Loughborough University

Loughborough University (abbreviated as Lough or Lboro for post-nominals)[7][8] is a public research university in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England. It has been a university since 1966, but the institution dates back to 1909, when the then Loughborough Technical Institute began with a focus on skills and knowledge which would be directly applicable in the wider world. In March 2013, the university announced it had acquired the former broadcast centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which opened as a second campus in 2015.

Loughborough University
Coat of arms of the Loughborough University
MottoLatin: Veritate, Scientia, Labore
Motto in English
By Truth, Wisdom, and Labour
Established1909 - Loughborough Technical Institute
1966 - Loughborough University of Technology established by royal charter[1][2]
Endowment£2.1 million (as of 31 July 2018)[3]
Budget£300.8 million (2017-18)[3]
ChancellorLord Sebastian Coe
Vice-ChancellorRobert Allison
VisitorPaul Michell[4]
Students18,439 (2018/2019)
Undergraduates12,930 (2016/17)[5]
Postgraduates4,195 (2016/17)[5]
Other students
1,205 FE[6]
CampusSuburban, single-site campus (440 acres)
NicknameLufbra, Lboro, Luff
AffiliationsUniversities UK, Wallace Group, AMBA, EUA, ACU, EMUA, EQUIS, ESRC, SEFI, M5 Universities, UNITECH

It was a member of the 1994 Group of smaller research intensive universities until the group was dissolved in November 2013. The annual income of the institution for 201718 was £300.8 million of which £41.9 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £295.5 million.[3]

Loughborough is currently ranked within the top 10 of all three national league tables and is internationally renowned for its sports-related courses and achievements.[9] In 2013, the university won its seventh Queen's Anniversary Prize, awarded in recognition of its impact through research and skills development in High Value Manufacturing to create economic growth.[10] The university is also rated five star for excellence by Quacquarelli Symonds through QS Star Scheme.[11]



The university traces its roots back to 1909 when a Technical Institute was founded in the town centre. There followed a period of rapid expansion during which the institute was renamed Loughborough College and the development of the present campus began.

In the early years, efforts were made to mimic the environment of an Oxbridge college (e.g. requiring students to wear gowns to lectures) whilst maintaining a strong practical counterbalance to academic learning. During World War I, the institute served as an 'instructional factory', training workers for the munitions industry.[12]

The Loughborough colleges

Following the war, the institute fragmented into four separate colleges:

  • Loughborough Training College (teacher training)
  • Loughborough College of Art (art and design)
  • Loughborough College of Further Education (technical and vocational)
  • Loughborough College of Technology (technology and science)

The last was to become the nucleus of the present university. Its rapid expansion from a small provincial college to the first British technical university was due largely to the efforts of its principals, Herbert Schofield who led it from 1915 to 1950 and Herbert Haslegrave who oversaw its further expansion from 1953 to 1967, and steered its progress first to a College of Advanced Technology and then a university.[13] In 1966, the College of Advanced Technology as it had then become, received university status. In 1977, the university broadened its range of studies by amalgamating with Loughborough College of Education (formerly the Training College). More recently, in August 1998, the university merged with Loughborough College of Art and Design (LCAD). Loughborough College is still a college of further education.

The influence of Herbert Schofield

Schofield became principal in 1915 and continued to lead the College of Technology until 1950. Over his years as principal, the College changed almost beyond recognition. He purchased the estate of Burleigh Hall on the western outskirts of the town, which became the nucleus of the present 438-acre (1.77 km2) campus. He also oversaw the building of the original Hazlerigg and Rutland halls of residence, which are now home to the university's administration and the Vice-Chancellor's offices.

From college to university

An experienced educationist, Herbert Haslegrave took over as college principal in 1953, and by both increasing the breadths and raising standards, gained it the status of Colleges of Advanced Technology in 1958. He further persuaded the Department of Education to buy further land and began a building programme.[13] In 1963, the Robbins Report on higher education recommended that all colleges of advanced technology should be given the status of universities. Consequently, Loughborough College of Technology was granted a Royal Charter on 19 April 1966 and became Loughborough University of Technology (LUT), with Haslegrave as its first vice-chancellor.[12]

It gradually remodelled itself in the image of the plate glass universities of the period, which had also been created under Robbins.

