In the first of six special Diamond Jubilee features celebrating research at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), we look back to our beginnings in 1962, the research then and how things have progressed to the present day. 

From beginning as a small local college into a higher education institution with an international presence today, Canterbury Christ Church has brought so much positive change for us all through education and research.

Professor Rama ThirunamachandranVice-Chancellor

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In this section

Our beginnings

Canterbury Christ Church University started out as a teacher training college in response to a national shortage of teachers. Today, our courses and research continue to influence education practice and policy in the UK and around the world.
Christ Church College opens
Archbishop of Canterbury and Dr Frederick Mason (1962)
Local press photo of the opening of the College. Archbishop of Canterbury (centre) and Dr Frederick Mason (left)

See how we’ve grown

Just 4% of young people went to university in the early 1960s. In 2022 that figure has grown to 40%.
Early 1960’s

Late 1970’s

Today 2022

We have seen a similar rise in our own student numbers. We started in 1962 with 75 students and now we have over 17,000. Over 1,000 of these are international students - highlighting our international growth.
Image showing number of students in 1962, 1988 and 2022
Number of students over the years
Black and white photo of student sitting on bed on campus
Life on campus in one of our halls of residence in the 1960s.

Researchers tools

Whilst we now enjoy state-of-the-art research tools, in the early days things were very different!
Card indexes
Books and articles were catalogued alphabetically in card indexes, held in large sets of wooden drawers. Students had to search to find where a book was stored in the library.
Black and white photo of students using card indexes
Students using card indexes
Microfiche are thin, flat sheets of transparent photographic film on which details of books, articles, reports or other information could be viewed using a special piece of magnifying equipment.
Student using a microfiche
Student using a microfiche

Research at Canterbury Christ Church University

In the early days, Christ Church students and staff were busy undertaking research in our libraries and laboratories. It wasn't until the 1970s that they could use our then ‘state of the art’ college computer terminal!
Black and white photo of a student working at a computer terminal
The College computer terminal in use
Black white photo of students in a physics labortory
Students in a physics laboratory
Black and white photo of lecturer in a science laboratory
Lecturer in a science laboratory
Black and white photo of student looking through a microscope in a biology laboratory
Student in a biology laboratory

60 years in 60 seconds: Diamond Jubilee vlogs.

To celebrate the CCCU Diamond Jubilee, we challenged six of our research leaders to tell us about the legacy of our research in just 60 seconds. These will be uploaded sequentially as they are produced so check back regularly for new ones!