Coventry University, just like the city in which it is located, is admired for its resilience in the face of adversity. You only have to look at its logo, a phoenix, to understand the poignant backstory. Fabled to have risen from the ashes after living for several centuries, the phoenix is symbolic of the way Coventry rebuilt itself after being devastated by the relentless bombings of the Second World War.
The university traces its roots back to 1843, when Coventry School of Design was founded. It went on to be referred to as Coventry School of Art, before becoming the Municipal Art School as a result of the Education Act 1902. The name remained for a few decades before being switched again, to the College of Art, in the 1950s.
To meet the need for a high level of technical training, the Lanchester College of Technology was established in 1961. Nine years later, it merged with the College of Art and the Rugby College of Engineering Technology to form Lanchester Polytechnic, as it was officially designated by then-Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher, who would eventually rise to the position of Prime Minister.
Lanchester Polytechnic was renamed Coventry Polytechnic in 1987, and when it earned university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, it evolved into Coventry University. For many, this was a relief on a number of levels, not least because the name ‘Lanchester’ was often confused with education providers in the Lancaster and Manchester regions!
To attract more international students, the university introduced a London campus in 2010. Two years on, Coventry University College was added to the main university campus, where students could work their way towards qualifications up to degree level.
Coventry University claimed 72nd spot in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018 nationally, and placed 601-800 globally. The university also came 12th in the Guardian University League Tables of 2018. It was named Entrepreneurial University of the Year in the Ties Higher Education Awards six years earlier, and received the Modern University of the Year accolade in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
The university is also one of only a handful of providers of its kind to be recognised in the Queen’s Awards, by being commended in the International Trade category in acknowledgement of its continuous achievement since 2009.
Famous faces to have graced the corridors of Coventry University in the past include writer and journalist David Yelland, television presenter Andrea McLean, singer-songwriter Emma McGann, and Nick Buckles, CEO of security organisation G4S. Politician David Borrow and entrepreneur Neil Carson are also counted amongst the university’s alumni.
Staff and students are proudly participating in a variety of exciting events to support Coventry’s bid to become the City of Culture 2021. Every four years the Department of Culture Media and Sport runs the competition, with the winning location carrying the coveted title for 12 months, and marking the achievement with a series of arts and cultural activities.