Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is a public research university in Nottingham, England. It was founded as a new university in 1992 from Trent Polytechnic (later Nottingham Polytechnic).[5] Its roots go back to 1843 with the establishment of the Nottingham Government School of Design which still exists within the university today. It is the 13th largest university in the UK (out of 167) with 29,370 students split over four different campuses.

Nottingham Trent University
Established1992 (University Status)
1970 (Trent Polytechnic)
1843(Nottingham Government School of Design)
Endowment£7.4 m (2017)[1]
Budget£271.8 million (2017)[2]
ChancellorSir John Peace
Vice-ChancellorEdward Peck
Administrative staff
Students29,370 (2016/17)[4]
Undergraduates23,600 (2016/17)[4]
Postgraduates5,775 (2016/17)[4]
England, UK
CampusUrban, Suburban
AffiliationsUniversity Alliance
Association of Commonwealth Universities
European University Association


The university was formed by the amalgamation of many separate institutions of higher education. It originated from the Nottingham Government School of Design founded in 1843.

In 1945, the Nottingham and District Technical College was established. In 1958, Nottingham Regional College of Technology opened and in 1959, the Nottingham College of Education began at Clifton. In 1964, Nottingham Regional College was opened and in 1966, the original Nottingham College of Design was linked with the Regional College. Together they merged and the institution was upgraded to Polytechnic status in 1970 to become 'Trent Polytechnic'. In 1975, it amalgamated with Nottingham College of Education.

Under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 all Polytechnics and some higher education colleges became eligible for full university status; at this point, the institution officially became 'Nottingham Trent University'.[6]

In 2017, the university received the Times Higher Education 'University of the Year Award' and in 2018, the 'Modern University of the Year Award' from the Sunday Times.[7] In 2019, The Guardian awarded the university it’s 'University of the Year' award.[8]


The university has four campuses: City Campus, Clifton Campus, Confetti Campus, and Brackenhurst.

City campus

Located just north of Nottingham City Centre, the City site is home to over 17,000 students from Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Law School, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, School of Art & Design, School of Social Sciences and the Centre for Broadcasting & Journalism, which regenerated Newton and Arkwright, two of the university's largest and oldest owned buildings. On 18 May 2011, the two buildings were officially opened by Sir David Attenborough.

Boots Library

The Boots Library is the main library of the university. It is in the centre of the city site and supports the schools of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Art & Design, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Law School and Social Sciences. It is a modern purpose-built building, completed in 1998 at a total cost of £13m ; with a refurbishment completed in summer 2013. It has over 533,000 books and 2,500 journals in addition to DVDs, newspapers and magazines. It is set over four levels plus a further level dedicated to 24-hour computing facilities. There are branch libraries on the Clifton and Brackenhurst campuses serving the schools located there, and include additional Animal Planet digital facilities.

The Recent Advances in Manufacturing database (RAM) is published by the library and information department. It is a bibliographic indexing service providing information for manufacturing and related areas. Literature covered includes journals, magazines, books, videos, and conference proceedings with from 1990 to the present.[9][10]

Clifton campus

Home to over 9,000 students from the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Science and Technology and School of Education. 4 miles (6 kilometres) outside the city centre, the Clifton campus is a self-contained, greenfield site. It hosts an Anthony Nolan Trust Cord Blood Bank, and the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, recipient of the largest research grant awarded to a post-1992 university. The Clifton campus has benefited from investments including the Lee Westwood Sports Centre and student accommodation. Clifton campus is linked to the City site by a regular student bus service operated by NCTX.

Brackenhurst campus

Home to over 1,000 students from the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences. About 14 mi (23 km) from the city centre, Brackenhurst campus is a countryside estate with woodland, a lake and landscaped gardens. Contrasting the country house built in 1828 are facilities including the high-tech glasshouse and new Veterinary Nursing building. The Veterinary Nursing Centre was purpose-built in 2007 and was made a RCVS accredited Veterinary Nursing Centre. It has a simulated Veterinary Practice giving students hands-on experience.

Confetti Campus

Confetti Campus, home to the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, is located a short walk east of the city centre on Convent Street. It is home to 2000 students across its college and degree courses[11]. The campus consists of the main Digital Media Hub on Convent Street, as well as Metronome (both a live music venue and a music studio complex) on Huntingdon Street, and Space 2 (a shared building that contains TV studios and related facilities) near Sneinton market[12]. The institute, along with all its related businesses (collectively the Confetti Media Group), were bought by NTU in 2015[13].

