In 1945, the Nottingham and District Technical College was established. In 1958, Nottingham Regional College of Technology opened and in 1959, the Nottingham College of Education began at Clifton. In 1964, Nottingham Regional College was opened and in 1966, the original Nottingham College of Design was linked with the Regional College. Together they merged and the institution was upgraded to Polytechnic status in 1970 to become 'Trent Polytechnic'. In 1975 it amalgamated with Nottingham College of Education, and in 1988 the official name changed to 'Nottingham Polytechnic'.
Under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, all polytechnics and some higher education colleges became eligible for full university status; at this point, the institution officially became 'Nottingham Trent University'.
The university has five campuses: City, Clifton, Confetti, Brackenhurst and Mansfield & Ashfield.
Located just north of Nottingham City Centre, the City site is home to over 17,000 students from Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Law School, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, School of Art & Design, School of Social Sciences and the Centre for Broadcasting & Journalism, which regenerated Newton and Arkwright, two of the university's largest and oldest owned buildings. On 18 May 2011, the two buildings were officially opened by Sir David Attenborough.
The Boots Library is the main library of the university. It is in the centre of the city site and supports the schools of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Art & Design, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Law School and Social Sciences. It is a purpose-built building, completed in 1998 at a total cost of £13m; with a refurbishment completed in summer 2013. It is set over four levels plus a further level dedicated to 24-hour computing facilities. There are branch libraries on the Clifton and Brackenhurst campuses serving the schools located there, and include additional Animal Planet digital facilities.
The Recent Advances in Manufacturing database (RAM) is published by the library and information department. It is a bibliographic indexing service providing information for manufacturing and related areas. Literature covered includes journals, magazines, books, videos, and conference proceedings with from 1990 to 2012.
Home to over 9,000 students from the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Science and Technology and School of Education. 4 miles (6 kilometres) outside the city centre, the Clifton campus was a self-contained, greenfield site. It hosts an Anthony Nolan Trust Cord Blood Bank, and the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre. The Clifton campus has had investments from the Lee Westwood Sports Centre. Clifton campus is linked to the City site by a student bus service (number 4) operated by NCTX.
Home to over 1,000 students from the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, the campus is located in the former Brackenhurst College which was dissolved in 1999 in favour of Nottingham Trent University.
Situated about 15 mi (24 km) from the city centre in the Southwell area of Nottinghamshire, Brackenhurst campus is sited at the former Brackenhurst Hall, a countryside estate with woodland, a lake and landscaped gardens. Contrasting with the country house built in 1828 are facilities including the high-tech glasshouse and new Veterinary Nursing building. The Veterinary Nursing Centre was purpose-built in 2007 and was made a RCVS accredited Veterinary Nursing Centre.
Confetti Campus, home to the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, is located a short walk east of the city centre on Convent Street. It is home to over 2000 students across its college and degree courses. The campus consists of the main Digital Media Hub on Convent Street, as well as Metronome (both a live music venue and a music studio complex) on Huntingdon Street, Confetti X (an Esports venue, also on Huntingdon Street), and Space 2 (a shared building that contains TV studios and related facilities) near Sneinton market. The institute, along with all its related businesses (collectively the Confetti Media Group), were bought by NTU in 2015.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has collaborated with the West Nottinghamshire College University Centre to extend higher education provisions for Mansfield and Ashfield.
The £6.5 million University Centre was opened in 2016 to provide a range of programmes including full and foundation degrees and continue professional education. The University Centre is now known as NTU in Mansfield.
Organisation and administration
The university is composed of eight academic schools:
School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
In June 2008, Sir Michael Parkinson was named as the first Chancellor, responsible for a number of duties, including representing the university on special occasions and conferring degrees at graduation ceremonies (although he was absent from all the 2009 graduation ceremonies). The official installation as Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University took place in a special ceremony on Tuesday 11 November 2008, at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.
The university has a research arm with, in 2014, 90% of the university's research considered to be "world-leading" and "internationally excellent" or "internationally recognised".
In November 2015, the university was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, "the highest national honour for a UK University" based on numerous research projects. In November 2021, the university again received the award, based on numerous research projects.
In 2008 The Guardian said Nottingham Trent University was "one of the top places in the country for graduate employment", with 94% of students progress to full-time employment or further education within six months of graduating.
It was ranked 600 globally by the QS World University Rankings in 2013.
In 2015, WhatUni ranked the university 12th in its 'Student Choice Awards'. In the same year, the Times Higher Education ranked the university as 31st out of 113 universities in the country for student experience. In November 2015, Nottingham Trent received the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in the Science and Mathematics category, repeated in 2021 for projects involving digital imaging of architecture and heritage sites.
The university was named "the most environmentally friendly university in the country" by The Guardian, and in 2009 it was awarded the title of "the most environmentally friendly university in the UK", by The People & Planet Green League (the only independent ranking of British universities' environmental and ethical performance – published by the Times Higher Education); with 100% of the university's electricity generated by renewable sources since 2009.
Between 2009 and 2012, NTU received four First Class Awards from Green League, reflecting its commitment to carbon reduction and its efforts to become an environmentally aware higher education institution.
