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Liverpool Hope University
Motto In Faith, Hope and Love[1]
Established 2005 - gained University Status
Chancellor Baroness Cox
Vice-Chancellor Prof Gerald J. Pillay
Students 7,885[2]
Undergraduates 6,190[2]
Postgraduates 1,675[2]
Other students 20 FE[2]
Location Liverpool, England, UK
Campus Hope Park, Childwall & The Cornerstone, City Centre
Former names Notre Dame College,St. Katherine's College, Liverpool Institute of Higher Education; Liverpool Hope University College
Nickname LHU; Hope University
Athletics Gaelic Football, Ladies Hockey, Rugby

Liverpool Hope University is a university in Liverpool, England. Two of its three founding colleges were established in 1844 and 1856, the third opening in the 1960s. It is the only ecumenical university in Europe.[3] Based on two campuses, the main campus is located in Childwall and the second campus, The Cornerstone, is located in Everton. The University has an employment rate of 97.3% within the first year of graduation, making it the most successful university in the North West of England in terms of graduate employment[4] and attracts students from some 65 countries worldwide.



Hilda Constance Allen Building, Hope Park
New Halls of Residence, Hope Park

Two of the University's founding colleges, S. Katharine's (1844) and Notre Dame (1856) were established in the 19th century. These Colleges were in Warrington and Liverpool City Centre respectively. They were supplemented on Merseyside when a second Catholic teacher education College, Christ's College, on a site adjacent to S. Katharine's, admitted its first students in 1964. (Christ's was the first Catholic co-educational teachers' training college in England.)

In 1980 these three Colleges joined in an ecumenical federation under the holding title of Liverpool Institute of Higher Education (LIHE). Archbishop Derek Worlock and Bishop David Sheppard wrote of this as being "a sign of hope".

In 1995 a new Instrument and Articles of Government established a single, unified, ecumenical College, and a new name - Liverpool Hope - which better reflected its role and Mission. A company limited by guarantee and registered as a charity was formed.

Meanwhile, expansion followed in both the range of degrees and in student numbers. The status of a fully accredited institution of the University of Liverpool had been achieved in 1994. This gave full responsibility to the College for the quality and standards of its course provision and provided recognition of its academic standing.

In 1998, the Accreditation Agreement with the University of Liverpool was renewed for five years and extended to cover taught postgraduate awards. After extensive scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency in 2001 and 2002, Hope gained taught degree awarding powers in August 2002.

The application to become a University - submitted in September 2004 - was successful and the Privy Council approved the title Liverpool Hope University in July 2005, granting Hope full University status under the leadership of Professor Pillay, who is now the University's Vice-Chancellor. On 25 January 2006, Baroness Cox, Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, was installed as the University's Foundation Chancellor.


To date, the University has 6,190 undergraduates and 1,675 postgraduate students.

In September 2007 work was completed on the Student Services building, named the 'Gateway to Hope'. The building draws together all of the University's student services such as Registry, Accommodation Offices and the newly launched Student Success Zone.

In January 2009 work began on a new £6.4m Centre for Music, Performance and Innovation at the Hope's Cornerstone campus. The centre is due to open early in 2010.

In March 2009, the University awarded Vasily Petrenko, Principle Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, an honorary doctorate and made him a Visiting Professor of Music.

Work will shortly be starting on the new Centre of Excellence in Education, Innovation and Enterprise at the University's Hope Park campus. The centre will have a lecture theatre, meeting space, offices and seminar and teaching rooms grouped around an internal street atrium.

