Graduates throwing their caps, the same photo used on our 1990 prospectus

This July marks a special month for us as we celebrate our 30th anniversary as a university on Thursday 7 July 2022

9 minute read

Our roots as an institution date back to 1870 to the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and Art, and we became Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1969, buying Ravelin Park from the Government. In the same year our first halls of residence – Rees Hall – opened in a prime position overlooking Southsea Common.

Our students have also rubbed shoulders with cultural icons over the years, acting as extras for The Who in the film Tommy in 1974 and watching an early appearance by Nirvana at the Students’ Union on their first UK tour in 1989. 

And in 1992 after a decade as one of the largest and best performing polytechnics in the UK, we out-grew our old name and received university status. The University of Portsmouth was born.

University Archivist Anna Delaney has been hard at work seeking out photographs from thirty years ago. A selection is presented below.

An archive and oral history project, coordinated by the History Department and Archives, is also underway telling the story of our heritage. Staff, students and alumni are encouraged to share interesting memories, pictures, or artefacts to help curate our narrative. Anyone interested in the project should contact for further information.