Teesside University

Teesside University
Motto Latin: Facta non-verba[1]
Motto in English
"Deeds Not Words"[1]
Type Public
Established 1930 – Constantine Technical College[2]
1969 - as Teesside Polytechnic
1992 – gained University Status
Endowment £0.25 m (2015)[3]
Chancellor Lord Sawyer[4]
Vice-Chancellor Paul Croney[5]
Administrative staff
Students 20,104[7]
Undergraduates 18,263[7]
Postgraduates 2,138[7]
Location Middlesbrough and Darlington, England, UK
Campus Urban


Affiliations University Alliance
Website www.tees.ac.uk

Teesside University is a public university with its main campus in Middlesbrough, Teesside in North East England. It has 20,104 students, according to the 2013/14 HESA student record.[7]

History and development

Teesside University's Students' Union

A shortage of funding long proved a barrier to developing the Middlesbrough-based Mechanics' Institute of 1844. With the required funding, the College's launch could have come as early as 1914. Even after the donation of £40,000 to build the college from local shipping magnate Joseph Constantine in 1916, progress was slow. A Governing Council took place in 1922, followed by a doubling of the original financial offer by the Constantine family in 1924. For the task of constructing the first technical college building, Graham R. Dawbarn (a London architect also responsible for additions to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge) was appointed on 29 March 1926.[8] Building work began in 1927, culminating in the beginning of enrolment and teaching on 16 September 1929.

Constantine Technical College was formally opened on 2 July 1930 by the future King Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales. Although not yet a university, Constantine was a further and higher education college from the onset. Students at Constantine could be as young as 15. Degree courses, published in the College's prospectus were validated by the University of London. Disciplines included metallurgy, engineering and chemistry. Five rooms were also reserved for an art department, until cramped accommodation forced the School of Art to split from its parent site for the 1950s.

Teesside University's Phoenix Building

The 1960s were years of sweeping change – as well as political sting – for the still comparatively fledgling College. By the end of the decade the first two "Teesside University" campaigns had begun: the first, from the early 1960s to 1966, and the second, from 1967 to 1972. Spates of enthusiasm were killed off on each occasion by the scepticism of then-Minister of Education, Anthony Crosland, and Margaret Thatcher's defining White Paper, respectively. The latter effectively shelved plans for the erection of any new institution in the United Kingdom, until the 1980s at least.[9]

On campus, one of the most visible major developments for the College was an extension in 1963 which featured an 11-storey "skyscraper" . The College also acquired the neighbouring former High School of 1877. The College briefly restyled itself as Constantine College of Technology, before becoming Teesside Polytechnic (Britain's 13th Polytechnic) in 1969. At that point, the institution ran seventeen degree courses.

A merger with Teesside College of Education took place in the 1970s along with the purchase of Flatts Lane. The Clarendon Building was added in 1973, as was the Stephenson Building in 1976. Both of these buildings remained in use for the Polytechnic's long-awaited conversion into a university. That happened on 16 June 1992,[10] when Teesside Polytechnic became the University of Teesside, one of the UK's first new universities following that year's Further and Higher Education Act.

Victoria Building

By the 1990s, the institution had almost 8,000 students. In 1997 the old Polytechnic's library was replaced with a Learning Resource Centre. Subsequent additions included the Virtual Reality Centre and Centre for Enterprise, and later, the Phoenix and Athena Buildings. Today, historic structures such as the old High School (the Waterhouse building), the Constantine building and Victoria Building of 1891 (a schoolyard-equipped Victorian school, housing a series of graduate business incubator units), are all Grade II listed buildings.

In 2009, the University of Teesside changed its name to "Teesside University". It also changed its logo and adopted the motto "Inspiring success" as part of a £20,000 rebrand. Alternative names included "Middlesbrough University" and "Tees Valley University".[11]

On 15 October 2009, Teesside was named University of the Year and awarded Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative in the Times Higher Education Awards.[12]

In 2010, the £17m Centuria South building for dental training and sports therapy was opened. This continues to provide specialist facilities.

A major phase of development known as campus heart began in 2014. This £22m landmark development created a central focus to the Middlesbrough campus. It also brought the iconic building, The Curve, a new £20m teaching building. As part of this investment period, a "living wall" was created around a giant plasma screen on the side of the University's Student Centre.

