40th Anniversary - Tel: 01509 22 3447
Loughborough University


A brief history of progress and innovation

On April 19th 1966, Sir George Coldstream, Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, acting on behalf of and according to the instructions, of her Majesty the Queen, signed the Royal Charter creating Loughborough University of Technology later to be known as Loughborough University. This accreditation recognised how far the University had developed from its days as a Technical Institute in 1909 and rewarded the achievements of the predecessor Colleges who had provided such an excellent foundation from which the new University could flourish. The University's complex development is illustrated in the 'family tree' below:

The royal charter
The main building of Loughborough Technical Institute on the corner of Ashby Road & Green Close
A map dated 1895 showing the centre of Loughborough and the area just to the west of the A6


The Loughborough University Family Tree

Loughborough University Family Tree chart


Herbert Schofield, aged 35, in his office in Green Close Lane, May 1918

The University began life as the Loughborough Technical Institute, established by Leicestershire County Council in 1909 to provide local facilities for further education.  That today’s University has developed into such an internationally respected institution is largely due to the entrepreneurial vision and determination of Dr Herbert Schofield, Principal of the College for 35 years (from 1915-1950).

To support the war effort during the First World War, Dr Schofield remodelled the Institute as an 'Instructional Factory' for the Ministry of Munitions.  In addition to normal teaching, the College trained over 2000 men and women 'on production' for the munitions industry, making shell cases and machine parts in the College workshops.  This is the best early example of the Loughborough tradition of providing teaching, and later research, that has relevance to industry, a tradition that we are still building on today. 

Women trainees assembling aircraft wings in a hall in Orchard Street, just Off Green Close Lane

Between the wars Loughborough College (as it was renamed in 1920) expanded, attracting students from all over the world.  It widened its reputation beyond engineering to athletics, handicrafts and teacher training.  In 1951-52 the College was divided into four separate institutions reflecting its main areas of interest.  Loughborough Training College (later Loughborough College of Education) provided teaching training; Loughborough College of Art taught art and design; Loughborough College of Further Education (now Loughborough College) offered local and vocational training; and Loughborough College of Technology continued courses in science and engineering.

The College of Technology continued to train ‘on production’ and by sandwich courses and in 1957 was designated a College of Advanced Technology.  In 1966 in recognition of its outstanding educational standards it was granted University status and received a Royal Charter as Loughborough University of Technology.  In 1977 the original structure was partly restored when the University and the College of Education were amalgamated and later still in 1998 the College of Art and Design rejoined the University.  In 1996 the University adopted the simpler title of Loughborough University to reflect its now broad based curriculum and research portfolio. 

Today the University is a thriving institution with nearly 15,000 students, just under 3,000 staff and research income of nearly £29M per annum.  Thanks to the vision of its early leaders the University’s campus has grown to over 433 acres.

The people who made us great

Over years the fortunes of the University have been advanced by a succession of inspirational leaders.  They would be the first to say that they could not have done it without the support and dedication of the thousands of staff who contributed to the University’s success, many of whom brought their experience from the predecessor Colleges.  It is impossible to detail all who have supported the University over the years but here is a brief overview of the Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors who provided such strong leadership in this period of rapid growth.

Chancellors of Loughborough University
Vice Chancellors of Loughborugh University


Telephone: 01509 22 3447