Buckinghamshire New University
Coat of Arms
Former names
School of Science and Art (1891)
Wycombe Technical Institute (1920)
High Wycombe College of Technology and Art (1961)
Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education (1975)
Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (1999)
MottoLatin: Arte et industria
Motto in English
By Art and Industry
Established2007 – gained university status
1891 – Science and Art School
ChancellorJay Blades[1]
Vice-ChancellorNick Braisby
Students14,075 (2019/20)[2]
Undergraduates12,895 (2019/20)[2]
Postgraduates1,180 (2019/20)[2]
Other students
125 FE[3]
Location, ,
England, UK
Campus in Uxbridge, Middlesex
England, UK
AffiliationsMillion+, GuildHE

Buckinghamshire New University (BNU) is a public university in Buckinghamshire, England, with campuses in High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Uxbridge and Great Missenden. The institution dates from 1891, when it was founded as the School of Science and Art, and has since then has variously been known as Wycombe Technical Institute, High Wycombe College of Technology and Art and the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. It was a university college from 1999 until 2007, when its application for university status was accepted.

The university is a member of the GuildHE.


High Wycombe Technical School in 1906

19th century origins

Founded in 1891 as the School of Science and Art,[4] it was initially established with public funds raised from a tax on beer and spirits and set about providing evening classes to residents of High Wycombe and the local area.[5]

20th century

After World War I, it was renamed the Wycombe Technical Institute, forging close links with local crafts such as furniture making and cabinetry and helping to provide skills to injured war veterans in order that they might find work in local industries.[5]

Further building took place after World War II, and on 6 May 1963 the new facilities were officially opened by the Minister of Education, Sir Edward Boyle.[5] A new change of name, the High Wycombe College of Technology and Art accompanied this expansion.[5]

By the 1960s, around 3,000 people worked in the manufacture of furniture in High Wycombe,[6] and 80% of the wooden chairs manufactured in Britain were made there.[7]

In 1975 High Wycombe College of Art and Technology merged with the Newland Park College of Education in Chalfont St Giles, and was renamed the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education. In the same decade Missenden Abbey, a former Augustinian monastery founded in 1133, was acquired, and in May 1988 it was officially opened as a management centre by Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.[5]

In March 1999 it was awarded University College status by the government, changing its name once again to Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. Around this time the Which University guide described it as a "concrete labyrinth", which was unlikely to be "bringing home architectural awards".[8]

21st century

High Wycombe campus in 2004, before construction of the Gateway Building

In 2007 its application for university status was approved by the Privy Council and it took its current name "Buckinghamshire New University", abbreviated to Bucks.[9] The university changed its shortened name to 'BNU' in 2021.

Alternative names such as 'University of Wycombe', 'Wycombe University', 'University of High Wycombe', 'High Wycombe University', 'University of Buckinghamshire' and 'Buckinghamshire Chilterns University' were rejected. The chosen name was to lead to displeasure from the University of Buckingham for also using the county name.[10]

Bucks had plans to consolidate its campuses into a purpose-built site near to Hughenden Park in High Wycombe on land previously owned by CompAir.[citation needed] While these plans fell through, the university changed plans to renovate and enlarge the main campus as well as consolidate both the Wellesbourne and Chalfont campuses onto the High Wycombe site.[citation needed] Additionally, new halls of residence have been built at the Hughenden Park site.

The university is a lead academic sponsor of Buckinghamshire University Technical College, a new university technical college which opened in Aylesbury in September 2013.


Hughenden Park Student Village under construction in 2009

The university operates over four campuses: High Wycombe Campus (previously belonging to the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology), since 2009 a site in Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon, a thriving base for nursing students and applied healthcare research, a campus in Aylesbury and a site known as Missenden Abbey which is also a conference centre.

In 2008, the university disposed of two existing campuses; the Chalfont Campus (near Little Chalfont) and the Wellesbourne Campus (near Hazlemere).

