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Celebrating 180 years of teaching and research excellence


2019 sees the 180th anniversary of our organisation, and we are looking forward to a year of celebration which started in October 2018 with the official opening by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex of our new Tech Park on our Bognor Regis campus.

The University was established in 1839 as a memorial to Bishop William Otter, who became Bishop of Chichester in 1836. Bishop Otter had a keen interest in the promotion of education – indeed, he founded and was the first Principal of King’s College London – and our Chichester campus bears his name to this day.

Over the years we have undergone many name changes and taken a role in key moments of modern history. We began life as the Bishop’s Training College and when we moved to our current location we were renamed Bishop Otter College.

In 1977 we became the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education following a merger with the Bognor Regis College of Education. In 1999 we became University College Chichester with our current name, University of Chichester, approved by the Privy Council in 2005.

The University has long been at the forefront of women’s education – we were among the leaders in female teacher training in the 1870s – and during the Second World War our Chichester campus played host to the Operations Room for RAF Tangmere, becoming the nerve centre to control the squadrons of fighter planes which took part in the D-Day landings.

We are planning a number of celebratory activities throughout 2019, including a major conference for regional business leaders in January, a local community picnic and open day in May, an anniversary celebration in the University Chapel of the Ascension, and our first summer Graduation Ceremony.

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