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Loughborough University
Coat of arms of Loughborough University
MottoLatin: Veritate, Scientia, Labore
Motto in English
By Truth, Wisdom, and Labour
Established1909 – Loughborough Technical Institute
1966 – Loughborough University of Technology established by royal charter[1][2]
Endowment£2.33 million (2023)[3]
Budget£369.1 million (2022/23)[3]
ChancellorSebastian Coe
Vice-ChancellorNick Jennings
VisitorPaul Michell[4]
Academic staff
1,590 (2021/22)[5]
Administrative staff
2,140 (2021/22)[5]
Students18,760 (2021/22)[6]
Undergraduates14,955 (2021/22)[6]
Postgraduates3,805 (2021/22)[6]
Other students
1,205 FE[7]
England, United Kingdom

52°46′6″N 1°13′43″W / 52.76833°N 1.22861°W / 52.76833; -1.22861
CampusSuburban, single-site campus (518 acres)
Colours  African Violet

Loughborough University (abbreviated as Lough or Lboro for post-nominals)[8][9] is a public research university in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. It has been a university since 1966, but it dates back to 1909, when Loughborough Technical Institute began with a focus on skills directly applicable in the wider world. In March 2013, the university announced it had bought the former broadcast centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a second campus. The annual income of the institution for 2022–23 was £369.1 million, of which £48.3 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £339.1 million.[3]


The university traces its roots back to 1909, when the Loughborough Technical Institute was founded in the town centre. There followed a period of rapid expansion led by principal Herbert Schofield, during which there was renaming to Loughborough College and development of the present campus.

In early years, efforts were made to mimic the environment of an Oxbridge college, e.g. students wore gowns to lectures, while maintaining a strong practical counterbalance to academic learning. During World War I, it served as an "instructional factory", training workers for the munitions industry.[10]

The Hazlerigg Building on campus

The Loughborough colleges

Following the war, the institute was divided into four separate colleges:

The last would become the nucleus of the present university. Its rapid expansion from a small provincial college to the first British technical university was due largely to its principals, Herbert Schofield, who led it from 1915 to 1950, and Herbert Haslegrave, who oversaw its further expansion from 1953 to 1967 and steered its progress first to a College of Advanced Technology and then to a university in 1966.[11] In 1977, the university broadened its range of studies by amalgamating with Loughborough College of Education (formerly the Training College). More recently, in August 1998, the university merged with Loughborough College of Art and Design (LCAD). Loughborough College remains a college of further education.

Influence of Herbert Schofield

Herbert Schofield became principal in 1915, and continued to lead the College of Technology until 1950. Under his guidance, the college changed almost beyond recognition. He bought the estate of Burleigh Hall on the western outskirts of the town, which became the nucleus of the present 438-acre (1.77 km2) campus. He oversaw the building of the original Hazlerigg and Rutland halls of residence, which are now home to the university's administration and the vice-chancellor's offices.

From college to university

An experienced educationist, Herbert Haslegrave took over as college principal in 1953. By increasing breadth and raising standards, he gained the institution the status of Colleges of Advanced Technology in 1958. He persuaded the Department of Education to buy further land and began a building programme.[11]

In 1963, the Robbins Report on higher education recommended that all colleges of advanced technology be given university status. Loughborough College of Technology was granted a Royal Charter on 19 April 1966, and became Loughborough University of Technology (LUT), with Haslegrave as its first vice-chancellor.[10] It gradually remodelled itself in the image of the plate glass universities of the period, which had also been created under Robbins.

Later history

In 1977, Loughborough Training College (now Loughborough College of Education) was absorbed into the university. In 1996, the university dropped the "of Technology" from its title, becoming plain Loughborough University.[10] The Arts College was also amalgamated with the university in 1998. These additions have diluted the technological flavour of the institution, causing it to resemble more a traditional university with its mix of humanities, arts and sciences.

The shortened name "Lboro", "Lufbra" or "Luff" is commonly used by the students' union,[12] the alumni association[13] and others.


The Bastard Gates (1932)
The Walled Garden in summer 2021

The university's main campus is in the town of Loughborough. That campus (once the estate of Burleigh Hall) covers an area of 523 acres,[14] and includes academic departments, 17 halls of residence, the Students' Union, two gyms, gardens and playing fields.

Of particular interest are The Walled Garden, with its Garden of Remembrance, the Hazlerigg-Rutland Hall fountain-courtyard, the old cottage, and the Bastard Gates donated by and named after William Bastard, the Chairman of College Governors, which form the official entrance to Rutland Hall.

In the central quadrangle of the campus stands a famous cedar, which has often appeared as a symbol for the university. A heavy snowfall in December 1990 led to the collapse of the upper canopy which gave the tree its distinctive shape.


