After thirteen years of its abolition, the last remaining "polytechnic" has vanished from the UK higher education sector. Anglia Polytechnic University has now changed its name to Anglia Ruskin University so as to remove the confusing "poly" from its title. Vice-chancellor David Tidmarsh stated that the term is outdated in the UK and means different things to different people, hence the decision to adopt a new name that would reflect the university’s reputation for providing quality services and education.
After a period of long consultation, Anglia Ruskin University was eventually chosen from over two hundred suggestions. Other names like Anglia University and Anglia Metropolitan University were discarded. The university’s roots date back to 1858 when a Victorian scholar named John Ruskin founded the School of Art in Cambridge, now incorporated in the university’s campus. Ruskin was an innovative educator who was passionate about equipping students with relevant work skills and ensuring that higher education was attainable by all.
Professor Tidmarsh highlighted that over 90% of Anglia Ruskin University’s students come from state schools and over 93% of the graduates enter employment or initiate further studies within six months of receiving their degrees. The name change was part of a comprehensive university overhaul that involved investing £55m in the campus and refocusing the curriculum. This included trimming down up to 75% of the university’s individual courses to make it more streamlined. The changes were made after a poor inspection report a year ago, which indicated limited confidence in the university’s performance.