A pioneering modern civic university

Liverpool John Moores University

Over the last 25 years, LJMU has learned how to 'dream, plan, achieve', evolving into today's modern civic university with ambitious plans for the future.

Incorporation brought a degree of financial independence unknown during the Polytechnic years, and saw the introduction of five-year planning cycles. Each of the University’s strategic plans, the latest covering 2017-2022, have consistently emphasised a quality agenda, spanning all operations. LJMU also gained its own degree awarding powers and reconstituted its Board of Governors. The school-based structure remained however, and it continues to evolve and grow, with long established schools, such as Pharmacy and Art, being joined by new areas, such as the Centre for Advanced Policing Studies, reflecting changes to the portfolio and student demand.

Research, too, began to play a more central role across all disciplines in the University. In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), LJMU reported notable research strengths in general engineering and sports-related sciences. By the 2008 RAE, LJMU was the top-performing post-92 university for Anthropology, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, General Engineering, Physics (Astrophysics) and Sports-Related Studies. Six years later, the University posted even stronger results in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), with every unit of assessment submitted rated as at least 45% internationally excellent or better.

To support both its research and scholarship activities and the regeneration of Liverpool, LJMU has invested heavily in transforming its campus since 1992. New facilities developed include the Avril and Aldham Robarts Libraries as well as the award-winning Tom Reilly and John Lennon Art and Design Buildings. Capital investments continue, with future plans including the development of a new dedicated student life building on the Copperas Hill site.

In line with the ethos of the Mechanics’ Institute, ensuring equal access to education has remained a constant goal for LJMU, evidenced in 2005 by the launch of the 24/50 scheme to help increase the number of local people at the University. New bursaries and scholarships were also established, and such financial support continues today, as do LJMU’s links with schools across the North West, North Wales and Northern Ireland. Such partnerships help raise aspirations and encourage people from disadvantaged backgrounds or under-represented groups to believe that a university education is within their grasp – a mission that LJMU’s earliest founders would surely have supported.

The roots of the University began with the idea of serving the city community – promoting the academic, social and cultural qualities which make for better citizens – whether through educational opportunity, public service and welfare, enterprise, or being a centre for informed debate and the introduction of new knowledge and ideas. The enlightened groups and individuals whose energy and benefaction went into the establishment of these early institutions believed in these principles, and their vision remains integral to LJMU’s values as a pioneering modern civic university.