Pilkington Library

The Pilkington Library opened in 1980. It covers 9,161 square metres over four floors with 1375 study places – up from 780 prior to the renovation in late 2013. The library has a history of undertaking research in the field of library and information work. There is an open access area, where students are allowed to take in cold food and drinks as well as to engage in group discussions.

'The Old Cottage' on campus, reputed to be Loughborough's oldest complete dwelling.[15]

Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel

Burleigh Court Conference Centre and Hotel[16] is a four-star hotel and conference centre on campus that has 225 bedrooms and incorporates Burleigh Springs Leisure and Therapy Centre, a spa and leisure facility.

Holywell Park Conference Centre

Holywell Park Conference Centre[17] is a conference and meeting venue located on campus. It was used as the kitting out location for Team GB[18] prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel

Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel[19] is a training base and hotel for elite athletes opening in November 2018.[20]

University Stadium

The University Stadium in 2018

The £4 million[21] stadium for the university's rugby and football first teams was opened in 2012 and has a capacity of 3,000.[22] It is home to Loughborough University FC, which is one of the few university sides to play in the English football league system, currently competing in the United Counties League.[23] The stadium has many features not normally found at that level of football including a digital scoreboard, conference facilities and 14 changing rooms. In 2018 it hosted four matches in the group stages of the European Under-17 Championships.[24]


The Brockington Building is the home of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Loughborough University is headed by a vice-chancellor and is organised into nine schools:

Each of the 9 schools has a senior leadership team consisting of deans, associate deans for education and research, and operations managers. The University Executive Board is made up of the vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellor, chief operating officer, chief finance officer, the pro vice-chancellors for equity, diversity and inclusion, education and research, director of organisational development and the 9 deans.

In May 2022, the university launched a new strategy called “Creating Better Futures. Together”, which sets out to guide Loughborough's activities and development over the next decade.[25]

Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
The East Midlands hub of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, based at Loughborough University
Loughborough Design School building
British Aerospace EAP at the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


The official colour of the university is African violet. The coat of arms incorporates several symbols relevant to the history of the Loughborough area, including Offa of Mercia's cross (a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Mercia, within whose borders the town now stands) and the peafowl from the arms of the Dukes of Rutland. The motto of the university is veritate scientia labore ("with truth, wisdom and labour", or, alternatively, "with truth, knowledge and work", depending on the translation).[26]

The university has a strong tradition in both engineering and sport. From its strong engineering and technical background it has now expanded, becoming a centre of excellence in the field of sports and sports science.[citation needed] It has graduated a number of world-class athletes including Paula Radcliffe and Lord Coe. In keeping with this tradition, Loughborough students have won the British Universities & Colleges Sport Association (BUCS) championship every year for four decades. The university is the home of the England and Wales Cricket Board's National Academy, opened in November 2003.[citation needed]

The phonetic spelling "Lufbra" is sometimes used amongst students, graduates, and in Students' Union publications, and the name is also often abbreviated to "lboro", both casually and within more formal/academic circles, stemmed from the university's URL of "".

There is a one-week break between semester one and semester two. Normally few to no exams are scheduled in this week therefore students are presented with a week free from studies. This week is referred to as Refreshers Week by most students.

The university (and Loughborough College before it) once had a "mascot" consisting of an oversized knight's helmet with a lowered visor, commonly called "Thor". This was constructed in 1958 by students of Hazlerigg-Rutland hall in the college welding shop.[27] In the late 1980s Thor was displayed in the Students' Union foyer, but it has since gone missing.[28] There is much speculation concerning its current whereabouts.

Academic profile

The university has 20 academic departments and over 100 research groups, institutes and centres currently divided between nine schools. Previously the departments and research institutes had been split between three faculties: Science, Engineering and Social Science & Humanities.

It has 18,295 students; 13,885 of whom are undergraduates and 4,410 are pursuing postgraduate courses and/or research (based on 2019/20 figures).[29] Its current Chancellor is Lord Sebastian Coe, (the previous chancellor, Sir Nigel Rudd retired from the position in summer 2015, having served for five years).

Loughborough University's vice-chancellor and president is Professor Nick Jennings CB, FREng, FRS, who took up the post in October 2021 following the departure of Robert Allison, who left the post at the end of the 2020/21 academic year.