The University was awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize (2014–18) for outstanding work in the field of enterprise and business engagement.


The main entrance to Teesside University, showing the Waterhouse Building clock tower
The Curve, in Teesside University's campus heart

Since its formation as Constantine Technical College in 1930, Teesside University has been located in the borough of Middlesbrough in the North Yorkshire area of England on the south banks of the River Tees. Transport links exist through the A19 and A66 roads. The University's main entrance is at the site of the old Constantine College building, fronted by the Waterhouse clock tower.

The University opened its original Darlington campus in the former Eastbourne Secondary School in the Eastbourne area of Darlington. A new £13m Darlington campus opened in 2011 at Central Park. Today the Darlington campus is known as The Forge and is the university's central business hub. Each year, the University works with hundreds of different companies providing research and innovation, consultancy, knowledge exchange, start-up incubation and mentoring and graduate placement.

Teesside University dance students at Temenos, close to the Middlesbrough campus

Campus heart is the latest phase of investment in the Middlesbrough campus and has seen £30m of development in total. This development began in 2014 and includes the £20m building, The Curve which has a 200-seat lecture theatre and 1,476 square metres (15,890 sq ft) of teaching and learning space. It sits within a pedestrianised and landscaped area which is seen as a focal point to the campus.

In 2015, £6m was invested in the refurbishment and extension of the University's Orion Building this includes a three storey glass extension to house new, industry-standard equipment. It was announced in August 2015, that a further £2.5m is to be invested in the award-winning Students' Union, and £2m on campus catering facilities. The library is also expected to see a £5m investment.[13]

A new £2.5m health and fitness centre opened at Teesside University's Middlesbrough campus in January 2016. The building features fitness and free weights areas, a sprint track, multi-purpose studios and a sauna.


Teesside University provides accommodation in self-catered rooms which are mostly reserved for first year undergraduate students. Accommodation is also available for international students, postgraduates, staff and undergraduates. All accommodation options are within walking distance of the main Middlesbrough campus. International students are encouraged to apply before 1 April to guarantee a place in University-managed accommodation.

The University has four managed residences (halls, houses and flats). Further places are available through the university managed housing scheme (properties owned by private landlords but managed by the University).

In 2015, the university acquired Teesside Central, adding 75 en-suite apartments to its accommodation portfolio.[14]



The University consists of five schools.

Research institutes

Teesside University has five broad-based, multi-disciplinary research institutes which enable researchers of all levels to work within cohesive research communities. The institutes encourage collaboration within and across disciplines.


Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, or mima, is a contemporary art gallery in the centre of Middlesbrough. It is run in partnership with Teesside University.

Academic profile

(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2017, national)
The Guardian[18]
(2017, national)

Teesside University has won seven National Teaching Fellowships.[19]

The Quality Assurance Agency expressed confidence in the management of the institution's academic standards and quality of learning opportunities.

In the National Student Survey 2015, Teesside University scored 86% for overall satisfaction (up from 85% in 2014). The percentage of students who would recommend Teesside University to others grew to 89% (from 87%). The Students' Union continues to score highly at 85% (up from 82% in 2014). This is above the national average of 69%. English studies was given a 100% satisfaction rate (maintaining this rating from 2014), chemical engineering also scored highly at 96%. Civil engineering and fine art came in at 95% with law just behind at 94%. Nursing retained its 92% satisfaction rating from 2014. Drama received a 91% rating and academic studies in education 90%.

The Vice-Chancellor is Professor Paul Croney, who took up the position in May 2015 when Professor Graham Henderson retired.[20] In April 2005, the University welcomed Lord Sawyer as its Chancellor, succeeding the University's first ever Chancellor, European Commissioner Leon Brittan.

The University's School of Computing hosts the annual Animex International Festival of Animation and Computer Games. This complements the University's provision of computing programmes and its coverage of animation and computer games study.