Later history

In 1977, Loughborough Training College (now renamed Loughborough College of Education) was absorbed into the university. The Arts College was also amalgamated with the university in 1998. These additions have diluted the technological flavour of the institution, causing it to resemble more a traditional university with its mix of humanities, arts and sciences. Consequently, in 1996, the university dropped the 'of Technology' from its title, becoming 'Loughborough University'.[12]

The shortened name 'Lufbra' is commonly used by the students' union,[14] the alumni association[15] and others.


The university's main campus is in the Leicestershire town of Loughborough. The Loughborough campus (once the estate of Burleigh Hall) covers an area of 438 acres (1.77 km2), and includes academic departments, halls of residence, the Students' Union, two gyms, gardens and playing fields.

Of particular interest are the walled garden, the 'garden of remembrance', the Hazlerigg-Rutland Hall fountain-courtyard and the Bastard Gates.

In the central quadrangle of the campus stands a famous cedar, which has often appeared as a symbol for the university. Unfortunately a heavy snowfall in December 1990 led to the collapse of the upper canopy which gave the tree its distinctive shape.


The Pilkington Library opened in 1980. It covers 9,161 square metres over four floors with 1375 study places (up from 780 prior to the renovation in late 2013). The Library has a history of undertaking research in the field of library and information work. There is an open access area where students are allowed to take in cold food and drinks as well as to engage in group discussions.

Loughborough University London

Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which covers 560 acres, with 6.5 km of waterways and 4,300 new trees. The campus is within close reach of major transport links and teaches postgraduate degrees only, teaching a wide range of master's degrees offered by the university.

Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel

Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel [16] is a four-star hotel and conference centre on campus that has 225 bedrooms and incorporates Burleigh Springs Leisure and Therapy Centre, a spa and leisure facility.

Holywell Park Conference Centre

Holywell Park Conference Centre [17] is a conference and meeting venue located on campus. It was used as the kitting out location for Team GB [18] prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel

Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel [19] is a training base and hotel for elite athletes opening in November 2018.[20]

University Stadium

The £4 million[21] stadium for the university's rugby and football first teams was opened in 2012 and has a capacity of 3,000.[22] It is home to Loughborough University FC who are one of the few university sides to play in the English football league system, currently competing in the Midland Football League.[23] The stadium has many features not normally found at that level of football including a digital scoreboard, conference facilities and 14 changing rooms. In 2018 it hosted four matches in the group stages of the European Under-17 Championships.[24]


Loughborough is headed by a Vice-Chancellor, Robert Allison. The university is organised into ten schools:

  • School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering (comprising the departments of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials)
  • School of Business and Economics
  • School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
  • Loughborough Design School
  • Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • School of Science (comprising the departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics and the Mathematical Sciences)
  • School of Social Sciences (comprising the departments of Communication and Media, Geography, PHIR and Social and Policy Studies)
  • School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
  • School of the Arts, English and Drama (comprising the School of the Arts and the Department of English & Drama)
  • Loughborough University London (comprising the Institute for Design Innovation, Institute for Digital Technologies, Academy of Diplomacy and International Governance, Glendonbrook Institute for Enterprise Development, Institute for International Management, Institute for Media and Creative Industries, Institute for Sport Business)

Each of these 10 schools has a senior management team (School SMTs) consisting of Deans, Associate Deans for Teaching, Research and Enterprise, and Operations Managers. With this change of organisation within the university the new Academic Leadership Team (ALT), made up of the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance, the Pro Vice-Chancellors for Research, Teaching and Enterprise, and the 10 new Deans, replaced the previous Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

Loughborough Sport

Loughborough Sport is the brand identity for the sport-related activities and facilities at the University. The University is host to a number of sports governing bodies.


The official colour of the university is African violet, with students taking part in practical sessions on Sport & Exercise Science courses having to wear the school kit in this colour. The coat of arms incorporates several symbols relevant to the history of the Loughborough area, including Offa of Mercia's cross (a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Mercia, within whose borders the town now stands) and the peafowl from the arms of the Dukes of Rutland. The motto of the university is veritate scientia labore ("with truth, wisdom and labour", or, alternatively, "with truth, knowledge and work", depending on the translation).

The university has a strong tradition in both engineering and sport. From its strong engineering and technical background it has now expanded, becoming a centre of excellence in the field of sports and sports science. It has graduated a number of world-class athletes including Paula Radcliffe and Lord Coe. In keeping with this tradition, Loughborough students have won the British Universities & Colleges Sport Association (BUCS) championship every year for four decades. The university is the home of the England and Wales Cricket Board's National Academy, opened in November 2003.