The university has won seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for work with the aeronautical and automotive industries (1994); support for developing countries (1998); for a pioneering role in developing applications of modern optics and laser technologies (2000); for its world leading roles in sports research, education and development (2002); for its world leading role in social policy in recognition of its outstanding and widely respected work in evaluating and helping develop social policy-related programmes, such as those for cared for children, social security policy, crime prevention, education initiatives and young carers (2005); for recognition of its vehicle, road and driver safety research (2007); and for its impact through research and skills development in High Value Manufacturing to create economic growth (2013).[30]

The university has the largest sports scholarship programme in the UK, with over 250 international athletes studying and training.[31]


UCAS Admission Statistics
2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
Applications[α][32] 31,515 30,835 34,255 34,390 33,200
Accepted[α][32] 4,295 4,530 4,980 4,745 4,170
Applications/Accepted Ratio[α] 7.3 6.8 6.9 7.2 8.0
Offer Rate (%)[β][33] 69.0 67.4 74.4 74.9 73.5
Average Entry Tariff[34] 160 155 150
  1. ^ a b c Main scheme applications, International and UK
  2. ^ UK domiciled applicants
HESA Student Body Composition (2022)
Domicile[35] and Ethnicity[36] Total
British White 59% 59
British Ethnic Minorities[a] 21% 21
International EU 4% 4
International Non-EU 16% 16
Undergraduate Widening Participation Indicators[37][38]
Female 40% 40
Private School 19% 19
Low Participation Areas[b] 7% 7

In terms of average UCAS points of entrants, Loughborough ranked 30th in Britain in 2014.[39] According to the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, approximately 17% of Loughborough's undergraduates come from independent schools.[40] In the 2016–17 academic year, the university had a domicile breakdown of 79:5:16 of UK:EU:non-EU students respectively with a female to male ratio of 39:61.[41]

Rankings and reputation

National rankings
Complete (2025)[42]6
Guardian (2024)[43]10
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[44]10
Global rankings
ARWU (2023)[45]601–700
QS (2025)[46]224=
THE (2024)[47]251–300
Loughborough University's national league table performance over the past ten years

Loughborough was named University of the Year 2019 in The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide.[48] Loughborough is one of only four universities, along with Bath, Oxford and St Andrews, to have won the title twice. Loughborough also moved up to 5th overall in the Good University Guide.[49] Loughborough was also given the title of university of the year at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.[50]

In the 2020 ranking exercise by Times Higher Education, Loughborough was ranked 59th in the world for the Best 'Golden Age' Universities, defined as those universities established for over 50 years, but less than 80 years.[51]

In 2018 Loughborough was named best in the UK for student experience in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for the fifth time since 2009.[52]

Loughborough University was ranked 4th in the 2019 Guardian University League table.[53]

Loughborough kept its position as the best university in the world to study sports-related subjects in the global 2018 QS higher education league table.[54] In 2017 Loughborough achieved a five star plus rating in the QS Stars University Ratings.[55]

The Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology, or CREST, runs the internationally recognised masters programme in renewable energy. The Centre for Research in Social Policy is an independent research centre based within the Department of Social Sciences. It is responsible for calculating the Minimum Income Standard in the United Kingdom for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The Department of Politics, History and International Relations, or PHIR as it is commonly known, is home to researchers in European politics and international relations. It evolved from the Department of European Studies, which was established in 1972.[56]

In 2003, the department took the decision to invest in the study of Politics and International Relations and began to offer undergraduate degrees in International Relations. It was after this that the department had a change of name and became the Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies (PIRES). PIRES was declared a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence by the European Commission.

The name was later changed to the Department of Politics, History and International Relations (PHIR). Notable alumni of PHIR include Paula Radcliffe, Tanni Grey-Thompson and James Gibson. Academics include Ruth Kinna, Professor of Political Theory.


Loughborough University Cricket Centre, home to the National Cricket Performance Centre for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)

Loughborough is renowned in the UK for its sports provisions.[57]

Loughborough University has been ranked number 1 in the world for sport-related subjects for in the QS World University Rankings by Subject since 2017.[58]

As of the 2024 league, Loughborough is ranked first in the British Universities and Colleges Sport league table.[59] Loughborough students have held the BUCS champion title for 42 consecutive years.[60]

Loughborough Sport is the brand identity for the sport-related activities and facilities at the university. The university is host to a number of sports governing bodies including England cricket, British swimming, British Triathlon, England Netball, British athletics and British weight lifting [61]

The university is home to the country's largest concentration of world-class facilities across a wide range of sports.[62] Facilities include an indoor athletics centre and outdoor stadium, sports halls and all-weather pitches, a 50-metre swimming pool, squash, badminton and netball courts, an indoor tennis centre and outdoor courts, and two gyms.

In March 2023, the university opened an extension to its Powerbase gym.[63] The new facility spans a combined 3,200m2 and includes 46 lifting platforms, 8 fully instrumented racks and platforms with integrated VALD force plates, Output Sports velocity-based training systems, and Performance Analysis technology. It is home to the University's Boxing Centre of Excellence and the Athletic Union Boxing club.

