York Diocesan Training School, for teacher education, opened in May 1841 with one pupil on the register, 16 year old Edward Preston Cordukes. (The current Students' Union building is named in his honour). 1846 saw the foundation of the Female Training School. Both prospered and the lack of space in York resulted in the move of the Women's College to Ripon in 1862. The college in York was described as St John's College from the late 1890s.
By 1904 St John's was the largest Diocesan College in the country with 112 students (today we have just over 5,000 students studying with us).
The 20th century saw both institutions develop new education programmes for increasing numbers of students, culminating in their unification as the College of Ripon & York St John in 1974.
Our relationship with the University of Leeds dates back to 1920. In 1990 we became a full College of the University. During the summer of 2001 College signed a new accreditation agreement with the University which allowed the maximum level of devolved responsibility that the University can give whilst retaining responsibility for the award of degrees.
In 1999 the College's Board of Governors decided to relocate all taught courses to the York campus - and by the end of 2001 all students and staff had transferred across to York. In view of the change of location a new name was chosen, York St John.
In September 2005 York St John was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers. Following this, YSJ received approval from the Privy Council of the United Kingdom to become a University College and adopted the full title of York St John University College on the 1 February 2006.
Our application for university status meant undergoing a further stage of assessment and scrutiny, however, we are now delighted to announce that as of 1 October 2006, York St John University College changed its name and identity to become York St John University. This tremendous achievement took place in York St John's 165th year. We can look back proudly over our long and successful history, but it is also with great excitement and anticipation that we look forward to our future as York St John University.
It was here at the University that economist and logician WS Jevons formulated the principles of modern economics.
Lewis Namier and AJP Taylor are just two of the world-famous names to grace the University's distinguished Department of History.
It was at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire that a young Bernard Lovell built the world's largest steerable radio telescope just after the Second World War.
Great traditions have also flourished in theology, architecture, mathematics, music and law and many other areas.
The catalogue of virtuosity goes on and on. Today's University is built on the shoulders of some real academic giants.
Vision for the future
The President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Professor Alan Gilbert, is leading a bold and exciting plan - the Manchester 2015 Agenda, which aims to make The University of Manchester one of the top 25 universities in the world.
The merger of UMIST and The Victoria University of Manchester in October 2004 presented a unique opportunity to rethink the very idea of a modern university and formulate a blueprint for the future.
The plan identifies goals for all the University's principal activities:
High international standing
Exemplary knowledge and technology transfer
Excellent teaching and learning
The UK's most accessible research intensive institution
Efficient and effective management
Internationally competitive resources
Increasingly effective community service
The vision for the University's future is an ambitious one. Its realisation will demand energy and commitment and superb execution.