The phonetic spelling "Lufbra" is sometimes used amongst students, graduates, and in Students' Union publications, and the name is also often abbreviated to "lboro" both casually as well as within more formal/academic circles, stemmed from the university's URL of "www.lboro.ac.uk".

There is a one-week break between semester one and semester two. Normally little to no exams are scheduled in this week therefore students are presented with a week free from studies. This week is referred to as Refreshers Week by most students.

Academic profile

The University has 20 academic departments and over 100 research groups, institutes and centres divided between ten schools since the university's new school structure was implemented for the academic year 2011/12. Previous to this, the departments and research institutes were split between three faculties: Science, Engineering and Social Science & Humanities.

It has 17,130 students; 12,930 of whom are undergraduates and 4,195 are pursuing postgraduate courses and/or research (based on 2016/17 figures).[5] Its current Chancellor is Lord Sebastian Coe, (the previous chancellor, Sir Nigel Rudd retired from the position in summer 2015, having served for five years), and its Vice-Chancellor is Robert Allison.

The university has won seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for work with the aeronautical and automotive industries (1994); support for developing countries (1998); for a pioneering role in developing applications of modern optics and laser technologies (2000); for its world leading roles in sports research, education and development (2002); for its world leading role in social policy in recognition of its outstanding and widely respected work in evaluating and helping develop social policy-related programmes, such as those for cared for children, social security policy, crime prevention, education initiatives and young carers (2005); for recognition of its vehicle, road and driver safety research (2007); and for its impact through research and skills development in High Value Manufacturing to create economic growth (2013).[25]

The university has the largest sports scholarship programme in the UK with currently over 250 international athletes studying and training.


UCAS Admission Statistics
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Applications[26] 31,215 29,390 25,225 24,470 21,920
Offer Rate (%)[27] 77.9 79.3 81.8 83.7 85.7
Enrols[28] 3,980 3,945 4,050 3,530 4,125
Yield (%) 16.4 16.9 19.6 17.2 22.0
Applicant/Enrolled Ratio 7.84 7.45 6.23 6.93 5.31
Average Entry Tariff[29][lower-alpha 1] n/a 162 400 410 397

In terms of average UCAS points of entrants, Loughborough ranked 30th in Britain in 2014.[30] According to the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, approximately 17% of Loughborough's undergraduates come from independent schools.[31] In the 2016-17 academic year, the university had a domicile breakdown of 79:5:16 of UK:EU:non-EU students respectively with a female to male ratio of 39:61.[32]

Rankings and reputation

National rankings
Complete (2020)[33]8
Guardian (2020)[34]4
Times / Sunday Times (2020)[35]5
Global rankings
ARWU (2018)[36]701–800
CWTS Leiden (2019)[37]228
QS (2020)[38]
THE (2020)[39]351–400
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[40]Gold

Loughborough was named University of the Year 2019 in The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide.[41] Loughborough is the only university to have won the title twice. Loughborough also moved up to 5th overall in the Good University Guide.[42] Loughborough was also given the title of University of the year at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.[43]

In 2018 Loughborough was named best in the UK for student experience in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for the fifth time since 2009.[44]

Loughborough University was ranked 4th in the 2019 Guardian University League table.[45]

Loughborough kept its position as the best university in the world to study sports-related subjects in the global 2018 QS higher education league table.[46] In 2017 Loughborough achieved a five star plus rating in the QS Stars University Ratings.[47]

The Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology, or CREST, runs the internationally recognised masters programme in renewable energy. The Department of Politics, History and International Relations, or PHIR as it is commonly known, is home to researchers in European politics and international relations. The Centre for Research in Social Policy is an independent research centre based within the Department of Social Sciences. It is responsible for calculating the Minimum Income Standard in the United Kingdom for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


Loughborough is renowned in the UK for its sports provisions.[48] Loughborough is home to the world's largest university-based sports technology research group, which is part of the Sports Technology Institute. SportPark, based at the university provides a home for national sporting bodies including Youth Sport Trust, British Swimming and several other national governing bodies. Loughborough Students have performed well in the BUCS Overall Championship for more than forty years, winning the overall trophy for 40 successive years.

ECB National Academy which is also known as the National Cricket Performance Centre has been based at Loughborough since 2003. It provides indoor and outdoor training facilities for cricketers.

