The University of Lincoln, once described by a national newspaper as “the best thing to happen to Lincoln since the Romans”, is at the heart of the UK’s agri-business industry, boasting some of the leading agricultural and food production technology on the planet.
It was developed from several education providers in the Hull area, starting with Hull School of Art in 1861, followed by the Hull Technical Institute in 1893, Endsleigh College in 1905, Kingston-upon-Hull College of Education eight years later, and the Hull Central College of Commerce in 1930. The name was changed to Humberside College of Higher Education in 1983 when it introduced fishing, food and manufacturing in Grimsby.
When a Royal Charter was granted in 1992, it gained full university status, becoming the University of Humberside and welcoming 13,000 students 12 months later.
As Lincoln did not have its own university, the University of Humberside was asked to open a new campus in the cathedral city. The university was rebranded to the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside at the start of 1996, with the first 500 Lincoln students arriving that September.
In 2001, the name changed to the University of Lincoln, and a new campus was built in the city. The university transferred its main campus from Hull to Lincoln in 2002. On a memorable day, the Queen officially unveiled the main Lincoln campus, in which more than £150 million had been invested. Improvements made to the local area led to new leisure, property and retail opportunities.
After redeveloping the complex as a specialist food science technology park, the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach was reopened by South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes in 2004.
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The university now has around 13,000 students and 1,500 staff to its name. Olympic and Paralympic excitement reached fever pitch ahead of the London 2012 Games, when athletes preparing to compete in the tournament used the university’s facilities as a training camp, in the run-up to one of the most memorable competitions in British sporting history, with countless gold, silver and bronze medals claimed by the host nation.
The Students’ Union won the Students’ Union of the Year accolade at the National Union of Students (NUS) Awards in 2014.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018 awarded Lincoln 78th position in the UK, and 601-800 in the world. The university received a Gold grade in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017, and in the same year was ranked in eighth place in Agriculture & Forestry, and second in Business & Economics, in The Complete University Guide, which placed it 49th overall in the UK.
Notable alumni of the University of Lincoln include David Firth, the animator and visual artist who shot to prominence with the mid-00s hit series, Salad Fingers, broadcasters Jayne Sharp and Dan Wood, and film actor Chris Rankin.
Vicki Phillips, a director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also attended the university, as did Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood, and historian Jonathan Foyle.