University of Winchester

University of Winchester

Coat of arms of the University of Winchester
Former names
King Alfred's College
Motto Wisdom ond lar (old English)
Motto in English
Wisdom and Knowledge
Type Public
Established 1840 - Winchester Diocesan Training School
1847 - Winchester Training College
1928 - King Alfred's College
2005 - University of Winchester
Chancellor Alan Titchmarsh
Vice-Chancellor Joy Carter
Administrative staff
Students 7,485 (2014/15)[1]
Undergraduates 5,910 (2014/15)[1]
Postgraduates 1,575 (2014/15)[1]
Location Winchester, Hampshire, England
Campus Semi-urban
Affiliations Guild HE
Cathedrals Group

The University of Winchester is a public research university based in the city of Winchester, Hampshire, England. The university has origins tracing back to 1840.[2]

Ranked 10th for teaching excellence in The Times and The Sunday Times 2016 Good University Guide and fourth for student satisfaction in England in the National Student Survey 2015, the university continues to further strengthen its position as a top provider of higher education.[3]

Every year the University holds its graduation ceremonies in Winchester Cathedral. Winchester is a historic cathedral city and the ancient capital of Wessex and the Kingdom of England.[4]


The main building of the University of Winchester

The origins of the University of Winchester date back to 1840 when the Winchester Diocesan Training School was founded as a Church of England foundation for the training of elementary schoolmasters. The school was initially quite small, located in a house at 27 St Swithun Street, Winchester. In 1847 the school moved to Wolvesey, the Bishop’s Palace, where it became Winchester Training College. Following an outbreak of cholera at Wolvesey a new building (now the main building on the university's King Alfred Campus) was established for the college in 1862, on land granted by the cathedral at West Hill, Winchester. The college was renamed King Alfred's College in 1928.[4]

King Alfred's College trained thousands of teachers, at first men only, and then women too from 1960 onwards. Following changes in UK government policy towards further and higher education in the early 1970s, the College looked for partners to merge with and also sought to diversify its provision. Its educational partner, the University of Southampton, was lukewarm about offering other degrees, and the College sought approval for its own BEd and then BA degrees from the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). Interdisciplinary degrees in History and English with Drama, Archaeology and American Studies were the first offered. Further programmes followed in the 1980s, but it was only when the college expanded in the early 1990s following CNAA approval for a modular degree programme that a large number of new fields of study grew at undergraduate level. At the same time Masters programmes were approved alongside an MEd programme. With the CNAA's demise in 1992, the College found itself once again accredited by the University of Southampton, resuming a partnership broken off 18 years earlier.

When in 1995 the UK government published criteria by which colleges of higher education could become universities, King Alfred's under its Principal, John Dickinson, set itself the target of becoming a university by 2005 by first acquiring Taught and then later Research Degree Awarding Powers.

Paul Light, Principal from 2000, led the institution through the successful application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers in 2003 and a change of name to University College Winchester in 2004. His leadership culminated in the award of university title in 2005, achieving the target set 10 years earlier and entitling him to be the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester. In August 2008 the University was granted Research Degree Awarding Powers.[4]


Professor Joy Carter became Vice-Chancellor in April 2006. In the period since, the University has seen significant development. On Tuesday, 29 January 2013, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex officially inaugurated the new "state-of-the-art learning and teaching building, St. Alphege" at the University of Winchester.[5]

The new University Centre opened in 2007, which includes the Student Union and forms the focus of the campus, providing facilities for the whole university community. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awarded the University Centre the RIBA Award for the South region in 2008 in recognition of its high architectural standards.[6]

The Winchester Sports Stadium,which opened in 2008, cost £3.5 million and includes an Olympic standard 8-lane running track and supporting field events and an all-weather astro turf suitable for hockey and football.[7]

In 2013 the new St Alphege building received at RIBA regional award.[8] The new Learning and Teaching Building provided additional state of the art teaching spaces for lectures and group study and adjoins the existing 1970’s St Edburga Building with a glazed atrium link. The new buildings combine to form a new landscaped Piazza space fronting the Sparkford Road entrance.[8]

University motto

Wisdom-ond-lar (from old English), Modern English translation: Wisdom and Knowledge

The motto was inspired by the preface of King Alfred's translation into Old English, during the late 9th century, of Pope Gregory the Great's Regula Pastoralis, which frequently refers to both wisdom and knowledge. Alfred's translation of Regula Pastoralis was instrumental in the pursuit to improve education in Anglo-Saxon England.

Organisation and administration

Winchester's academic structure consists of four faculties, each home to teaching and learning in a wide-ranging variety of subject areas.

Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Business, Law and Sport
Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


A boarding college, Winchester Shoei College at the University of Winchester (formerly the Shoei Centre at King Alfred's College), is an affiliate of the Shoei Gakuin. It opened in 1982.[9][10] As of 1983, at one time circa 40 students, all female and aged 18–20, were a part of this programme. They took special courses in British studies and English Language Teaching (ELT).[11]


Dame Mary Fagan, the current Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, was appointed the first Chancellor of the University in 2005. She was succeeded by Alan Titchmarsh, who was designated as the new Chancellor of the university in 2014.