Loughborough was chosen by the British Olympic Association as the training base and official Preparation Camp for Team GB in the run-up to the London 2012 Games. Students and graduates of Loughborough won four bronze medals and six Paralympic medals (including one gold and three silver) in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, over 120 athletes from Loughborough represented 8 teams, across 10 sports. In total, 35 medals were won by athletes with Loughborough connections; 13 bronze, 13 silver and nine gold medals. If Loughborough was a country, the university would have finished 11th on the medal table at the 2014 Games.

In 2016 over 80 students, graduates and Loughborough-linked athletes travelled to Rio to participate in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In the Olympic competition our athletes secured 12 medals, including 5 golds. Loughborough-linked coaches also played a key role in the Games, with alumni guiding Team GB, Canada and Fiji to gold medals. During the Paralympic competition Loughborough-linked athletes secured a further 22 medals.

Student life

Students' Union

The Union building sits in the north-eastern corner of the campus, and offers a range of facilities for clubs and societies, retail, entertainment and other activities. The Union has five rooms, each with its own theme. Loughborough Students' Union (LSU), was awarded the International Experience Award 2011 by the National Union of Students (NUS).

As well as representing the student body through Union Council and offering academic support through Loughborough Students' Voice, the Union has five main sections for students to get involved with.; the athletic union offers 56 different sporting clubs, the Societies Federation consists of over 80 societies, Action is the volunteering section offering a range of opportunities for students. There are 45 regular projects working with young people, the elderly, special needs, the homeless or the environment.

Loughborough Students' Rag is a student fundraising organisation. For the last eight years they have raised over £1M per year for local, national and international charities. The total raised since records began is now over £16M

Loughborough has its own media centre which offers the opportunity to make TV shows with LSUTV, have your own radio show with LCR, write for the student magazine Label or improve your photography with Lens.[49] The School of the Arts, English and Drama runs The Lamplight Press, the UK's first student-led publishing company.

Student halls

As of 2016, there are a total of 17 halls of residence, many of which are named after famous scientists and engineers.[50] The halls are as follows:

Name Location Open to Catering status
Robert Bakewell Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Butler Court (with A Block) East Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Cayley Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
David Collett West Park Undergraduates only Catered
Falkner–Eggington Central Park Undergraduates and postgraduates Self-catering
Faraday Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Forest Court Off campus Postgraduates only Self-catering
Harry French Historic Hall Off campus Undergraduates and postgraduates Self-catering
Hazlerigg–Rutland Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
The Holt Off Campus Undergraduates only Self-catering
William Morris Off campus Undergraduates only Self-catering
John Phillips Village Park Postgraduates only Self-catering
Elvyn Richards Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Royce Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Rutherford Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Telford Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Towers East Park Undergraduates only Catered

Of these, Hazlerigg–Rutland, John Phillips, Elvyn Richards and Telford have names that were previously used for halls of residence that have since been repurposed, renamed or merged with other halls. In 2015 Loughborough University ranked 1st in the UK for accommodation on a University review platform StudentCrowd.[51]

Fitness facilities

Loughborough university has two main gyms namely; Powerbase and Holywell.

University leadership

Chairmen of Governors

  • A. A. Bumpus (1909–1925)
  • B. B. Barrow (1925–1934)
  • William Bastard (1934–1936)
  • W. H. Wright (1936–1940)
  • Sir Robert Martin (1940–1952)
  • Sir Harold West (1952–1957)
  • Sir Edward Herbert (1957–1963)
  • Sir Herbert Manzoni (1963–1966)
  • Sir B. R. Dean (1992–2015)



  • S. C. Laws (1909–1915)
  • Herbert Schofield (1915–1950)
  • Major-General W. F. Hasted (1951–1952)
  • H. E. Falkner, J. W. Bridgeman and C. D. Bentley (interim 'triumvirate' January–September 1952)
  • Wing Commander H. E. Falkner (1952–1953) (acting)
  • Herbert Haslegrave (1953–1966)


International programmes

Loughborough University and Kazakhstan's Bolashak scholarship programme signed a cooperation agreement in 2018. The agreement enables taught master’s and PhD students to study at the University’s two campuses in the East Midlands and London.[53]

Notable alumni


  1. New UCAS Tariff system from 2016
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  13. 175 Heroes Herbert Haslegrave
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Further reading

  • L. M. Cantor & G. F. Matthews (1977) Loughborough from College to University: A History of Higher Education at Loughborough, 1909–66 ISBN 0-902761-19-6.
  • Leonard Cantor (1990) Loughborough University Of Technology: Past And Present ASIN B0011T8ABK.

Partner institution


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