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Bristol University

Bristol University Information & History...

The University of Bristol is one of the original six ‘red brick’ universities in the country. Historically, the university can be traced back in origins to the University College Bristol from 1876, and even as far back as 1595, when the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College was formed. This ensured the development of the new Medical School and Engineering School, both subjects which are prevalent in the excellent reputation of the university today.

Bristol University received its Royal Charter in 1900 largely due to the perseverance, donations and support of the Wills and Fry families who had amassed great fortunes due to chocolate and tobacco plantations. Although, the Wills Family later became abolitionists and donated large sums to the City of Bristol.  The university was also one of the first institutions in the country to allow the admittance of women onto its courses on an equal basis to men, although women were not allowed to take examinations in medicine until 1906.

In 1909 a Royal Charter was granted and The University of Bristol was created as it is today. By 1946 the University boasted the first Drama department of any university in the country. It was also in the same year that the university began its programme of offering specialized entrance exams and grants to servicemen returning home after the war, in order to facilitate and aid resettlement back in the community.

Over the years the reputation of Bristol University as a notable and respected academic institution of learning has increased along with the number of students who are eager to gat a place one of its courses. By 1981 there was the creation of the renowned Centre for Deaf Studies, and in 1988 The Norah Fry Centre for research into learning difficulties.

In 2000 the University’s reputation for research and development were at a peak and led to the establishing of the Research and Enterprise Division. Then in 2002 a new Centre for Sports, Exercise and Health was also opened, which encouraged participation in the facilities by the local community. In 2004 the Faculty for Engineering had established the Bristol Laboratory for advanced Dynamics Engineering (BLADE), which has since become one of the most sophisticated technological sites for study into the study of dynamics in Europe. By 2007 there was further development with the foundation of the Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS) and The Bristol Institute for Public Affairs (BIPA).

Notable students from Bristol University have included an array of internationally acclaimed scientists, engineers and academics. This has included Nobel Prize Winners Cecil Frank Powell, Hans Albrecht Bethe and Paul Dirac who was widely recognized for his research into quantum physics.

Today the University provides teaching and research for over 23,000 students and is a well respected member of the ‘Russell Group’ of universities, thereby confirming its reputation as an international leader in academic research and development.

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