Cranfield University is a British postgraduate and research-based public university specialising in science, engineering, technology and management. Cranfield was founded as the College of Aeronautics in 1946. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the development of many aspects of aircraft research and design led to considerable growth and diversification into other areas such as manufacturing and management. In 1967, the Cranfield School of Management was founded. In 1969, the College of Aeronautics became The Cranfield Institute of Technology incorporated by Royal Charter and gained degree awarding powers and became a university in its own right. In 1993, it adopted its current name.
Cranfield University's motto, 'post nubes lux', means 'after clouds light'. It is depicted on the Cranfield University coat of arms which was introduced when the University was awarded its Royal Charter.
Cranfield University was formed in 1946 as the College of Aeronautics, on the then Royal Air Force base of RAF Cranfield. A major role was played in the development of the college by Roxbee Cox, later Lord Kings Norton, who was appointed to be the first governor of the college in 1945 and then served as vice-chair and (from 1962) chair of the board. He led the drive for the college to diversify, with the Cranfield University School of Management being established in 1967, and petitioned successfully for a royal charter and degree awarding powers. When these were granted in 1969, he became the first chancellor of the Cranfield Institute of Technology, serving until 1997.
Cranfield Institute of Technology (1969-1993)
The Cranfield Institute of Technology was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1969, giving the institution its own degree-awarding powers and making it a full university in its own right.
An academic partnership with the Royal Military College of Science (RMCS) at Shrivenham was formed in 1984. RMCS, whose roots can be traced back to 1772, is now a part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and now forms the Defence College of Management and Technology, known as 'DCMT' and from 2009 as "Cranfield Defence and Security". RMCS became wholly postgraduate in c.2007 with undergraduate courses moved elsewhere.
Cranfield University (1993-present)
In 1993 the institution's Royal Charter was amended changing its name to Cranfield University. A decade later in 2003, Cranfield became wholly postgraduate and the Shrivenham site admitted its last undergraduates. In 2009 Silsoe College was closed and its activities were relocated to the main campus at Cranfield.
Location and campus
Location of Cranfield and Shrivenham campuses in England
Cranfield University Library
Cranfield campus is approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of central London and adjacent to the village of Cranfield, Bedfordshire. The nearest large towns are Milton Keynes and Bedford, the centres of which are both about 8 miles (13 km) away. Cambridge is about 30 miles (48 km) east.
Shrivenham is about 73 miles (117 km) west of London, adjacent to Shrivenham village, 7 miles (11 km) from the centre of the nearest town, Swindon, and around 23 miles (37 km) from Oxford. The Cranfield campus sits within the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor where there are plans to link these cities and stimulate economic growth. There are also plans for a tram system between Milton Keynes and Cranfield University, although this is still at an early planning stage.
There are a number of companies located on the Cranfield University Technology Park ranging from large international companies to small start-ups. Major companies on the park include:
The Nissan Technical Centre Europe, which designs and develops cars for the European market. The NTC Europe facility occupies 19,700 square metres (0.0076 square miles) of the Technology Park, representing an investment of £46m by Nissan.
Innovation Centre: the Technology Park is also the location for a large number of smaller companies.
Prior to 2016:
Trafficmaster plc occupied a 10-acre (40,000 m2) site for its European Headquarters. A leading company in telematics, Trafficmaster's advanced technology enables cars and roads to be used more efficiently.
Cranfield University is the academic partner in project with Milton Keynes Council to establish an undergraduate campus, code-named MK:U, in nearby Milton Keynes. The plan anticipates opening by 2023, with a campus in Central Milton Keynes. In January 2019, the Council and its partner, Cranfield University, an international competition to design a new campus near the Central railway station. In May 2019, Santander Bank announced a 'seed funding' grant of £30M to help with building and initial running costs.
Cranfield Defence and Security, known as CDS, at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom's Shrivenham site (formerly the Defence College of Management and Technology/Royal Military College of Science).
Cranfield University’s specialist areas of focus, or Cranfield themes, aims to bring a range of academic disciplines together in order to tackle the grand challenges facing the world within a range of industrial and commercial sectors. These are Water, Agrifood, Energy and Power, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Transport Systems, Defence and Security and Business/Management.
Within Cranfield University’s postgraduate environment, the academic disciplines work closely together, blending as they do in the commercial world and industry to deliver real world solutions.
As an exclusively postgraduate university, Cranfield University is excluded from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, The Times World Rankings, The Complete University Guide and The Guardian, which focuses on helping prospective undergraduate students to compare universities. As the university is postgraduate, direct comparison with undergraduate institutions is difficult. Some key facts and figures are:
Cranfield University is in the top 1% of institutions in the world for alumni who hold CEO positions at the world's top companies according to the Centre for World University Rankings, 2017.
Cranfield School of Management’s full-time one-year MBA programme was named 7th in the world and 1st in the UK and its MSc in Finance and Management was named 6th in the world and 2nd in the UK by the Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal in 2018.
Cranfield University was ranked 27th in the world for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering by the QS World University Rankings in 2015.
Cranfield has received the Queen's Anniversary Prize five times: in 2005 for Further and Higher Education for the Fellowship in Manufacturing Management (FMM) programme; in 2007 for its role in humanitarian demining; in 2011 for contribution to aviation safety through research and training in accident investigation; in 2015 for its work in water and sanitation; and in 2017 for its research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources.
Students on Cranfield's Global Security programme were awarded the Imbert Prize in 2006, 2008 and 2009 for the development of ideas for the advancement of risk and security management in the UK.
In 2015/16, 49% of Cranfield University's students were from the United Kingdom, 25% from Europe and 26% from the rest of the world. Cranfield University's student to staff ratio is 5:1, second among all UK universities.
More than half of Cranfield University's students are over 30 years of age.
Cranfield University has close links with more than 130 universities in the Americas, Asia and Oceania, Europe, Middle East and Africa. The University collaborates with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) on SUSS’s BEng Aerospace Systems.
The IMRC - Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre at Cranfield University is a project funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) undertaking research that addresses issues identified in the UK government’s High Value Manufacturing strategy.
Cranfield University Student Accommodation
Facilities at the Cranfield University campus include a sports centre, which incorporates a fitness centre and aerobics studio, playing fields, sports pitches and several tennis courts. There are wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars available for students and staff.
Cranfield Students Association (CSA) is the students' union and runs the main student bar, cafe and shop on the Cranfield campus. It is based in building 114 close to the centre of the campus.
The CSA is run by a team of elected students and supported by a small team of staff. The aim of the CSA is to support and represent Cranfield University students, promote student welfare and organise social, cultural and sporting activities.
The student newspaper is called Entropy.
At the Cranfield University campus there are a wide range of accommodation options for full time students, from halls of residence to shared houses, apartments for couples and houses for families.
For part time students, there are two options available - the 186 room Cranfield Management Development Centre and the 114 room Mitchell Hall, both of which are situated on campus.
^ abc"Cranfield College of Aeronautics history". Cranfield University. n.d. p. 1. Retrieved 28 December 2017. The institution ... was granted university status in 1969 becoming the Cranfield Institute of Technology and it changed its name to Cranfield University in 1993