Oxford Brookes University, located in one of the world’s most prestigious academic cities, can trace its story all the way back to 1865, when the Oxford School of Art occupied a solitary room in the Taylor Institution.
Five years later the School of Science was added, with scientific and technical subjects made available to students, along with evening classes in the university museum. The school was taken over in 1891 by the local council, and renamed Oxford City Technical School.
A watershed moment arrived in 1928 when John Henry Brookes became Vice-Principal, and dedicated the next three decades to developing the school, with a passionate, long-held vision of making education available to everyone. He was a teacher, artist and widely-respected educationalist.
The School of Art and the Technical School merged six years later, and Brookes was appointed the first principal of the new-look education provider, which had attracted 4,000 students by 1950. A new campus was built on a plot of land donated by the local Morrell family, and the rebranded Oxford College of Technology was unveiled on the new site in 1956, before relocating to Headington seven years down the line.
Another new name arrived in 1970, in the form of Oxford Polytechnic, and later that decade it absorbed Lady Spencer-Churchill College. The introduction of the Further and Higher Education Act in 1992 saw the institution finally become Oxford Brookes University, named after its founder of course, and by 2000 it had taken over the site of Westminster College, Oxford.
New ground was broken towards the end of 2003, when the university became the first education provider of its kind on the planet to receive Fairtrade status. More publicity followed in 2015 when Dame Katherine Grainger, the most successful Olympic athlete in British sporting history, became Chancellor.
In the same year, Oxford Brookes proudly marked its 150th year through a variety of activities and events involving staff and students. Since then, it has received a Green Flag Award for the quality of its green spaces, and earned 10 National Teaching Fellowships from the Higher Education Authority.
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In 2017, the university retained its top-10 world ranking in the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings for its MBA programme, and was also named as one of the top 50 young universities in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2018.
In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018, Oxford Brookes was awarded 56th position nationally, and 401-500 on the international stage.
The university recently became one of the first in the world to receive the Meningitis Aware Recognition Mark award (MARM). The prestigious gong acknowledges the efforts to raise awareness of the illness among staff and students alike.
Oxford Brookes, one of only 14 universities to earn the accolade, led a campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated and spot the signs of Meningitis. The university was also deemed to be suitably prepared to deal with any cases that occur on campus.
Notable Oxford Brookes alumni include Prince Azim of Brunei, broadcaster Alice Bowe, musician Georgina Rylance, Radiohead founding member Jonny Greenwood, Melody Hossaini, who was a contestant on The Apprentice, and Yasmeen Lari, who was the first female architect in Pakistan.