After recently being named University of the Year 2014-15 at the Times Higher Education Awards, Edge Hill now has more to celebrate – its 130th anniversary!

The institution formally opened on January 24, 1885 as the first non-denominational teacher training college in the UK. The original Edge Hill College was situated on Durning Road, Liverpool and was set up by a group of seven Liverpool businessmen and philanthropists concerned about the lack of such training.

From its origins as a specialist institution with 41 female trainee teachers, Edge Hill now has over 9,000 undergraduate students and many more on a wide range of postgraduate and professional programmes across three Faculties – Arts & Sciences, Education and Health & Social Care.

The Ormskirk campus was officially opened on October 2nd 1933 and the halls of residence were named Stanley, Clough, Lady Margaret and John Dalton in honour of the Derby family. During the Second World War, the College was evacuated to Bingley Training College while the campus served as a military hospital.

Newly opened Ormskirk campus, 1930s

Newly opened Ormskirk campus, 1930s

Edge Hill had its first intake of male students in 1959, and three-year Teacher Training courses were introduced in 1960, with growing student numbers meaning five new halls for women and the first men’s accommodation were opened.

1975 saw Edge Hill offer its first non-teaching courses, including BA (Hons) Geography, English and Applied Social Sciences.

In 1989, Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in a range of secondary subjects was introduced and today Edge Hill is the largest national provider of ITT.

Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater, who took on the post in 1993 and is the longest serving University Vice-Chancellor in the country, led the acceleration of the process of curriculum, infrastructure and institutional development which has continued to the present day.

University College title was adopted in 1996, with a new corporate identity and the title of ‘Edge Hill University College’. Taught Degree-Awarding Powers (TDAP) and University Title were awarded in 2006, and in 2008, the University Research Degree Awarding Powers. Dr (later Professor) Tanya Byron was appointed as the first Chancellor of the University.

Edge Hill University begins 2015, its 131st year, having enjoyed great success in 2014, a year which saw the institution win University of the Year, be named as top diversified University according to the Graduate Social Mobility Index, and gain the North West region’s highest rating for student satisfaction across all 23 questions in the 2014 National Student Survey. Last year also saw the latest developments in a programme of campus investment totalling a quarter of a billion pounds in the last decade. These include the flagship Creative Edge computing, music, film and TV building, extended facilities for BioSciences and GeoSciences and further high-quality student accommodation.