Aside from organising various 'green' activity clusters (e.g., The Carbon Elephant, The Wind Turbines Project, The UCycle Scheme), the university has also been formally awarded Fairtrade status. Fairtrade products are therefore available in all campus shops, catering outlets and the Students' Union. Also, Nottingham Trent University branded T-shirts and hoodies sold in the Student Union shops are made from Fairtrade cotton. Additionally, the university holds a yearly Fairtrade Fortnight Celebration, featuring a range of events and activities to raise awareness of the work of the Fairtrade Foundation and NTU's commitment to ensuring that farmers in some of the poorest areas of the world receive a fair price for their produce.
The university published a Sustainable Purchasing Policy in 2007, which was said to outline specific aims meant to embed sustainability into the institution's purchasing activities. NTU also acknowledged its responsibility to operate in an ethical manner and claims to take into account social, environmental and ethical considerations in all of its activities, including financial investment. The university's Treasury Management Policy included a separate section on Ethical Investment, which states that "investments shall only be made with institutions with a clear and transparent Ethical Investment Policy which reflect the university's ethical values".
The university's conglomerated estate includes approximately 250 hectares of land, spread across its three campuses. These different land types, ranging from urban centres to farmland, are considered valuable ecological assets by the university, which is dedicated to conserving the biodiversity found on and around its grounds.
Despite the intense density of buildings typical of any urban setting, the university has been making efforts to enhance biodiversity found within the site. Newton and Arkwright, the flagship buildings of NTU, house not only staff and students, but also two peregrine falcons, which are protected under Schedule One of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. In this sense, the university runs a collaborative project with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust; since 2002, the building has been regularly used by the peregrines, who nest on a specially arranged ledge near the top of the skyscraper. The nest site, which is being publicly broadcast on the Internet, has been successfully used to raise 16 chicks between 2008 and 2012.
Located 3 mi (5 km) south of Nottingham city centre, on the outskirts of Clifton Village, the area comprises 32 hectares of land in a relatively enclosed campus environment.
Biodiversity can be noticed around the campus, including a variety of species of birds, bats and insects. Habitats are also provided within areas such as The Grove, bounding the site to the north-east, comprising mature trees along the River Trent. The university's commitment to biodiversity across all of its estates includes constant investigating into exactly what creatures share the campus with humans and how the environment can be enhanced to encourage numbers to increase, and to entice new wildlife to the campus. Future plans to help enhance biodiversity and manage the landscape have been made publicly available by the university in 2012.
Brackenhurst Campus comprises a 200-hectare scenic estate situated on the outskirts of Southwell, and is set around a former country house built in 1828.
Given its rural setting, a vast array of wildlife co-exists with staff and students; present are species and habitats such as the great crested newt, badger, European hare, ancient hedgerows, the Victorian Walled Garden (a listed Heritage site), and Sheepwalk's pond and Wildlife Hide (Wetland Conservation Area). Webcams on campus enable the monitoring of such species and habitats.
Nottingham Trent Students' Union (NTSU) provides student activities and events, a Student Advice Centre, leisure and retail services, democratic representation and night-time entertainment at all three NTU campuses.
RAG is NTSU's fundraising department, where volunteers plan events to raise funds for local, national and international charities, as chosen by the members.
The Student Magazine – Platform – is published online every month during the academic year, and is also available on campus in print form. It covers education, local and on-campus news, as well as arts, culture, sports and lifestyle. The magazine recently played host to the Student Publication Association's annual conference.
The Students' Union television station – Trent TV – broadcasts programmes online including coverage of Freshers Week and the annual NTSU Awards, student nights out in Nottingham and 'Trent TV News' – for which the station was awarded 'Best News Programme of 2011' by the National Student Television Association.
The Students' Union Radio Station – Fly Live – broadcasts everyday from 9am to 9pm on their website including daytime shows, specialist shows, entertainment, sport and news. Started by then SU president, Ben Morrison in 1996, they have since won multiple Student Radio Association awards and have had numerous nominations.
In late 2014, some Nottingham Trent University UKIP students attempted to form an official society for their party. The Union's Societies Assembly voted to block the formation of this group in spite of similar Labour and Conservative societies already existing.
The situation rose to prominence in January 2015 when an article appeared on the website of Young Independence calling the ban "An affront to democracy" and this sentiment was echoed by UKIP's Margot Parker MEP in a statement a few days later. Various news outlets became interested in the story, including Sky News.
On 21 January 2015 the Union admitted that some members of the Societies Assembly made their decision based on personal political beliefs and therefore overturned the ban.
NTU sports scholars have competed in the summer and winter Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and world championships. NTU alumni include England Rugby player Nick Easter and GB Hockey players Crista Cullen and Alistair Wilson.
The 2010 world number one golfer and honorary graduate Lee Westwood opened the new Lee Westwood Sports Centre on the university's Clifton campus. The centre has sport and athlete support facilities, including sports halls, studios and fitness suites, and a nutrition training centre.
^Potted biography of Davies; in Gerry Badger and John Benton-Harris (eds), Through the looking glass: Photographic art in Britain 1945–1989 (London: Barbican Art Gallery, 1989; ISBN0-946372-17-9), p.177.