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UClan Expansion Plans & success of first UK Medical School in a decade

by Nikki Dale -

UCLan has recently spent £100 million upgrading its buildings, teaching technology and sporting facilities. A further indication of its ambition, the university in early 2017 also announced proposals for the investment of a further £200 million that will comprehensively transform its Preston campus over the next 10 years and see a rapid growth in student numbers.  See UClan Master Plan

This includes:

  • A £30 Million Engineering Innovation Centre
  • Landscaping of the campus and surrounding area
  • Development of student faculty buildings
  • Improving roads on and around the campus
  • UClan Medical School secures additional 15 UK-funded undergraduate places

Preston proudly launched a medical school in 2015, initially to a small number of self-funded and sponsored international students, it has now enrolled its first cohort of UK student.  In total, 12 places for UK undergraduate medical students were made available in September 2017. In a separate initiative, the University has also been successful in its bid to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to secure an additional 15 UK-funded undergraduate medical places and the successful applicants will commence their studies in September 2018.

Heroic move by UClan: In October 2017 in an amazing logistical feat UClan medical school organised in just nine days nearly 700 students and university staff, who were displaced by Hurricane Irma, to move 4,000 miles to Preston to continue their studies, days after being airlifted from their devastated Caribbean island.  The students and staff currently use UCLan’s medical school on evenings and weekends, to avoid disrupting the timetables of the university’s students.  UCLan vice-president, Prof Mike Thomas said: “We’ve taken the whole medical school – 650 students and 30-odd staff – and just lifted them lock, stock and barrel into Preston.

UCLan is the 8th largest university in the UK but its student population is critically undersupplied by its halls of residence accommodation. The available 2,200 beds are consequently limited to first year students. Preston is an excellent city for students. Although small by some city standards (the total population is 140,000) the fact that 32,000 students study at UCLan means that students are a large part of everyday life in the city. Students are welcomed with open arms as an important part of the city’s modern heritage, and a major contributor to its booming economy.  UCLan is one of only five universities in the UK to hold both ISO14001 certification for meeting certain environmental responsibilities and the Carbon Trust Standard.

  • UClan – the biggest employer in Preston
  • UCLan’s 36,000 strong community of students and professionals, contributing £300 million to the local economy annually

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) was founded in 1828, when it was known as the institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge.

The university offers in the region of 500 undergraduate and 200 postgraduate courses. It is a leading seat of learning in terms of developing degrees in the emerging disciplines of fashion, forensics, journalism, and sporting science. It continues to be instrumental in creating career prospects in the professions of architecture, astrophysics, and pharmacy. UCLan has also launched the first new School of Dentistry in the UK in over a century and its researchers are working with NASA on a project that is photographing the sun.

Student life in UCLan and Preston

The student body at UCLan totals approximately 30,000 students per annum which is more than Bristol, Cambridge or Westminster.  Because of its high standing in the world university community, UCLan is the chosen seat of learning for international students from 120 different countries and the university works to promote a healthy, proactive, multicultural environment.


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