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Chichester University

by Sofia Hill

Bishop Otter College 1870's

By Sofia Hill, Placement Student at The Novium Museum.

The University of Chichester is our City's university which has origins that can be traced back to the early 1800's.

Bishop's Training College, for training schoolmasters, was established in April 1839, in memory of Bishop William Otter - the City's Bishop who had a particular interest in promoting education. In October 1850 the training college moved sites and was renamed Bishop Otter College, the buildings still stand at the University today, enriching the campus with history.

In 1873 the college became a training college for women due to a campaign by Louisa Hubbard to encourage the acceptance of women as teachers. The college remained women only until 1957 when male students were then introduced.

Throughout the Second World War, in 1942 the RAF commandeered the Bishop Otter College, staff and students were evacuated to Stockwell College, Bromley. A lecture room on the Bishop Otter campus became the operations room of RAF Tangmere and it would play a vital role in the D-Day landings in 1944, controlling squadrons of fighter planes involved.

The Bognor Regis College of Education was founded in 1946 as an emergency teacher training college for men and women due to a shortage of teachers after the Second World War. The Bognor Regis College and Bishop Otter College merged in 1977 to form the West Sussex Institution for Higher Education - more commonly known as WSIHE. The name was then changed in 1995 to represent the identity and location of the University becoming the Chichester Institute for Higher Education. In 1999 the name was changed to the University College Chichester as a result of becoming an institution with degree awarding powers in its own right. In October, 2005 the university's title was changed one final time to the University of Chichester after being approved by the Privy Council.

The university currently has fourteen different departments of study, including the Institute for Education, Institute of Sport, History, Arts and many more. The university participates in a variety of sporting events such as BUCS (British Universities and College Sport) as well as weekly training.