The University of Bedfordshire is based in Bedford and Luton, the two largest towns in Bedfordshire, England. A campus in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire is for students studying Nursing and Midwifery. A further campus in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, teaches business studies, electronic engineering, and telecommunications.
It has approximately 24,000 students. Nearly 3,000 international students study with the university. The university was created by the merger of the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University in August 2006 following approval by the Privy Council. In 2012 it achieved Fair Trade status.
The University of Luton had its roots in the Luton Modern School, which was established in 1908, and the Luton Modern School and Technical Institute which opened in 1937. This became Luton College of Higher Education with the merger of Luton College of Technology and Putteridge Bury College of Education in 1976. It obtained university status in 1993. The Bedford campus of De Montfort University was originally the Bedford Teacher Training College, founded 1882 and Bedford Physical Training College founded 1903. The university was created by the merger of the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University in August 2006 following approval by the Privy Council.
The university's two main campuses are in Luton town centre and Bedford, on Polhill Avenue. Both have been recently modernized with new teaching and social facilities and new on-campus accommodations.
The university has a third campus at Putteridge Bury, a neo-Elizabethan country mansion located on the edge of Luton on the A505 road to Hitchin. The campus is situated in approximately 30 acres of landscaped gardens. The current building was completed in 1911. The campus is home to the university's postgraduate Business School as well as the university's Conference Centre. A smaller fourth campus is the University Campus Milton Keynes, Bucks, became part of the university in 2012.
The university’s £34m Campus Centre opened in October 2010. Designed for social activity as well as teaching the Campus Centre incorporates learning zones. It houses a 240-seat lecture theatre, an exhibition area for displaying student work, the Student Information Desk offering help and support for students and the Students’ Union's support services and executive offices. There are also several places to eat and drink.
A £20m Postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development Centre is scheduled to be completed in early 2013 and includes state-of-the-art IT and AV equipment, informal and quiet learning spaces, two “Harvard-style” lecture theatres, as well as a student lounge and cafe. The Luton Learning Resource Centre has over 200,000 books and specialist texts, 9,000 journals and 300 fully networked PCs that are available at the Park Square campus. There is also an extensive online library of resources.
Luton campus is home to the following schools of study: Business; Media, Art and Design; Science; Computing; Law; Psychology; and Social Sciences, and there are 1,573 bedrooms available for students across the Luton campus. Built in 1911, Putteridge Bury is a country mansion set in 30 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, just four miles from the Park Square campus on the Hertfordshire – Bedfordshire border. It is home to the Bedfordshire Business School postgraduate programs and the university's Conference Centre. The Bedford campus has the following schools: Primary Education, Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education, Education Studies, Physical Education and Sport Studies, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Tourism and Leisure. Butterfield is home to a purpose-designed building for Health, Nursing and Midwifery students, and £1m has been invested to offer students appropriate teaching and learning resources. The 85-acre 'building and technology' zone provides facilities that including a skills lab and a £500,000 clinical simulation centre, complete with operating theatre suite, hospital ward and family room, that ensure students develop and refine their clinical abilities in realistic settings.
University of Bedfordshire offers a range of courses;
- School of Art and Design
- School of Media and Performing Arts
- Business School
- School of Science and Technology
- School of Health and Education
- School of Law
- Institute for Work Based Learning
The university offers courses at the postgraduate level. It currently has 4,000 postgraduate students and 1,200 members of staff from more than 100 countries, with more than 46 per cent of students aged over 25. There are currently 17,126 undergraduates students enrolled in different programs.
In the latest Government Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, the university was recognized as 'world-leading' for its research in Earth Systems and Environmental Science; Social Work, Social Policy and Administration; English Language and Literature; and Communications, Cultural and Media Studies. The university has also been recognized as 'internationally excellent' in the areas of Computer Science and Informatics; and Business and Management Studies.
There are many different societies and club at Beds SU – both in Luton and Bedford. These are set up and run by students, with full support of Student Activities Co-coordinators, and provide a wide variety of events and activities through the year. At present there are 55 active societies which cover cultural, recreational, sporting, religious and political themes. Over the academic year the Students Union runs several RAG events to raise money for various causes. Students take part in the fund raising helping out by taking part in events or volunteering on a fund raising stall. There is a regular student union e-zine.