Liverpool Hope University has produced a medal-winning athlete, a leading star of Doctor Who and The Archers, and a life peer! While all this was going on, the institution also built a reputation for excellent research-informed teaching.
And while double-European gold medallist Diane Allahgreen, actor Terry Malloy, and David Alton, Baron Alton of Liverpool, have taken the headlines, thousands of students have gone on to pursue successful careers in a range of industries after leaving Liverpool Hope with work-relevant qualifications.
Its origins are traced back to the 19th century, when founding colleges were established to provide teacher education for women. The Church of England’s Warrington Training College opened its doors for the first time in 1844, followed 12 years later by the Sisters of Notre Dame’s Our Lady’s Training College. This was often referred to as ‘Mount Pleasant’ due to its city centre location.
In 1938, Warrington Training College changed its name to S. Katharine’s College, but left Liverpool the following year to spend the Second World War in the Lake District. The Ministry of Health took over the college buildings to use them as hospital facilities during the conflict.
Fast-forward to 1964, and Christ’s College was built opposite S. Katharine’s, where Hope Park sits today, and welcomed its first group of students. This proved to be a pivotal moment in academic history, because it was the country’s first Roman Catholic training college for men and women. By 1973, it was able to offer students a general BA degree, following agreement on the matter from the University of Liverpool.
Fresh changes in higher education policy saw the Archbishop Derek Worlock and Bishop David Sheppard engineer the merger of the colleges, to create the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education. The move was part of the duo’s wider vision for the city, and described it as “a sign of hope. Better Together.”
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LIHE became a fully-accredited institution of the University of Liverpool in 1994, delivering a variety of degree courses. Student numbers increased, and by the following year, a single, unified college with a new name, Liverpool Hope, was formed.
The turn of the century saw the college gain postgraduate and then degree-awarding powers, following scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency over a two-year period.
Liverpool Hope University was officially unveiled in the summer of 2005. The name Liverpool Hope continued to honour the mission of the college. Research Degree Awarding Powers were granted four years later, confirming it as a fully-established university.
In recent years, the university has opened the Education and Enterprise building at Hope Park, and boasts an award-winning Renaissance-style garden. The new Health Sciences Building was added to Hope Park in 2016, featuring state-of-the-art laboratories, a room for drone testing, and a running track.
The Hope Park campus is in the suburb of Childwall, while the Creative Campus, in Everton, is close to Liverpool city centre.
In the Times/Sunday Times rankings of universities in the UK, Liverpool Hope was awarded 52nd place. It also has a Gold standing in the UK’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).