Unusual college facts

Find out some unusual facts about colleges across the country.

Seevic College

  • Seevic College’s archaeology team uncovered a flint dating back 5,000 years, proving there was prehistoric activity around the college

Buxton and Leek College

  • The Devonshire Dome homes the Buxton campus – the largest unsupported dome in Europe – bigger than St Peter’s Basilica and St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Devonshire Dome is home to a Foucault pendulum - a simple device conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth
  • The Spa within the Devonshire Dome, where students train, was voted the Best Spa in the Country by Professional Beauty Magazine

Fircroft College

  • Fircroft College of Adult Education was founded in 1909 by George Cadbury Junior

East Durham College

  • Offers a grave digging course
  • There was a colliery on the site, which dates from 1842.
  • The site also included an isolation hospital from 1893, for people with infectious diseases

Hartpury College

  • We’re the world’s largest equine college
  • We have the highest number of residential students of any UK college (i.e. students living on campus)
  • We’re the most successful sporting college in the UK
  • During World War I, Hartpury House was used to house Australian convalescent soldiers and during the second world war, it was an auxiliary hospital used by the army, navy and air force with just under 5000 patients. Between the wars, it was used by nuns!
  • We were the first college to receive the highest level of UK Anti-doping (UKAD) accreditation
  • We were the first college to employ a performance lifestyle manager for our elite athletes
  • We’re the only college to host a 3* equine event (the International Horse Trials) and last year’s Festival of Dressage saw Olympic gold medallist, Charlotte Dujardin OBE, compete on world record holding horse, Valegro
  • Valegro using water treadmill
    Valegro using the water treadmill
    Dressage star and world record holding horse Valegro, who won in the Olympics with Charlotte Dujradin comes in every few weeks to use the water treadmill
  • Our animal collection boasts piranhas, wallabies and baby boa constrictors!

South Devon

  • One of only two places in the UK to offer a Foundation Degree in Yacht Operations

Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College:

  • We were founded in 1527, during the reign of Henry VIII
  • Former students include football legend, Teddy Sheringham, musician Johnny Dankworth, presenter June Sarpong and winner of BBC’s The Voice 2014, Jermain Jackman
  • Look out for former student and sprinter, Chijindu Ujah at this summer’s Olympics in Rio – Chijindu recently became Britain’s third fastest man ever!

Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education

  • We are one of only a few further education colleges in the country to have its own working wind turbine.
  • The Grimsby institute Group is the only college in the UK to have its own TV company; Estuary TV.
  • We sell 12,000 jacket potatoes each academic year, the equivalent in weight to three Walruses!

Kingston College

  • 1849: Kingston Technical College borne out of “Whiskey Money”, a higher spirit tax used to help promote “scientific and technical instruction”
  • 1893: Small provision designated for the “domestic teaching of women”
  • 1893: The cost of a course was 6d (2 ½ pence)
  • 1914-18: The First World War saw special classes in Ambulance, Nursing and Invalid Cookery being taught. Munitions workers were trained in the Mechanical Engineering workshop. Aero-engineering, Aeroplane Design, Economy of Food and Gardening in Wartime classes proved popular.
  • 1957-60: Pupils from a local girls’ school attended Ballroom dancing classes on a Wednesday afternoon

South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College

  • The origins of SGS College Stroud Campus (formerly Stroud College) date back to 1853 with the formation of the Stroud Mutual Improvement Society. This offered lectures and classes in a range of subjects to local people, in a former pub called the Golden Heart in King Street.
  • SGS College recently bought a nuclear power station, which is being developed into a new campus that will offer some of the best training facilities in the country for the science, technology, mathematics and engineering industries and will also house a University Technical College (UTC).
  • SGS College holds the Guinness World Record for the “World's Longest Hair Extension”

Cambridge Regional College

Guildford College

  • In 1939  the college building completed and opened. Parts are immediately requisitioned for war purposes. Young RAF and Naval Officers trained on the site in radar technology. Courses are offered in commerce, science, engineering, building and domestic subjects, almost entirely in the evening.
  • In 1963 the college mascot, a stuffed Canadian grizzly bear, discovered mid-Atlantic on board liner bound for America. It was rescued, brought home and renovated.

Lowestoft College

  • Lowestoft College is a leading UK maritime college with an impressive portfolio of facilities and courses to meet the needs of the global shipping industry. Ships captains, officers and crew come to Lowestoft College for specialist training to ensure their skills and knowledge are maintained to the highest level.
  • Lowestoft College’s purpose built Environmental Survival Pool can realistically simulate hostile sea conditions in controlled safety; wind, waves, rain, varying visibility and a range of sound effects all contribute to produce a testing environment in which personnel can gain the skills needed to survive.

Shipley College

  • As Shipley College is located in the World Heritage Site of Saltaire, their students are based in buildings which combine contemporary features with the historic.

Bradford College

  • Bradford College holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest onion bhaji. It weighed 102.2 kg and was made by cookery students with chef Colin Burt and Prashad Restaurant in Bradford on 28 September 2011.  The following year the college made the world’s biggest vegetable samosa – at 110kg - but that was bettered, in July 2016, by a group of students in India. 
  • Bradford College’s Women’s Boxing Programme won the 2012 Podium Gold Awards, run by the Further and Higher Education unit for the London Olympics. The awards recognised the contribution the College made towards the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Boxing programme won the ‘Outstanding Sporting Project Award’ and was instrumental in driving female participation in the sport, as well as promoting the Olympic and Paralympic values. 

Basingstoke College of Technology

  • Since May 2014, the college has had two bee hives – unusual for a non-agricultural, urban college. At the end of each season (September/October), the college harvests the honey. Follow the bees on Twitter @buzzbcot

Do you know of any other unusual facts? Contact Andrea Jones to add them to the list.