Joy Carter is the current Vice-Chancellor and was appointed in 2006. She succeeded Paul Light, appointed in 2000 as Principal of King Alfred's College, became the first Vice-Chancellor in 2005.


The University Centre opened in 2007
The University Centre canteen

The King Alfred Campus

The main University Campus, King Alfred, is located close to the city centre of Winchester. Some of the buildings on this campus are named after former staff or governors. The Tom Atkinson and Herbert Jarman buildings are named after former staff and the Kenneth Kettle and Fred Wheeler Buildings are named after long-standing Governors. Others are named after Anglo-Saxon saints: St Alphege, St Edburga, St Grimbald and St Swithun and St Elizabeth's. The Martial Rose Library is named after a former Principal. A subsidiary campus, home to the Winchester Business School, is located a short distance away at the West Downs site.

Recent and future campus development

Major redevelopment has taken place in recent years to modernise the campus. In 2007 work finished on the University Centre on site of the former refectory, at a cost of £9 million. The building includes a new Student Union as well as catering facilities, main reception, a bookshop, a mini-mart convenience store and a social learning space in the WiFi equipped Learning Café. It was designed by architects Design Engine.

In 2010 a new several storey student residence, Queens Road, was completed. In 2012 St. Alphage, a new teaching block which contains state of the art teaching spaces was opened. Work also finished on providing the University library with six new private study rooms for student use. In 2013, the Burma Road Student Village finished construction, providing the university with five blocks that make up a third student village. In 2013 the Kenneth Kettle building was converted into a second social learning space. Plans are underway to modernise the remaining buildings on campus.

The redevelopment of the University’s sports grounds at Bar End in Winchester was completed in 2008 after Sport England formally pledged the £908,514 funding required for the project’s completion, in partnership with Winchester City Council. The facilities at Bar End include an Olympic standard 400m eight-lane athletics track with supporting field events, an all-weather hockey and general sports pitch, floodlighting and an extended pavilion.


(2017, national)
The Guardian[13]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[14]
(2017, national)

In the Times and The Sunday Times University Guide 2014 Winchester was identified as making the second biggest leap up the league table, rising 18 places from the previous year’s ranking. Winchester is ranked as the 10th best university in the South East and equal seventh for the award of best modern university. The Complete University Guide 2014 showed a seven place rise from 76th to 69th out of 124 institutions. In their 2014 rankings The Guardian found the University of Winchester to be the fifth fastest rising university in the country. The University of Winchester is the only university in the UK to be awarded five-star accreditation rating for overall organisational excellence by the British Quality Foundation, under its ‘Recognised for Excellence’ scheme, which uses the EFQM Excellence Model. The University of Winchester is ranked among the top five universities in the South East of England and top 25 universities in England by full-time students for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2013. The PTES (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey) 2013, conducted by the Higher Education Academy in conjunction with 89 higher education institutions in the UK, revealed that the University of Winchester was over 10 percentage points higher than the sector average in terms of Teaching and Learning and Career and Professional Development.

Student Life

The Students Union

Winchester Student Union is an organisation run for and by the students of The University of Winchester. It runs many sports, student societies, bars, and a shop and helps support and represent students. The Student Union is based in the University Centre and has an 550 capacity venue that includes a cinema screen, three bars and a shop. BOP, Comedy Central & Detention are regular events held there during the semester.

All student media are the responsibility of the Student Union, except for the weekly internet bulletins released, produced, and created by "Winchester News Online" or WINOL, as part of the BA Journalism Course.

Halls of residence

University accommodation is available on campus and in the West Downs Student Village nearby. The halls of residence are:

Notable people

Academic staff


See also


  1. 1 2 3 "2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  2. "University of Winchester". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. "University of Winchester - The Student Room". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 "Our History". University of Winchester. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  5. "His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex Inaugurates a New Building at the University of Winchester". royalcorrespondent. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  6. "Student Centre University of Winchester". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  7. "The University of Winchester - Complete University Guide". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  8. 1 2 "St Alphege University of Winchester". 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  9. Pearse, Bowen and Chris McCooey. Companion to Japanese Britain and Ireland. In Print (company), 1991. ISBN 187304710X, 9781873047101. "WINCHESTER (90) Shoei Centre (at King Alfred's College), Winchester, Hampshire In 1982, four years short of its centenary, Tokyo's Shoei Christian College for Girls opened a boarding college in Winchester. The new Japanese centre[...]"
  10. Directory of Japanese-Affiliated Companies in the E. C., 1991-1992 (Google Books name: DIR JAPAN AFFIL COS EC 91-92). Taylor & Francis, 1 January 1992. p. 205. "Winchester Shoei College (Shoei Joshigakuin - Tokyo) 9, Chilbolton Court, Sarum Road, Winchester, Hants, S022 5HF"
  11. Japan: Quarterly Review of the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute, Issues 77-80. Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute, 1983. p. 27. "Thanks to its initiative, a novel scheme was inaugurated with King Alfred's College, Winchester, in which 40 Shoei students (all girls aged 18-20) will come to King Alfred's for a special two-year course in ELT and British studies designed[...]"
  12. "University League Table 2017". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  13. "University league tables 2017". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  14. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
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