The post war years was expected to create a ‘boom’ in
education. By 1945, the creation of the Music Department allowed us
to capitalise on the growing demand for a variety of subject areas.
Enrolment in the first year totalled 135, and by 1950 HM Inspectors
stated "it was unique among technical colleges". Indeed, Vaughn
Williams was to attend a performance of his ‘Riders to the Sea’ in
In 1956 the Joint Education Committee of the college noted:
"Research is essential feature of any institution of higher
learning. Very good work is being done in applied science, and
mechanical engineering is bringing to fruition negotiation with a
local firm for sponsored research into problems at heat
The 50s also saw the first computer arrive in the college. The
annual report for 1956-7 records: Following a visit of a member of
staff to Harwell, the college in competition with eight other
colleges was offered the gift of an Electronic Digital Computer. A
number of local firms donated sums of money to cover the cost of
maintenance and operation.
By 1957-8 the student numbers grew to 6236. This included
trainee teachers being enrolled into the college. Parallel
developments with Wulfrun College set the foundations for the
creation of the Faculty of Education created in 1977.
By 1964 with the further expansion of Higher Education the
college began to provide BA degrees with options in English,
Geography, History, Music, and Economics amongst others. By 1965
the college was offering a degree in Computer Technology.
As the Councils for National Academic Awards (CNAA) was set up
after the Robbins report, the Chairman Lord Kings Norton presented
the first degrees at the college in 1967. The college was poised
for enhanced status.
On 1st September 1969 the Secretary of State handed over the
designation document which states: This instrument records the
designation of this institution as a Polytechnic on 1st September
1969. In commemoration of this on behalf of HM Government I hereby
set my seal.
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