In research, the university offers an array of relevant routes of study resulting in the qualification of MPhil, PhD, MProf and DProf. The strongest research profiles, according to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, were in Computing and History, with Business & Management Studies and Sociology also producing work of international excellence.[21]

Students' Union

The Students' Union is led by students for students with four current students (usually final year) elected by the student body to hold the positions of president, education officer, student activities officer and welfare officer in March of each year. They take their posts from July to the end of June each year and have the option to seek re-election for a second and final term if they wish. The current student officer team will hold their posts until July 2016. As the officer trustees they sit on a wider board of trustees who oversee the running of the Students' Union which also includes external trustees drawn from the worlds of local government, business, charity and the public sector.

The Students' Union has won numerous accolades; it was named Students' Union of the Year at the BEDA (Bar Entertainment and Dance Association) Awards in 2004 and Club Mirror Students' Union of the Year in 2002, as well as finishing runner-up in the latter award in 2007. In 2002/2003, the Students' Union also won the Sport England Volunteer Investment Programme Award, while the Union's bar, The Terrace Bar, was awarded Best Bar None status in 2006 and 2008, overcoming competition from universities from across the two regions of the North East and Yorkshire before going on to win four Best Bar None Middlesbrough Awards 2009 recognising outstanding standards of staff training and strong focus on the safety of customers. The Students' Union also won the 2007 It's Not Funny competition,[22] winning a live comedy performance featuring Bill Bailey, Marcus Brigstocke, Andrew Maxwell and Simon Amstell. More recently the SU was shortlisted for NUS Students' Union Of The Year in 2014, secured the AQS accreditation for the SU Link and gold in the National Best Bar None Awards 2015 recognising exceptional standards in its social spaces The Terrace and The Hub.

Alongside multi-award winning social spaces and venues, the Students' Union has support services for students as part of the SU Link which provides help with welfare, academic, financial and personal issues. It also advertises a range of part-time jobs. Students are encouraged to get involved in their Students' Union in a variety of ways. There are over 40 clubs and over 20 societies and students are able to set up their own clubs and societies if their interests aren't covered. SU Activities helps students to do this and also provides opportunities to get involved in charity work such as Raise and Give (RAG).

From 2014 the Students' Union has received an investment of over £8.5m to refurbish its building and facilities.

In the National Student Survey 2015, the Students' Union score highly at 85% satisfaction (up from 82% in 2014). The national average is 69%.

Notable people

Principals of Constantine Technical College

Directors of Teesside Polytechnic

Chancellors of Teesside University

Notable staff

Notable alumni


  1. 1 2 "love art and architecture" (PDF). Visit Middlesbrough. p. 6. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  2. "History of the University". Teesside University. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  3. "Governors' Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2015" (PDF). Teesside University. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  4. "Chancellor". Teesside University. 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  5. "Vice-Chancellor's Executive". Teesside University. 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  6. "Teesside University – About us – Facts and Figures – University of the Year 2009/10". Teesside University Website. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Teesside University – About us – Facts and Figures – University of the Year 2009/10". Teesside University Website. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  8. Lillie, William (1968). The History of Middlesbrough: An Illustration of the Evolution of English Industry. The Mayor Aldermen and Burgesses of the County Borough of Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough Corporation.
  9. 1 2 3 Leonard, J. W. (1981). Constantine College. Teesside Polytechnic.
  10. "About Us - History of Teesside University". Teesside University. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  11. "Inspiring successes with a name change". Evening Gazette. 11 May 2009. p. 10.
  12. "Accolades flow for innovation and excellence". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  13. "Teesside University building success in National Student Survey". University of Teesside Website. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  14. "New accommodation block will enhance student experience at Teesside". University of Teesside Website. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  15. "World University Rankings 2016-17 - United Kingdom". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  16. "World University Rankings 2016-17". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  17. "University League Table 2017". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  18. "University league tables 2017". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  19. "Why Choose the University of Teesside?". University of Teesside Website. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
  20. "New Vice-Chancellor will build on university's remarkable success". University of Teesside Website. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  21. "RAE 2008 : Quality profiles". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  22. http://www1.itsnotfunny.co.uk/index.php?fuseaction=winning.winners
  23. "MP becomes a time traveller". University of Teesside Website. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
  24. "From Teesside to our television screens". University of Teesside Website. Retrieved 12 July 2008.

Coordinates: 54°34′20″N 1°14′06″W / 54.57220°N 1.23491°W / 54.57220; -1.23491

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