The University of Bolton is a modern university with a distinctive history and has a long and proud heritage that goes back to 1825. Through the years, our institution has evolved, always allowing for the special emphasis on theory and practice that was developed in the 19th century, enhanced in the 20th century, and still sits firmly at the heart of our unique university today. Over the years the university has faced a number of changes and challenges, but has never lost focus on the university moto ‘Sapientia Superat Moras’ (Wisdom overcomes difficulty).

The University of Bolton

The University of Bolton came into being in January 2005 when the Privy Council gave approval for its title choice. The same year, Professor George E Holmes DL became the first Vice Chancellor of the university, making him the youngest university Head in the UK.

Following his installation, the university set out to achieve the Vice Chancellor’s vision of repositioning the university’s future. After gaining the “university” title in 2005, there has been a big growth in University of Bolton student numbers. This encouraged confidence in the strength of the institution, leading to an increase in attraction to potential students.

Being a Teaching Intensive, Research Informed Higher Education institution, the university received a number of distinctions in student satisfaction, received silver in Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and was ranked 36th out of 123 universities in the Complete University Guide. The above lead the university to be the number one university in greater Manchester for student satisfaction.

The university offers Distinctive High quality, student-focused undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, high-quality staff and links to employment sectors. Where appropriate, our students study in an environment which reflects closely as possible the working environment which they are likely to enter, with industry-standard equipment. Research and innovation underpins the university’s teaching and ensure the quality of the courses.

Bolton Institute of Higher Education

Over time, the Art College merged with the Technical College and then with BIT. In 1982, BIT and Bolton College of Education merged to form Bolton Institute of Higher Education.

In 1992, the Institute received its own taught-degree awarding powers, quickly followed by the ability to awarding research degrees in 1995. Throughout the 1990s, the number of degree subjects expanded enormously.

Bolton Institute of Technology

The 1960s saw the building of the Bolton Institute of Technology (BIT) on Deane Road and the development of Bolton College of Education at Chadwick Street, with Bolton Technical College remaining on Manchester Road.

The first phase of Bolton Institute of Technology was formally opened by HRH Princess Margaret in 1970; the second phase then opened in 1974.

Bolton Mechanics’ Institute

The origins of the university stretch back as early as the 1820s when the first mechanics’ institutes were built.

Bolton Mechanics’ Institute was the town’s first adult education organisation, founded with the aim of reaching the mass of working people to educate them in science and literature. On 19 July 1825, Bolton Mechanics’ Institute opened in Back King Street and in 1868, a new building opened in Mawdsley Street.

Bolton Technical School

Bolton Mechanics’ Institute achieved its aim with the help of Bolton Technical School, which opened in 1891 after the town responded to calls for technical education for working people. The new Technical School was an instant success with numbers rising quickly to over 1,500.

Bolton Municipal Technical College

The Technical School subsequently became Bolton Municipal Technical College in 1926, with the local press stating that it ‘ranks as one of the largest and best equipped technical institutions in the North of England, and is able to fulfil the function of a college by providing a complete system of training in those branches of industry which are the foundation of the town’s prosperity’.

Post-war Bolton saw a huge expansion in further and higher education. The town boasted a newly built Technical College on Manchester Road, the College of the Arts at Hilden Street and, in 1946, and Bolton Training College was approved by the Ministry of Education.