History of the University of York
The first petition for the establishment of a university in York was presented to James I in 1617. In 1641 a second petition was drawn up however was not delivered due to the English Civil War in 1642. A third petition was created in 1647 but was rejected by Parliament. In the 1820s discussions began about the founding of a University in the North, however this did not come to fruition due to the founding of Durham University in 1832. In 1903 F. J. Munby and the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, amongst others, proposed a 'Victoria University of Yorkshire'.
Oliver Sheldon a director of Rowntree's and co-founder of York Civic Trust, was a driving force behind the campaign to found the university.
Morell and the history of the foundations. In 1963 the university opened with 216 undergraduates, 14 postgraduates, and 28 academic and administrative staff. The university started with six departments: Economics, Education, English, History, Mathematics, Politics. At the time, the university consisted of three buildings, principally the historic King's Manor in the city centre and Heslington Hall, which has Tudor foundations and is in the village of Heslington on the edge of York. A year later, work began on purpose-built structures on the Heslington Campus, which now forms the main part of the university.
Baron James of Rusholme, the university's first Vice-Chancellor, said of the University of York that "it must be collegiate in character, that it must deliberately seek to limit the number of subjects and that much of the teaching must be done via tutorials and seminars". Due to the influence of Graeme Moodie, founding head of the Politics Department, students are involved in the governance of the university at all levels, and his model has since been widely adopted.
York's first two Colleges, Derwent and Langwith were founded in 1965, and were followed by Alcuin and Vanbrugh in 1967 and Goodricke in 1968. In 1972 this was followed byWentworth College.
The university was noted for its inventive approach to teaching. It was known for its early adoption of joint honours degrees which were often very broad such as history and biology. It also took an innovative approach to social science introducing a five year long degree in the subject.
After 1972 the construction of Colleges ceased until 1990 with the foundation of James College. Initially James was intended to be a postgraduate only college, however the university began to rapidly expand in size almost doubling in size from 4,300 to 8,500 students, in 1993 therefore it was decided that the College should become open to undergraduates. The expansion of student numbers also resulted in the creation of more accommodation by the University which was named 'Halifax Court'; the members of Halifax Court were members of other colleges however soon formed their own Junior Common Room. In 2002 Halifax Court was made a full college of the university and was renamed Halifax College.
In 2003, the university set out plans to create a campus for 5,000 additional students, and to introduce a number of new subjects such as Law and Dentistry. For a number of years, the university's expansion plans were limited by planning restrictions on the Heslington West campus. The City of York planning conditions stipulate that only 20% of the land area may be built upon, and the original campus was at full capacity.
In 2004, plans were finalised for a 117 hectare extension to the campus, provisionally called Heslington East, designed to mirror the existing Heslington West campus. The plans set out that the new campus would be built on arable land between Grimston Bar park and ride car park and Heslington village. The land was removed from the green belt especially for the purpose of extending the university. After a lengthy consultation and a public inquiry into the proposals in 2006, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government gave the go-ahead in May 2007.
In May 2008 the City of York planners approved the design for the first residential college, Goodricke. In The Press on 28 July 2008, Shepherd Construction was named as the preferred contractor for the Goodricke College buildings. The proposal included landscaping the whole area, constructing a lake with marsh borders, planting light woodland and many specimen trees, and maximising biodiversity.
Construction began in 2008, with the first buildings, including Goodricke college, coming into use in October 2009. It was decided that rather than create a new College that an existing College should be moved. Goodricke College was selected for this and moved onto the new campus in 2009 with James taking over its building on Heslington West. Goodricke was officially opened by the Duke of York in April 2010. In 2012 the same process took place with Langwith moving to Heslington East and Derwent taking over its previous buildings. In 2014 Heslington College saw the establishment of the ninth college and was named Constantine after the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, who was proclaimed Augustus in York in 306 AD.