The University of Portsmouth is a university in the city of Portsmouth, England. It was previously known as Portsmouth Polytechnic until 1992, when it was granted university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The University is a member of the University Alliance and The Channel Islands Universities Consortium.
The University was founded as the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and the Arts in 1869. Due to the dependence on shipping and trade to the city, the main function of the college was to train the engineers and skilled workmen who went on to work at the city docks, as well as at the large Royal Navy dockyard situated in Portsmouth. However, due to a decline in shipping and population since World War II, when large swathes of the city were destroyed by German bombing, the college was forced to diversify its syllabus and teaching in order to attract new students. In the expansion of British Higher Education in the 1960s, the college was renamed Portsmouth Polytechnic and given the power to award degrees accredited and validated by the CNAA. The expansion of the polytechnic continued and in the late 1980s, it was one of the largest polytechnics in the UK. In 1992, Portsmouth and other polytechnics were granted university status with power to validate their own degrees under the provision of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The formal inauguration of the University of Portsmouth was celebrated at a ceremony in the Portsmouth Guildhall on 7 July 1992.
Portsmouth in top 2% of world’s universities
The University of Portsmouth is again ranked in the top 400 universities in the world in the most recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings published in 2013. The independent rankings place Portsmouth in the top two per cent of universities worldwide and among the best in Europe. Times Higher Education describes its global rankings as the most comprehensive, sophisticated and balanced global rankings in the world. They are collated using 13 rigorous performance indicators and are the only global rankings to judge world-class research institutions against all of their core activities – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The University of Portsmouth’s international outlook is judged to be a key strength. The rankings this year place the United Kingdom second only to the US in terms of the number of world-class universities.
Quality and standards
Like all universities, we regard quality and standards as very important aspects of our work. You can access the policies and processes we use to assure and improve the quality of the learning, teaching and student support in the University. You can also find details of the outcomes of internal and external reviews such as those conducted by Professional Bodies. Our Quality Management team administers information relating to academic committees, assessment and regulations, collaborative programmes, and accreditation of our courses by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies. More information about quality management can be found here.
Environment and sustainable development
The University is committed to a low carbon future. We have a number of policies, plans and practices that support this commitment from the way we manage procurement, construction and travel to encouraging the adoption of recycling, waste reduction and ‘green’ meetings behaviours within our community of staff and students. Read more about Green Portsmouth. In addition to the work of our Green Portsmouth team, the University has a wider role in creating positive environmental impacts that have regional, national and international benefits through our research, teaching and collaborations with business and industry. The University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN) seeks to coordinate and promote our activities in this area.
Equality and diversity
The University is dedicated to ensuring equality of opportunity and the promotion of diversity for the benefit of our staff, students and community. Our community includes students from over 30 countries and we are committed to widening access to higher education. Our Equality and Diversity Unit administers a number of policies, guidelines and equality schemes, which outline the way in which we behave as an employer that embraces equality of opportunity and diversity. The Unit also hosts and number of forums liaising with students, staff, other HE institutions and the wider city and helps organise events which celebrate diversity, such as One World Week. Read more about our commitment to equality and diversity.