Organisation and administration

The university is composed of three colleges and ten schools:

College of Business, Law and Social Sciences
  • Nottingham Business School
  • Nottingham Institute of Education
  • Nottingham Law School
  • School of Social Sciences
College of Art, Architecture, Design and Humanities
  • School of Art & Design
  • School of Arts and Humanities
  • School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
  • Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies
College of Science and Technology
  • School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
  • School of Science and Technology



In June 2008, Sir Michael Parkinson was named as the first Chancellor, responsible for a number of duties, including representing the university on special occasions and conferring degrees at graduation ceremonies (although he was absent from all the 2009 graduation ceremonies). The official installation as Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University took place in a special ceremony on Tuesday 11 November 2008, at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.[14]


  • Edward Peck (2014–present)[17]
  • Neil T Gorman (2003-2014)
  • Ray Cowell (1992–2003)

Chairman of the board of Governors

Academic profile

The university has "one of the best employability records of any university in England and Wales". It maintains close ties to over 6,000 businesses and 94% of students progress to full-time employment or further education within six months of graduating.[18][19] These companies include Microsoft, Toyota, Boots, Experian and Rolls Royce.[20][20][21][22] Representatives from companies hold talks with prospective placement students or those considering careers after graduation.

Across NTU, there are a number of dedicated centres that provide a focus for expertise[23] and business resources, all of which can support organisational and development needs. Aligned to a profession, industry sector, business function or specific subject area, these centres offer a range of activities from tailored educational services and cutting-edge research, to consultancy and the cultivation of new business ideas.

Located in the Maudsley building on the City campus, The Hive is NTU's purpose built centre for enterprise and business development. Here experts can help evaluate and advise on potential business ideas as well as provide a bespoke education in entrepreneurship. Since 2001, the centre has helped 250 start up companies[24] of which 70% have been successful. The centre helps by not only providing advice and guidance but also by providing office space and other facilities to its clients.[25]

In 2019, the university began offering qualifications in Artisan Food Production, in affiliation with The School of Artisan Food on the nearby Welbeck Estate.[26]


In November 2015, the university was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, "the highest national honour for a UK University" based on numerous research projects.[27]

The university has a strong research arm with, in 2008, 74% of the university's research considered of "international status" and "an impressive 8% ranked as world-leading".[18]

Rankings and reputation

National rankings
Complete (2020)[28]38
Guardian (2020)[29]12
Times / Sunday Times (2020)[30]37
Global rankings
QS (2020)[31]
THE (2020)[32]601-800
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[33]Gold

Globally, Nottingham Trent University was ranked in the number 16 in UK according to Guardian and 600 in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2013.[34] In 2007 The Guardian said Nottingham Trent University was "one of the top places in the country for graduate employment", with 94% of students progress to full-time employment or further education within six months of graduating.[18][19][35]

In 2015, WhatUni ranked the university 12th in its 'Student Choice Awards'.[36] In the same year, the Times Higher Education ranked the university as 31st out of 113 universities in the country for student experience.[37] In 2018 The Complete University Guide named Nottingham Trent the "top post-1992 University" in the country.[18]

The university holds a Gold rating in the UK Higher Education Academy Teaching Excellence Framework. In November 2015, Nottingham Trent received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

Trent has also received a 4-star rating on the QS World University rankings, as well as an Athena SWAN Bronze Award for good practices towards the advancement of gender equality.

Environmental profile


The university was named "the most environmentally friendly university in the country" by The Guardian, and in 2009 it was awarded the title of "the most environmentally friendly university in the UK", by The People & Planet Green League (the only independent ranking of British universities' environmental and ethical performance – published by the Times Higher Education[38]); with 100% of the university's electricity generated by renewable sources since 2009.[19][39][40]

Between 2009 and 2012, NTU received four First Class Awards from Green League,[41] reflecting its commitment to carbon reduction and its efforts to become an environmentally aware higher education institution.

Aside from organising various 'green' activity clusters (e.g., The Carbon Elephant, The Wind Turbines Project, The UCycle Scheme[42]), the university has also been formally awarded Fairtrade status.[43] Fairtrade products are therefore available in all campus shops, catering outlets and the Students' Union. Also, Nottingham Trent University branded T-shirts and hoodies sold in the Student Union shops are made from Fairtrade cotton.[44] Additionally, the university holds a yearly Fairtrade Fortnight Celebration, featuring a range of events and activities to raise awareness of the work of the Fairtrade Foundation and NTU's commitment to ensuring that farmers in some of the poorest areas of the world receive a fair price for their produce.[44]

The university also published a Sustainable Purchasing Policy in 2007, which outlines specific aims meant to embed sustainability into the entire array of the institution's purchasing activities.[45] Finally, NTU also acknowledged its responsibility to operate in an ethical manner and claims to take into account social, environmental and ethical considerations in all of its activities, including financial investment. The university's Treasury Management Policy includes a separate section on Ethical Investment, which states that "investments shall only be made with institutions with a clear and transparent Ethical Investment Policy which reflect the university's ethical values".[46]

Campus biodiversity

The university's conglomerated estate includes approximately 250 hectares of land, spread across its three campuses. These different land types, ranging from urban centres to farmland, are considered valuable ecological assets by the university,[47] which is dedicated to conserving the biodiversity found on and around its grounds.

