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Writtle University College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Writtle University College
MottoTime Tries the Truth In Everything
Active1893 (1893)–2024 (2024)
ChancellorJimmy Doherty
Administrative staff
100+ academic/teaching
15 Research
50+ other academic
80+ other
Students765 HE (2019/20)[1]
Other students
7,645 FE[2]
Lordship Road, Writtle, Essex, CM1 3RR
, , ,
ColoursScarlet and Bronze Yellow

Writtle University College was a university college located in Writtle near Chelmsford, Essex. It was founded in 1893 and obtained University College status in May 2016.[3]

In July 2023, Writtle University College announced a merger with Anglia Ruskin University,[4] and completed on 29 February 2024. ARU Writtle has its own campus alongside ARU Chelmsford, ARU Cambridge, ARU Peterborough, and ARU London.[4]

Its countryside estate features a wide range of facilities, including a working farm, an equine centre, science laboratories, design studios, a canine therapy clinic, a specialist animal unit[5] and sports provision including the UK's first permanent 3x3 basketball courts.[6]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Writtle University College Equine Campus | Virtual Tour
  • Our Accommodation | Writtle University College
  • Writtle University College | Titchmarsh Animal Centre



Writtle University College campus

The university college teaches undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in subjects including:

  • Art
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Science
  • Animal Management
  • Canine Therapy
  • Equine
  • Horticulture
  • Sport & Exercise Science
  • Veterinary Physiotherapy

Further education courses include:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Studies
  • Conservation (Land and Wildlife)
  • Equine
  • Floristry
  • Horticulture (Gardening and Landscaping)
  • Sport

Stephen Waite was appointed as the new Principal in Spring 2013[7] and changed his job title to Vice-Chancellor upon the college obtaining University status. He retired in August 2017 and was succeeded by Professor Tim Middleton.[8]

The front of Writtle University College

Writtle University College was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) by the Privy Council in March 2015.[9]

Jimmy Doherty (wearing blue shirt) was appointed Chancellor of Writtle University College in 2022.

Baroness Jenkin of Kennington became Writtle University College's Founding Chancellor in 2016. She was succeeded by farmer and television presenter Jimmy Doherty in 2022.[10] Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh previously acted at the college's patron.[11]


Established in 1893, the college was originally known as County Laboratories, teaching agriculture and horticulture and becoming the County Technical Laboratories in 1903.

In 1912 it became East Anglian Institute of Agriculture. It changed its name to Essex Institute of Agriculture, Writtle in 1939 and moved to the Writtle Estate in 1940.

In 1914, teaching temporarily halted following the outbreak of the First World War. 'Writtle College, The First Hundred Years' by Clive Beale and Geoff Owen, states that some staff left to join the armed forces while others were seconded to the War Agricultural Committee, which had taken over the institute.[12]

During the Second World War, the Institute supported the Dig For Victory Campaign with advice on crop production, gardening, plant protection and livestock. The campus was also central to work carried out by the Women's Land Army in Essex and taught short, three week training courses.[13]

It became Writtle Agricultural College in 1969, Writtle College in 1989 and Writtle University College in 2016.[14]

Awards and achievements

  • The Writtle floristry team won the Gold award at the Royal Horticultural Society Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2012 for their exhibition entitled "Lady of Shallot"[15] and Silver the following year for their exhibition "Rock Around the Clock".[16]
  • The University College's further education horticulture students won a Gold award at the Royal Horticultural Society Young Gardeners of the Year competition in 2014, having previously won Silver in 2013 and 2012 and Bronze in 2011.[17][18] They then won 'Best in Show', 'Gold' and 'People's Choice' awards, presented by David Domoney, at the Ideal Home Show Young Gardeners of the Year competition in 2015.[19]
  • In 2019, Writtle University College was named the British Florist Association's 'Floristry Training Provider of the Year' and University College lecturer Elaine Thackray was awarded the title 'Floristry Tutor of the Year'.[20]
  • Writtle University College received one of England's highest student satisfaction ratings in the 2020 National Student Survey, when 92% of participating students agreed with the statement: "overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course”.[21][22]

In 2021, members of the student-run Gaia Club launched a campaign to plant over 700 new trees on Writtle University College's countryside estate.[23]

Northumberland Building Light Well Mosaic

In 2006 British artist Anne Schwegmann-Fielding installed a mosaic sculpture in the light well of the Northumberland Building foyer. Based on an aerial photograph of the college, the installation was the culmination of a 2005 Leverhulme Trust grant titled 'The Landscape of Mosaic' which also saw the development of a mosaic meadow which combined artist's source materials and wild flowers.[24][25]

See also


  1. ^ "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06". Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  3. ^ "Writtle achieves University College status".
  4. ^ a b "Anglia Ruskin and Writtle announce merger plan - ARU". Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  5. ^ Bramwell, Tom (21 September 2020). "Putting science into practice at Writtle University College". EssexLive. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  6. ^ "First bespoke 3×3 courts in the UK open at Writtle University College". 18 August 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Dr Stephen Waite to join Writtle College as principal from Hartpury College".
  8. ^ "Writtle University College appoints new Vice-Chancellor".
  9. ^ "Writtle College gains degree awarding powers". 25 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Jimmy Doherty named the next Chancellor of Writtle University College". 30 January 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  11. ^ Mauro-Benady, Rafi (11 August 2021). "Alan Titchmarsh's special connection to a tiny Chelmsford college". EssexLive. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  12. ^ Archived March 2, 2021, at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  13. ^ "Women's Land Army in Essex in WW2". Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  14. ^ WCU 2017, 120 year timeline
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "College wins gold in the Young Gardeners of the Year at the Ideal Home Show 2014".
  18. ^ "Silver win in Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year!".
  19. ^ Kentish, Franky (20 March 2015). "Young Gardeners of the Year: meet the future Chelsea designers". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  20. ^ "Industry awards and the winners are..." British Florist Association. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  21. ^ Students, Office for (15 July 2021). "National Student Survey 2020 results - Office for Students". Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  22. ^ Bramwell, Tom (21 September 2020). "Putting science into practice at Writtle University College". EssexLive. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Students to plant over 700 new trees on Writtle University College's campus". Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  24. ^ "A Sciart collaboration: 'The Landscape of Mosaic', 2005". CADE. 2006. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Mosaic Light Well". CADE. 2006. Retrieved 29 May 2016.


External links

51°44′24″N 0°24′53″E / 51.7399°N 0.4146°E / 51.7399; 0.4146

This page was last edited on 17 June 2024, at 23:56
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