The story of the University of Nottingham dates back to 1881, when the city’s first civic college opened its doors for the first time, four years after the foundation stone was laid by former Prime Minister, W.E. Gladstone. Thanks to an anonymous £10,000 donation, the college was created, with demands from the mystery benefactor including a new building and £4,000 annual funding for the college.
The college had become too vast for its original home after the First World War. Sir Jesse Boot offered 35 acres of land at Highfields, and in 1928 the college moved to what is now the main campus, University Park. At first it sat in the Trent Building, and was unveiled by King George V.
By the time 1948 hit, the college had earned Royal Charter status, and rebranded as the University of Nottingham, with the new power of being able to award degrees in its own name. Midland College of Agriculture merged with the university, establishing the School of Agriculture.
In 1970, the university opened the country’s first 20th century medical school, before adding the School of Nursing 25 years later, thanks to the merger of Mid-Trent College of Nursing and Midwifery.
A cool £50 million was spent on developing the Jubilee Campus, originally opened in 1999 and later re-opened after a makeover a decade down the line. Its environmentally-friendly approach has bagged several awards for the campus.
At the start of the 21st century, the university unveiled a campus in Malaysia, where a purpose-built park campus was established five years later. By March 2005, the university had opened King’s Meadow Campus in the ex-Carlton Television Studios.
This came just 12 months on, the university welcomed its first cohort of students in Ningbo, China, at a purpose-built complex. It then became the first education provider of its kind to open an independent campus in China.
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The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science arrived in the Spring of 2007 – the first purpose-built new veterinary school to be established in the UK in five decades.
In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018, the University of Nottingham was rated 21st in the UK, and 147th internationally. It also boasts a Gold Teaching Excellence Framework. In 2017, Reuters reported that the university was ranked 71st in the top 100 Most Innovative Universities.
The same year saw The Times and Sunday Times name Nottingham as the University of the Year for Graduate Employment, having assessed the centres of excellence within each of the 67 subject areas. Judges looked at student opinions on teaching quality, their wider university experience, graduate job prospects and course entry standards.
Notable alumni include Sir Clive Granger, who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2003, Peter Mansfield, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in the same year, and Sir Ian Kershaw, a historian who is one of the world’s leading experts on Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
The celebrated novelist, D.H. Lawrence, and Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore, also attended the university in their formative years. Famous visiting lecturers included Mahatma Gandhi, H.G. Wells, and Professor Albert Einstein.