We’ve all got that friend that goes to university in an incredibly beautiful town (that we have never heard of before…) Perhaps, you go there yourself? Well, if that’s the case then your uni town might be gaining city status soon. In fact, it’s been announced that 8 UK university towns will be becoming cities for the Queen’s Jubilee. Intrigued? Well, read on to find out which UK towns are the lucky winners.
Colchester, England: The University of Essex
First on our list is Colchester, England’s oldest recorded town. It’s set in the county of Essex in the South East of England and is known for its impressive Victorian architecture. This includes the Colchester town hall and old castle. The Colchester campus is part of The Univerity of Essex and the largest of the university’s three sites. It’s a stunning Campus and is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland and is home to 15,000 students.
Milton Keynes, England: University of Bedfordshire
Milton Keynes is the largest town in Buckinghamshire, England which is 50 miles northwest of London. This town is home to plenty of green spaces and has a population of 230,000. It’s home to students of the University of Bedfordshire who study at the Milton Keynes campus and it’s the second city on our list to be acquiring city status.
Doncaster, England: The University Centre Doncaster
You’ve probably heard of Doncaster, a town in Yorkshire, northern England. It has some gorgeous architecture but what it’s actually famous for is horse racing. In fact, it hosts two famous horse races: The Doncaster Cup, which is the oldest horse race in the world, and the St Leger Stakes. This is the oldest classic horse race in the world. Doncaster is the next town on our list to be acquiring city status which is great for all of the students doing degrees, foundation degrees and Masters at the University Centre Doncaster.
Douglas, Isle of Man: The University College Isle of Man
Following on, we have Douglas, the capital town of the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea. The town has some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK. In fact, A 2019 survey by HSBC ranked the Island as the best place to live in the British Isles. What’s more, it is the centre for The University College Isle of Man which is associated with the University of Chester. Some of the degrees on offer at the university include Art and Design, History and Nursing.
Dunfermline, Scotland: Fife College
Next up on our list is Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland. What’s interesting is that this small town (and soon to be a city) was once the capital of Scotland in the mid 11th Century. In fact, it stayed that way until the murder of James I in 1437 when administrative power and capital status were passed over to Edinburgh instead. Dunfermline is home to Fife college, where degrees are offered in partnership with Abertay University and Queen Margeret University.
Wrexham, Wales: Wrexham Glyndwr University
Now on to wales and Wrexham is the next university city on our list. This market town is located between the Welsh mountains and the lower dee valley. It’s known for hosting Wrexham A.F.C. (one of the oldest professional football teams in the world) and it is the next university town on our list to be acquiring city status for the Queen’s Jubilee. Likewise, Wrexham is home to students who study at the Wrexham Glyndwr University. Students are able to choose from a range of degrees such as Animal Science, Business, Criminology and psychology.
So, there you have it: Those are the UK university towns that are becoming cities for the Queen’s Jubilee. There are also a couple more towns that are getting the honour and these are Stanley in the Falkland Islands and Bangor in Northern Ireland.
What’s the benefit of a town acquiring city status?
Because we know you’re asking…
In short, acquiring city status doesn’t change a lot. It’s been suggested that in order to acquire city status a town must tick certain boxes such as having a university, a cathedral or a large population but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, the definition of a city in the UK is a place that has been granted city status by the monarch. So, basically, that could apply anywhere!
In a BBC article, Prof John Beckett, who has written a book on the subject, says the appeal of becoming a city is a “status thing”. There are no privileges, tax breaks or new monuments that are unveiled. At most, it helps to put a town on the map… So, there you have it.
Do you go to any of the universities on this list and does acquiring ‘city status’ mean anything to you? Share your opinions in the comments section!