Academic reputation

In the UK Good University Guide for 2008 published by The Times, Liverpool Hope University was ranked 113th out of 113 institutions listed,[5] though it does not appear at all in the rankings for 2009.[6] This is because the university blocked the release of data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.[7]

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the majority of work from Liverpool Hope University achieved 1* and 2* grades (with the RAE's criteria,[8]. stipulating the highest grade is 4*, i.e. 'Highest Quality' and the lowest is 1*, i.e. 'Lowest Quality'). Some work in the theology, social work, computer science, psychology, education, music, and English departments was graded 3* and 4*. Submissions in politics and international studies and drama, dance and performing arts were unclassified.[9]

Due to declining student numbers in certain faculties and following the appointment of senior professors to raise its research profile, in 2008 the university had to make redundant several other academic faculty members and support staff.[10]


The University's academic organisation is divided into four main Faculties:

  • The Faculty of Arts and Humanities The faculty covers creative and performing arts - Music, Art, Design, Drama, Theatre Studies, Dance mainly based at Hope's Cornerstone campus - as well as Media, English, History, Politics, Theology and Religious Studies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • The Faculty of Business and Computer Sciences contains the Liverpool Hope Business School and the Department of Computer Science, which offers a range of undergraduate Computing programmes. Masters programmes in Business Management and Computer Science are very popular, particularly with international students, as is the MBA.
  • The Education Faculty includes all Initial Teacher Training programmes (BA QTS and PGCE), Disability Studies, Education Studies and Early Childhood Studies as well as a range of Foundation Degrees, Masters and CPD courses. There is a growing research culture within the Deanery.
  • The Faculty of Science and Social Science covers a wide range of subjects from Sport, Health and Geography to Sociology, Psychology and Criminology. There are a number of Masters programmes and areas of research strength.

The University's administrative organisation is also divided into a number of groups.

  • External Relations & Widening Participation: responsible for external relations and partnerships in the City of Liverpool, the north west region, nationally and internationally. Also responsible for the Centre for Widening Participation (
  • Research and Academic Affairs: with responsibility for academic development throughout the University, including leading planning and implementing strategies to improve scholarship, helping in recruiting high quality staff, developing key research clusters and providing leadership for Human Resources.
  • Student Support and Well-being: with overall responsibility for everything that directly influences student learning support and pastoral and personal care of students.
  • Resource Management & Planning: With overall responsibility for Planning, Estates, Catering, Finance, Marketing, Recruitment & External Relations.

The Sheppard-Worlock Library

The Sheppard-Worlock Library is the University's central library, based at the Hope Park campus. Housed within the Hilda Constance Building, the library offers extended hours throughout the year, including periods of 24 hour opening throughout the year.

The Library takes its name from Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock. The two men were noted for their work in healing sectarian divisions within Liverpool during the 1970s and 80s. In addition, they shared the ambition for an ecumenical foundation in Liverpool Hope.

On a historic visit to London, Archbishop Derek Worlock and Bishop David Sheppard secured from the Secretary of State for Education permission to create an ecumenical institute of higher education. The story goes that the Secretary of State, Gordon Oaks (who was MP for the nearby constituency of Widnes) was not particularly concerned about the constitution of the new institute as he believed it would not last a year.

In 1997, one of the final acts of Dr. Jim Burke as Rector was to approve the building of a new library at a cost of £5.34million – the Sheppard-Worlock library which opened in 1997.

In addition to a wealth of publications, research material, extensive computing facilities and stationary sales. The library also plays hosts to a number of commercial activities in the business and education communities. Additionally, the library houses a number of research collections. These include:

