|University of Cumbria|
|Established||1 August 2007|
|Chancellor||The Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Peter McCaffrey|
|Location||Ambleside, Carlisle, Lancaster, Penrith and Tower Hamlets, England|
The University of Cumbria is a British university established on 1 August 2007, with roots extending back to the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts established in 1822 and Charlotte Mason teacher training College in the 1890s.
The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin's College, Lancaster, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (CIA) and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire. These institutions formerly ran degree programmes accredited by Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire. In order to facilitate the change, St Martin's College applied for independent degree-awarding powers in March 2005 and was successful in July 2006 after nine months of scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency. In January 2007 official university status was granted by the Privy Council.
Miss Katie Newton was the 500,000th registered student at the university, a trademark milestone for any university.
The University is based upon the findings of a report by Sir Martin Harris. This plan envisaged a university based upon a 'distributed learning network'. This network is based upon the idea that teaching will take place both at the University's main campuses, and at colleges of further education around the county. This will solve problems of access for remote areas that did not previously have direct access to higher education.
The headquarters of the University is in Carlisle. Its other major campuses are at Penrith (formerly University of Central Lancashire in Cumbria), Ambleside,Lancaster (formerly St Martin's College). The University also has sites in London.
As well as its work in the areas of the arts, health and teacher training, the university has a faculty of Business, Social Science and Sport which, as well as the subjects in its title, incorporates a full range of courses including law, computing, and police studies and a faculty of Science and Natural Resources with courses in Forestry, Land Management, Forensic Science and Environment. The University also provides Further Education provision at its Penrith and Carlisle campuses.
University of Cumbria is notable for being one of only a handful of chosen universities in the country to be accredited by the NCTJ - The National Council for the Training of Journalists.
On 1 December 2009, it was announced that the Ambleside Campus would be 'mothballed' at the end of July 2010, and will no longer take new undergraduate students. The action by the University of Cumbria, if seen through, will end over 175 years of heritage and a protest was held on the 1 December 2009 by the student body, with more action to follow. This is despite fierce opposition from the Ambleside students, the townspeople of Ambleside, and in spite of the support that Tim Farron MP has pledged to the campus and students -
"Hundreds of local people have signed this petition and that shows how committed the community is to stopping this closure from happening. Now that the issue has national attention, I hope that the University will take notice of level of protest against this proposal and will reconsider their decision to downgrade Ambleside Campus..."
Tim Farron, speaking in the Commons.
The majority of University of Cumbria campus's have many different sports teams which represent them in the BUCS leagues. Teams include: Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby League, Rugby Union and Badminton. All teams play their home games on Wednesdays afternoons at various University's sport venues.