  • City Campus

Despite the intense density of buildings typical of any urban setting, the university has been making efforts to enhance biodiversity found within the site.[48] Newton and Arkwright, the flagship buildings of NTU, house not only staff and students, but also two peregrine falcons, which are protected under Schedule One of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. In this sense, the university runs a collaborative project with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust;[49] since 2002, the building has been regularly used by the peregrines, who nest on a specially arranged ledge near the top of the skyscraper. The nest site, which is being publicly broadcast on the Internet, has been successfully used to raise 16 chicks between 2008 and 2012.[49]

Newton and Arkwright's common roof has varieties of sedum covering it. Bird species that can be found include blackbirds, song thrushes, wrens, robins and even rare black redstarts.[48]

  • Clifton Campus

Located 3 mi (5 km) south of Nottingham city centre, on the outskirts of Clifton Village, the area comprises 32 hectares of land in a relatively enclosed campus environment.

Biodiversity can be noticed around the campus, including a variety of species of birds, bats and insects. Habitats are also provided within areas such as The Grove, bounding the site to the north-east, comprising mature trees along the River Trent. The university's commitment to biodiversity across all of its estates includes constant investigating into exactly what creatures share the campus with humans and how the environment can be enhanced to encourage numbers to increase, and to entice new wildlife to the campus. Future plans to help enhance biodiversity and manage the landscape have been made publicly available by the university in 2012.[50]

  • Brackenhurst Campus

Brackenhurst Campus comprises a 200-hectare scenic estate situated on the outskirts of the minster-town of Southwell, and is set around a former country house built in 1828.[51]

Given its rural setting, a vast array of wildlife co-exists with staff and students; present are species and habitats such as the great crested newt, bats, birds, badgers, hares, ancient hedgerows, the Victorian Walled Garden (a listed Heritage site), and Sheepwalk's pond and Wildlife Hide (Wetland Conservation Area). Webcams on campus enable the monitoring of such species and habitats.[51]

Student life

Students' Union

Nottingham Trent Students' Union (NTSU) provides student activities and events, a Student Advice Centre, leisure and retail services, democratic representation and night-time entertainment at all three NTU campuses.

  • RAG is NTSU's fundraising department, where volunteers plan events to raise funds for local, national and international charities, as chosen by the members.
  • The Student Magazine – Platform – is published online every month during the academic year, and is also available on campus in print form. It covers education, local and on-campus news, as well as arts, culture, sports and lifestyle. The magazine recently played host to the Student Publication Association's annual conference.
  • The Students' Union television station – Trent TV – broadcasts programmes online including coverage of Freshers Week and the annual NTSU Awards, student nights out in Nottingham and 'Trent TV News' – for which the station was awarded 'Best News Programme of 2011' by the National Student Television Association.
  • The Students' Union Radio Station - Fly FM - broadcasts everyday from 10 am to 11 pm on their website including daytime shows, specialist shows, entertainment, sport and news. Started by then SU president, Ben Morrison in 1996, they have since won multiple Student Radio Association awards and have had numerous nominations.

UKIP Controversy

In late 2014, some Nottingham Trent University UKIP students attempted to form an official society for their party. The Union's Societies Assembly voted to block the formation of this group in spite of similar Labour and Conservative societies already existing.

The situation rose to prominence in January 2015 when an article appeared on the website of Young Independence calling the ban "An affront to democracy" [52] and this sentiment was echoed by UKIP's Margot Parker MEP in a statement a few days later.[53] Various news outlets became interested in the story, including Sky News.[54]

On the 21 January 2015 the Union admitted that some members of the Societies Assembly made their decision based on personal political beliefs and therefore overturned the ban.[55]


NTU sports scholars have competed in the summer and winter Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and world championships. NTU alumni include England Rugby player Nick Easter and GB Hockey players Crista Cullen and Alistair Wilson.

The 2010 world number one golfer and honorary graduate Lee Westwood opened the new Lee Westwood Sports Centre on the university's Clifton campus. The centre has sport and athlete support facilities, including sports halls, studios and fitness suites, and a nutrition training centre.

NTU is consistently ranked in the top 20% of institutions in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) championships, in the 2014/2015 season the university achieved 17th place.[56] The university competes in the Varsity Series against local rival, the University of Nottingham.

Notable alumni

See also


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