Expansion years

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 early 1950.

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 exchangers".

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.