". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  11. "Newsroom". Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  12. Bucks Animation Blog 12 January 2014 Retrieved January 2014
  13. "Search Results". Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  14. "Graduate preparing for new life as pilot with Cathay Pacific". Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  15. Bucks New University Official Site Archived 21 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved November 2012
  16. The Guardian, 10 May 2009 Retrieved January 2014
  17. "University League Table 2019". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  18. "University league tables 2019". The Guardian. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  19. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2018". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  20. "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  21. "Bucks New University scoops silver in learning and teaching excellence awards". Bucks New University. Retrieved 13 July 2018. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  22. Huffington Post 5 November 2013 Retrieved November 2013
  23. Daily Telegraph December 2013 Retrieved December 2013
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