Gateway Building

Gateway building

The university undertook a major development of the High Wycombe Campus with a large structure, known as the Gateway Building, being built onto the front of the existing building. It won a RIBA award in 2010.[11]

The Gateway offers facilities including a sports/events hall, fitness centre and performance lab, dance and drama studios, sound design labs, music recording studios and video production suites, a 'modern integrated learning resources centre'[clarification needed], a cafe and meeting and conference rooms. It also has green screen facilities and a motion capture system.[12]

Halls of residence

Brook Street Halls

There is a range of accommodation at Bucks New University including halls of residence, managed houses and the student village:

Academic profile

Cabair at Denham International

Reputation and rankings

National rankings
Complete (2024)[13]102
Guardian (2024)[14]70
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[15]119

In November 2013 it was ranked 12th in the UK by the Huffington Post in a list of creative universities.[16] It was also included in a list of the top 14 creative universities in the UK by The Daily Telegraph in December 2013.[17] Domestically, the university is ranked 70th out of 121 universities for 2023 (Guardian) and 39 out of 105 universities in England for teaching quality (Times / Sunday Times).

Research standing

For the most recent 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the grading "internationally excellent" or "world leading" was for some submissions in the areas Allied Health Professions, Business and Management Studies, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Art and Design.[18]

Specialist courses

The university runs several specialist courses.

The Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training is a course offering students the opportunity to study for a professional pilot's licence whilst undertaking university studies in areas such as globalisation of the air transport industry and health safety and security for airlines and airports.[19] Many former students (including Virgin Atlantic deputy chief pilot David Brooks) have gone on to attain jobs as pilots in flying schools, charter companies and airlines around the world including Susi Air, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, BMI and Ryanair.[20]

Although the Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training course aims to provide guidance and support to students with the aim of becoming commercial pilots, many students are inspired by various modules of the course and pursue careers in other areas within the air transport industry. In 2009 graduate Antony Coe set up his own business DexFix computer repairs.[citation needed] Following this and in conjunction with his studies in Health safety and security for airlines and airports Coe now provides contract services to the counter terrorism task forces worldwide.

In 2023, the university established a new Centre for Intelligence, Security and Resilience and expanded its offerings for students at the start of their careers as well as middle managers looking to apply analysis and information leadership to emerging challenges where intelligence, security and resilience coincide. Key staff in this endeavour include Dr Maitland Hyslop, Mike Croll, Fiona Galbraith and Beverley Griffiths.

The university offers several other courses such as Music Management and Film and Television Production. The university also offers a course in Animation and Visual Effects, launched in September 2013.[21]

Former logo until March 30, 2021.

Bucks New University, in partnership with the UK's largest non-metropolitan Police service Thames Valley Police, offers a Degree Apprenticeship for new Police entrants.


Trevor Baylis was a frequent guest lecturer, and was present at a 2004 graduation ceremony and graduate degree show; he received an honorary degree from the university in 2007, and was present at the official opening of the Gateway building in 2010.

Notable alumni

See also


  1. ^ a b "Jay Blades appointed first chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University". BBC News. 20 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Table 0a – All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
  4. ^ "About Us". Buckinghamshire New University. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e Official history Archived 23 January 2014 at archive.today Retrieved January 2014
  6. ^ Ashton, John. The Epidemiological Imagination: A Reader. p. 4.
  7. ^ Ashton, John, p.21, The Epidemiological Imagination: A Reader Retrieved January 2014
  8. ^ Rich, Jonny, p.96 Push Guide to Which University Retrieved January 2014
  9. ^ www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk Retrieved January 2014
  10. ^ Kealey, Terence (13 November 2007). "What's in a name? Our reputation, for a start". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  11. ^ "Newsroom". Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  12. ^ Bucks Animation Blog 12 January 2014 Retrieved January 2014
  13. ^ "Complete University Guide 2024". The Complete University Guide. 7 June 2023.
  14. ^ "Guardian University Guide 2024". The Guardian. 9 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Good University Guide 2024". The Times. 15 September 2023.
  16. ^ Huffington Post 5 November 2013 Retrieved November 2013
  17. ^ Daily Telegraph December 2013 Retrieved December 2013
  18. ^ "Research Excellence Framework". Buckinghamshire New University. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Search Results". Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Graduate preparing for new life as pilot with Cathay Pacific". Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  21. ^ Bucks New University Official Site Archived 21 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved November 2012

51°37′41″N 0°45′07″W / 51.628°N 0.752°W / 51.628; -0.752