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Wednesday 29 April 2015

Ten years for Solent!

It’s ten years since Southampton Institute transformed into Southampton Solent University – and we’re celebrating!

While the colleges and schools which combined to make the modern University have a history of excellence stretching back over a hundred and fifty years, 2005 was the year that everything changed.

A little history

On 12 July 2005, a letter arrived for Principal Roger Brown from the Privy Council Office – the body responsible for approving the use of the word ‘university’ in the title of a higher education institution.

Nine months earlier, the PCO had approved Southampton Institute to award its own degrees – and now, after months of hard work, the Institute was officially transformed. On 15 August Southampton Institute became Southampton Solent University, amidst the launch of the spark logo we all know so well (and plenty of fireworks).

Sparks fly at the Southampton Solent University launch event!

“[Receiving] university title is timely recognition for the excellent quality of the student experience and the standard of our degrees, and it gives us a great platform for our future development,” said Professor Roger Brown, the Institute’s Principal – who become Southampton Solent University’s first Vice-Chancellor.

And through his years of leadership, through those of Professor Van Gore who followed him, and with the arrival of Professor Graham Baldwin as VC in 2014, Southampton Solent has continued to build on that platform.

Looking forward

Looking at our modern university, with all the improvements to the campus and the cutting-edge facilities available to our students, it’s clear a lot has changed in the last ten years. A lot has remained the same, however – the sort of things which matter.

Things like our commitment to educational excellence, our focus on providing an exceptional student experience, and the hard work that goes into giving our students all the opportunities they need to graduate as confident, experienced, work-ready professionals.

The University strategy sets out our plans for the next five years

And we’ve got plenty of plans for the future. The University has just launched its strategy for the next five years, putting students at the heart of what we do – offering the highest quality engagement and intellectual challenge, and providing a university experience which develops students’ self-confidence and career prospects.

Let the celebrations begin!

For now, though, we’ve got exciting plans to mark Solent’s ten-year anniversary – from a special issue of our university magazine to merchandise, events, commemorative professorial lectures and more.

If you were a student (or staff member) ten years ago, we’d love to hear what it was like to be part of the transformation from Institute to University. Tell us your story in the comments below, or email

And if you’d like to be part of the celebrations, get in touch!

Celebrating 10 years of university status