University of Bolton applies for name change

The University of Bolton wants to change its name to “more accurately reflect the University’s activities.”

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The University of Bolton has announced intentions to change its name to the University of Greater Manchester.

An application has been submitted to the Office for Students, an independent higher education regulator, and the Department for Education. If approved, the name change would come into force on 1 August, 2024.

In a statement, the university’s president and vice chancellor, Professor George E Holmes DL Dsc, explained that the name change would “more accurately reflect the University’s activities which have spread throughout Greater Manchester.”

He said: “We want to become the first, and only, higher education provider to have its geographical designation drawn specifically from the Metropolitan County of Greater Manchester, which has no university carrying its name.”

The move is supported by the university’s board of governors and its Students’ Union, according to the statement, which also reiterates the university’s commitment to both the local community and the students.

University of Bolton takes number 10 in the North West, and 106 nationally.University of Bolton takes number 10 in the North West, and 106 nationally.
University of Bolton takes number 10 in the North West, and 106 nationally.

Professor George E Holmes said: “We are proud to be based in Bolton and indeed our roots are firmly embedded in this town, having been here for almost 200 years when the Bolton Mechanics Institute was formed.

“Moreover, we are committed to being part of the fabric of the community which is something we continue to demonstrate day in day out.

“Our primary focus is our students - it is paramount that they get the best possible experience and outcomes. We and our students via the Students’ Union, believe that graduate outcomes would be impacted positively by the name change.”

“The fact is, the University of Bolton has developed massively since I took the helm almost 20 years ago and has grown to become significantly active across Greater Manchester. We now have a University presence in Wigan, Trafford, Manchester City centre, Farnworth and Horwich.”

The statement also lists partner institutions where their students are registered, including Shockout Arts Ltd (Manchester), The City of Salford College, Aquinas College (Stockport) and The Growth Company (Manchester).

Professor George E Holmes also believes that the name change will not have a “problematic impact” on the other universities in Greater Manchester. He added: ““In fact, another strong university brand in Greater Manchester can only help the economic development of the region.”

The university’s future plans also include the creation of the Institute of Medical Sciences at the hospital site in Farnworth, funded by a £20m Levelling Up grant from the government. It is also planning a Medical School, one of only two in the county, which will be known as the Greater Manchester Medical School.

The Office of Students will now consult stakeholders via an Open Letter Consultation.

In the most recent Sunday Times Good University Guide, published on Friday 15 September, the University of Bolton ranked 106 out of 134 universities in the country and tenth out of 12 North West universities. It saw the largest improvement in national rankings out of all Greater Manchester universities, having risen from 124th in 2023.