Our roots go back to 1869. We have grown in size and strength creating and sharing success with our students, staff, community and society.
Facts & Figures
- We are in the top 2% of the world's universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015, and we are one of the world's top 150 universities under 50.
- We have a population of 25,000 students and 2,500 full-time equivalent staff.
- We have almost 4,000 international and EU students from over 120 different countries.
- 45% of our students are female and 55% are male.
- 89% student satisfaction (above the national average of 86%) for satisfaction in the independent National Student Survey.
- We provide £8 million a year in bursaries and hardship funds for our students.
- 89% of our research in Physics and 90% of our research in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF2014.
- We have invested in excess of £180 million in our buildings and resources over the last 10 years.
In 1908 the Park building opened as a Municipal college and public library. The focus was on chemistry and engineering. The roots of the University can be traced back even further to the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and the Arts.
By 1911 a Student Union was established. We know this from the earliest record of the Student Union newspaper The Galleon.
1945 to 1960
The college diversified its syllabus adding arts and humanities subjects after World War 2, in response to a decline in the need for engineering skills.
1960 to 1970
In 1960 the college was renamed Portsmouth Polytechnic. The Milldam building was purchased. It had been used as a gathering space for local militia as far back as the Napoleonic Wars.
1970 to 1980
Work began on Frewen Library in 1977. This is now the University library. It officially opened in 1980.
1980 to 1990
By the late 80s, Portsmouth Polytechnic had become one of the largest and best performing polytechnics in the UK.
1990 to 1995
Portsmouth Polytechnic was granted university status, becoming the University of Portsmouth on 7 July 1992.
1995 to 2000
1997 Professor John Craven joined the University as Vice Chancellor.
St Paul’s Sports Centre opens.
Margaret Rule Halls of Residence opens.
The Student Centre opens after the closure of Alexandra House, our old Students’ Union on Museum Road and Trafalgar Halls of Residence opens.
James Watson Halls of Residence and Spinnaker Sports Centre open.
Richmond Building opens and the Portsmouth Business School relocates from its former home on the Milton campus which closed down
William Beatty Building opens – a purpose built dental building for professions related to dentistry.
Spinnaker Building opens – a purpose built building for our Department of Sport and Exercise Science
An £11 million expansion of the University Library is completed opened in January 2007 by crime author PD James. In the same year, Sheila Hancock OBE was appointed Chancellor of the University for a five-year term.
The Dennis Sciama Building opened, a purpose-built teaching and research building and currently home to our Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation.
The School of Law opens a courtroom, used to provide law students with a real experience of working in a courtroom.
Improvements carried out to Milldam Nursery and Third Space opens, an area for student study and leisure. Extension to William Beatty accommodates dental students from our partnership with King’s College London
Writer, comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig is installed as Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.
Professor Graham Galbraith joined the University as Vice Chancellor.
New wing of the University’s Eldon Building officially opens after £14 million investment. New facilities for the creative arts included a 200-seat cinema-quality screening room, large seminar rooms, and creative studios.
The White Swan Building opens, an extension to the New Theatre Royal, giving new learning and performance space for students. Other developments include the opening of the Forensic Innovation Centre, a joint initiative between the University and Hampshire Constabulary, and the purchase of Portsmouth Technopole to support entrepreneurship and businesses in the region.
The University in the City
The University is at the heart of Portsmouth and we have a strong commitment to our regional community, and particularly to the city, embedded in our strategy. This commitment is longstanding, at least since the opening of the Municipal College in 1908. Our economic, social and cultural contributions range from being one of the largest employers in the city, to the value our highly skilled graduates add in professional roles in our schools, health and justice services, businesses, local authorities and charities.
Some contributions have a measurable economic impact: we have invested over £180 million in buildings and resources in the last decade and our 25,000 students study, live and spend in the city. Other work adds benefits in different ways, such as: improving the city environment by sharing expertise in urban design; students volunteering in local charities, schools and hospitals; encouraging enterprise and innovation and promoting a greater public understanding of science through lectures, schools visits, events and press comment.
Brush UP with the Dental Academy
Students at the Dental Academy have been targeting hard to reach patients, including children and the elderly, by participating in community-based projects. Portsmouth has large unmet dental care needs, with half of all children having decayed teeth by the time they start school.
So far, 17 schools and nurseries are running the Academy’s supervised tooth brushing programme, Brush UP. Students are also applying fluoride varnish to children at local primary schools and offering advice at care homes, children’s groups, probation centres and alcohol and drug detoxification centres.
The annual economic benefits of the University to our local community exceed £250 million.
We meet 12,000 local pupils and parents annually through our education liaison and aspiration-raising activities.
Our dental services have provided NHS dental care to more than 12,000 local people over the past seven years. In 2011/12 our students spent around 7,000 hours volunteering in the community.
Annually, we receive over 3,000 bookings for our conference and accommodation facilities, earning more than £2.2 million per year and bringing many new visitors to the city.
Equality and sustainability
Equality and Diversity
The University of Portsmouth prides itself on being an inclusive environment for staff and students. We have a diverse student population from over 120 countries. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of all University activity. We work proactively to support all staff and students ensuring we offer a fair and inclusive working and learning environment where all can meet their full potential.
Organisations we work with include:
- Stonewall - A lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) Charity that supports us in delivering an inclusive environment for LGB staff and students.
- Mindful Employer - supporting organisations in being positive around mental health.
- Disabled Go - providing indepth information on accessibility of University buildings.
- Athena Swan Charter - Supporting organisations in the advancement and promotion of careers for women in the disciplines of science, engineering and technology in both higher education and research.
- Armed Forces Covenant - ensuring that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
More details can be found at www.port.ac.uk/equality
We are determined to create a low-carbon future. We do this by inspiring and motivating staff and students to commit to be mindful of environmental sustainability in all they do. Initiatives to support this ambition include the management of the University’s energy consumption, recycling and waste management, a ‘green building challenge’, sustainable construction projects, a procurement code of practice and a travel plan.
The University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN) was established in 2010 to coordinate the broad range of environmentally related teaching and research from across the University.
Investing in your future
Future Technology Centre
This £11m centre will be an exciting new space for the next generation of engineers, scientists and designers. Launching in 2017 the centre will house the latest simulation, visualisation and modelling equipment.
New Halls of Residence
With new halls opening in 2016 and another one under construction for 2017, we’re increasing the accommodation options for our students. These halls will be centrally located and within walking distance of the city centre and main University buildings.
New Theatre Royal extension
The White Swan Building is an extension of the city’s New Theatre Royal. It houses a new studio theatre, as well as TV studio and gallery, several music practice rooms and more teaching and drama studio space. It also means our students study alongside an active theatre.