The University of Cumbria is a British university established on 1 August 2007, with roots extending back to the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts established in 1822.
The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin's College
, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts
(CIA) and the Cumbrian
campuses of the University of Central Lancashire
. These institution formerly ran degree programmes accredited by Lancaster University
and the University of Central Lancashire. In order to facilitate the change, St Martin's College applied for independent degree-awarding powers in March 2005 and was successful in July 2006 after nine months of scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency. In January 2007 official university status was granted by the Privy Council
Structure and location
The University is based upon the findings of a report by Sir Martin Harris. This plan envisaged a university based upon a 'distributed learning network'. This network is based upon the idea that teaching will take place both at the University's main campuses, and at colleges of further education
around the county
. This will solve problems of access for remote areas that did not previously have direct access to higher education
The main campus of the University is in Carlisle. Its other campuses are at Penrith (formerly University of Central Lancashire in Cumbria), Ambleside, Barrow, Lancaster (formerly St Martin's College) and London.