History of the University

Key historical dates

1930 - official Opening of Constantine Technical College
1969 - Constantine becomes Teesside Polytechnic
1989 - leaves local authority control
1992 - becomes the University of Teesside
2009 - becomes Teesside University
2009-10 wins University of the Year - Times Higher Education awards

First ever graduatesFrom the 'garden party' in King Edward's Square - to Dr Michael Longfield's 100 days as the first Vice-Chancellor before his retirement and succession by Professor Derek Fraser - the whirlwind first few months came to a climax with the ceremonial installation of European Commissioner, Sir Leon Brittan, as the first Chancellor, on 30 April 1993.

Professor Fraser set the scene for expansion saying: "I want Teesside University to play a strong and proactive role - one that demonstrates commitment to the regeneration of the North East and widens opportunities for the people of the Teesside area."

Today, a commitment to social inclusion is almost compulsory but in 1992, Teesside's philosophy of widening participation and 'spearheading moves away from an elitist system of higher education' were quite revolutionary.

As time has shown, Teesside was ahead of government thinking. Its pioneering and novel schemes - such as the award-winning Meteor programme, targeted at local primary schoolchildren - have now become models of good practice in getting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to think seriously about going into higher education.

Development of a University

The development of the University has had many high points, including:

  • five staff having National Teaching Fellowships
  • developing pioneering degrees in exciting new areas like computer graphics, criminology, sport science and forensic science
  • merging with the Durham and Teesside College of Health in 1995
  • opening showpiece new campus buildings
  • being recognised in the Funding Council's Performance Indicators as one of the top two universities in England for attracting young students from neighbourhoods where traditionally people have not entered higher education
  • history gaining a '5' in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise
  • Tony Blair praising the way the campus was developing when he officially opened the Olympia Building in 2004.
  • the announcement in 2005 of £18m of investment to make Teesside a centre of excellence for digital media and technologies.
  • nearly 70% of research classified as being international quality or higher (2008 Research Assessment Exercise
  • a complete rebrand as Teesside University in 2009
  • building of a new Teesside University begins in Darlington in 2009
  • winner of the University of the Year 2009-10 and Outstanding Employer Engagement - Times Higher Education awards