  • The Gradwell Collection: This collection, entrusted to Liverpool Hope on the closure of St. Joseph's College at Upholland, contains material covering the following subjects: theology, philosophy, church, secular and local history, ecclesiastical history, art, architecture, sociology, education and works of general reference. It also includes recusant works and early printed works.
  • The Picton Collection: A collection of theology material on long-term loan from the Liverpool City Library Collection. This collection contains many of the classic New Testament works published before 1975, some old but extremely useful linguistic studies including older Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek lexicons, and several sets of theological texts. The Gradwell and Picton collections not only enhance but compliment The Sheppard-Worlock's own collection of theology holdings, both lending and reference.
  • Archbishop Stuart Blanch (1918-1994)Collection: Hope has been fortunate enough to receive materials from the estate of Archbishop Stuart Blanch. These include notes from his student days at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and notes for sermons, lectures, talks and speeches made while Bishop of Liverpool (1960-1966) and Archbishop of York (1975-1983).
  • Professor Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity: Materials have been donated to create a library for the Centre for the Study of African Asian Christianity by Professor Walls himself, University of Edinburgh (Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World) and University of Aberdeen. The Library offers resources across a range of mission studies, its principal focus being Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Since missions from the West have had a part in the African and Asian Christian story, the collection has substantial holdings on the history of mission, and on missionary activity in other parts of the world, as well as on mission theology and practice, other faiths, and the history of religions.
  • Education Research Collection: A research collection of books, pamphlets and journals on education and related subjects has been donated by University of Liverpool. The collection contains 30,000 books and pamphlets. These contain books on all aspects of education, particularly from an historic viewpoint and with large sections on special education and religious education. There are also collections of bibliographies, Government publications, Government and other statistical publications, and annual reports of organisations connected with education; 400 journals, with strengths in learning difficulties and special education, educational psychology, and education overseas.
  • The Centre for Millennialism Studies: The Centre for Millennialism Studies is focused on the study of contemporary manifestations of millennialism / apocalypticism; particularly the ‘afterlife' of apocalyptic texts and ideas within popular culture.
  • The Josephine Butler collection: A small collection of materials has been received from the University of Liverpool on Josephine Butler and her work.

Halls of residence

The University owned accommodation is divided among all three of its main campuses. At the main Hope Park campus, set in the landscaped gardens, there are:

  • Wesley. Primarily for QTS and first year undergraduates.
  • Newman. Taking its name from the eminent Catholic cardinal, Newman offers first year and masters accommodation.
  • Teresa. The final hall recently added to the Hope Park campus with en-suite accommodation, similar to Wesley and Newman.
  • Austin. Also located on the main campus offers mixed sex accommodation.
  • Angela. Similar to Austin in design and feel but offers single sex, female accommodation. Also for returning and masters students.
  • St. Agnus & St. Margaret's. Situated in the older part of the university, these halls are designed around a floor design. Students have dubbed these halls (and their opposite ones) the 'Harry Potter Halls' for their similarity to the film's settings.
  • St. Elphin's and St. Elthedrea. Similar again to St. Agnus / Margaret - these halls are located in the older part of the university and are close to the central university library.

The university also has halls of residence at its Aigburth campus. The Cornerstone is served by Gerard Manley Hopkins Hall, a private sector Halls of residence run by Cosmopolitan Student Homes.

Students' Union

Students at the University are represented by the Liverpool Hope Students' Union. Although there are several campus sites for the University, students are represented by the main Student Union facilities at Derwent House, in the main University campus.

Representation for all students is central and is conducted by executive officers elected annually. In most cases, these students will be on a sabbatical from their studies. The election process is normally contested in March/ April, with successful candidates assuming office on the 1st July.

Present and Former Sabbatical Officers:

Period President Vice President
2009/2010 Susie McFarlane Mary Murhpy
2008/2009 Sinead Butler Claire Frost
2007/2008 Darren Batey Teresa Dawson
2006/2007 Chris Lowry Matt Wilson

The President-Elect and Vice-President-Elect for 2010/2011 are Clive Ferry and Juan Punzano (respectively) and were duly elected on 12th March 2010.

Radio Hope

The university also broadcasts its own student radio station, Radio Hope. The radio station broadcasts from studios at the main Hope Park campus, opposite to the Student Services building The Gateway. [11]

Partnership with Sun Yat-Sen University

In May 2007, Liverpool Hope University announced a partnership with Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China. The Liverpool Hope University and Sun Yat-Sen University partnership seeks research collaboration and the opportunity for students from both Universities to participate in a two year academic exchange programme. The University saw one of its student selected, from thousands, to participate in the DfES funded project.[12]

Notable alumni


Carmel Morgan writer

External links



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