Our history

Entrance, UCA Canterbury

Our founder colleges in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester opened their doors in Victorian times. Each of these colleges made it their mission to serve local people in the communities in which they were based and to offer education irrespective of social class.

The curriculum and buildings may have changed since then but the passion for creativity and education remains and influences everything we do.

After a series of mergers, the University for the Creative Arts achieved full university title in 2008. This was wonderful news for staff, students and alumni alike, as the creation of a specialist creative arts university acknowledged the growing importance of the subjects we teach. The appointment of Zandra Rhodes as our first Chancellor in May 2010 completed this process for us.

Below are some key dates in the University for the Creative Arts' history:

Timeline

1866 Farnham School of Art founded

1867 Maidstone College of Art founded

1870 Guildford School of Art founded

1882 Canterbury School of Art founded

1886 Medway College of Design founded

1896 Epsom & Ewell School of Art founded

1948 Canterbury School of Architecture founded

1969 Guildford School of Art and Farnham School of Art merge to form West Surrey College of Art and Design (WSCAD)

1970 To accommodate the rapidly growing West Surrey College of Art and Design, a new purpose-built campus is constructed in Falkner Road, Farnham

1987 Kent Institute of Art & Design is formed through the amalgamation of three art colleges in Kent (Maidstone College of Art, Medway College of Design and Canterbury Art College) and the Canterbury School of Architecture

1989 The Education Reform Act of 1988 is legislated and incorporates The West Surrey College of Art and Design along with the Kent Institute of Art & Design

1992 Kent Institute of Art & Design is granted the power to award University of Kent degrees.

1992 The West Surrey College of Art and Design is granted accreditation by the Privy Council, giving it the power to award its own degrees

1995 The newly merged West Surrey College of Art and Design changes its name to The Surrey Institute of Art & Design

1999 The Privy Council grants The Surrey Institute 'University College' title, reflecting its taught degree awarding powers

2005 The University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester is established through the merger of The Surrey Institute of Art & Design and the Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD)

2008 After being granted university title by the Privy Council, the new name of University for the Creative Arts is adopted

2010 Zandra Rhodes is installed as the University's first Chancellor

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