The ECB National Academy which is also known as the National Cricket Performance Centre has been based at Loughborough since 2003 and provides indoor and outdoor training facilities for cricketers.[64]

Loughborough was chosen by the British Olympic Association as the training base and official Preparation Camp for Team GB in the run-up to the London 2012 Games. Students and graduates of Loughborough won four bronze medals and six Paralympic medals (one gold, three silver and two bronze) in the 2012 Summer Olympics.[65]

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, over 120 athletes from Loughborough represented 8 teams, across 10 sports. In total, 35 medals were won by athletes with Loughborough connections; 13 bronze, 13 silver and nine gold medals. If Loughborough was a country, the university would have finished 11th on the medal table at the 2014 Games.[66]

In 2016 over 80 students, graduates and Loughborough-linked athletes travelled to Rio to participate in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In the Olympic competition their athletes secured 12 medals, including 5 golds.[67] Loughborough-linked coaches also played a key role in the Games, with alumni guiding Team GB, Canada and Fiji to gold medals. During the Paralympic competition Loughborough-linked athletes secured a further 22 medals.[67]

Loughborough was connected to more than 100 athletes at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.[68] At the Paralympic Games, 21 medals – six gold, six silver and nine bronze – were won by athletes with Loughborough connections.[69]

Loughborough is home to the world's largest university-based sports technology research group, which is part of the Sports Technology Institute. SportPark, based at the university provides a home for national sporting bodies including Youth Sport Trust, British Swimming and several other national governing bodies.[70]

Research centres and groups

Loughborough has a wide range of research centres and institutes,[71] including:

In 2023, The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which assess universities against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, placed Loughborough first in the UK and 15th globally for affordable and clean energy (SDG 7).[72]

Student life

Students' Union

Main article: Loughborough Students' Union

The Union building sits in the north-eastern corner of the campus, and offers a range of facilities for clubs and societies, retail, entertainment and other activities. The Union has five rooms, each with its own theme. Loughborough Students' Union (LSU), was awarded the International Experience Award 2011 by the National Union of Students (NUS).

As well as representing the student body through Union Council and offering academic support through Loughborough Students' Voice, the Union has five main sections for students: the athletic union offering 56 different sporting clubs, the Societies Federation consisting of over 80 societies, Action as the volunteering section offering a range of opportunities for students, along with 45 regular projects working with young people, the elderly, special needs, the homeless or the environment.

Loughborough Students' Rag is a student fundraising organisation. For the last eight years it has raised over £1 million per year for local, national and international charities. The total raised since records began is now over £16 million.

Loughborough has a media centre, which offers the opportunity to make TV shows with LSUTV, have your own radio show with LCR, write for the student magazine Label or improve your photography with Lens.[73] The School of the Arts, English and Drama runs The Lamplight Press, the UK's first student-led publishing company.[74]

Loughborough University, Epinal Way entrance.

Student halls

As of 2016, there are a total of 17 halls of residence, many of which are named after famous scientists and engineers.[75] The halls are as follows:

The university's iconic Towers halls of residence in 2021
Name Location Open to Catering status
Robert Bakewell Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Butler Court (with A Block) East Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Cayley Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Claudia Parsons Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
David Collett West Park Undergraduates only Catered
Falkner–Eggington Central Park Undergraduates and postgraduates Self-catering
Faraday Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Forest Court Off campus Postgraduates only Self-catering
Harry French Historic Hall Off campus Undergraduates and postgraduates Self-catering
Hazlerigg–Rutland Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
The Holt Off campus Undergraduates only Self-catering
William Morris Off campus Undergraduates only Self-catering
John Phillips Village Park Postgraduates only Self-catering
Elvyn Richards Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Royce Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Rutherford Village Park Undergraduates only Catered
Telford Village Park Undergraduates only Self-catering
Towers East Park Undergraduates only Catered

Of these, Hazlerigg–Rutland, John Phillips, Elvyn Richards and Telford have names that were previously used for halls of residence that have since been repurposed, renamed or merged with other halls. In 2015 Loughborough University ranked first in the UK for accommodation on a university review platform StudentCrowd.[76]

Fitness facilities

Loughborough University has two main gyms, namely Powerbase and Holywell.

University leadership

Loughborough University's campus from the town's Carillon tower.

Chairmen of Governors




International programmes

Loughborough University and Kazakhstan's Bolashak scholarship programme signed a cooperation agreement in 2018. The agreement enables taught master's and PhD students to study at the university's two campuses in the East Midlands and London.[78]

Notable alumni

See also: Category:Alumni of Loughborough University

See also


Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Includes those who indicate that they identify as Asian, Black, Mixed Heritage, Arab or any other ethnicity except White.
  2. ^ Calculated from the Polar4 measure, using Quintile1, in England and Wales. Calculated from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) measure, using SIMD20, in Scotland.


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Further reading