A celebration of 50 years of higher education in Lancaster

Construction work goes on at Lancaster University.
Construction work goes on at Lancaster University.
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It’s 50 years since higher education was first brought to Lancaster, with the establishment of Lancaster University and St Martin’s College (now a campus of the University of Cumbria) setting the marker for five decades of development in the city.

Tuesday October 21 will witness a celebration of this achievement in Lancaster Town Hall, offering glimpses into the past, present and future of the city’s two universities and their impact on Lancaster and the region.

The panel event will provide an opportunity to reflect on both universities’ growth and progress over the intervening years and what the future holds, as well how higher education has shaped the local area over the last half a century.

The panel comprises:

• Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University

• Professor Peter Strike, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria

• Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council

• Prof Madeline Atkins, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

The event will be chaired by Jim Hancock, former political editor of BBC North West.

This free event starts at 6.30pm. If you would like to attend, please go to www.cumbria.ac.uk/50years and register online.

There is an opportunity to put a question to the panel on the economic and social impact 50 years of higher education has had on Lancaster and what the future holds for the two-university city. If you would like to put a question to the panel, please email anniversary@lancaster.ac.uk.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria, Prof Peter Strike, said: “Although officially the newer of the two institutions, this acknowledgement of the university’s history and pedigree is an important one.

“In just seven years, the University of Cumbria has established its campus in the city, successfully building on the legacy of St Martin’s College to deliver skilled and educated graduates into critical areas such as health and teaching, and contributing not only to Lancaster’s economic prosperity, but also to its culture and community.”

This special occasion at Lancaster Town Hall is a partnership event between the two universities and Lancaster City Council to celebrate this important milestone.

Lancaster University Vice Chancellor, Prof Mark E. Smith, said: “In the 50 years since our establishment, both Lancaster City and Lancaster University have changed enormously.

“We feel very proud to have developed in a relatively short space of time into the international institution we are today and feel proud of our roots in Lancaster and grateful to the local community for their support.

“This event provides a great opportunity for us to join with our neighbours at the University of Cumbria to reflect on where the last 50 years have taken us all, and what the future holds.”