< Back to 50th Anniversary
lantern
lantern
lantern
lantern
lantern
lantern
22_Firework_3
22_Firework_2
22_Firework_1

Our history

Explore the successes and milestones from our 125 year heritage and our first 50 years in Guildford.

01_BatPower

1891

The forerunner of the University, the Battersea Polytechnic Institute was founded.

02_Stag

1934

The Students' Union was established and is still going strong today, with more students getting involved with volunteering, sports and societies than ever before.

1966

University Charter

The Queen granted a Royal Charter establishing the University of Surrey, and also granted the University the authority to 'bear arms'.

04_Craine

1966

Construction begins on the University's new campus in Guildford. The main campus was built on a site close to town as Guildford and the University wanted to grow and develop together.

Students Arrviving

1968

Students arrive on the new University campus for the first time.

1971

Daphne Jackson becomes the UK's first (and, until 1989, only) female Professor of Physics.

The Daphne Jackson Trust offers fellowships to scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians wishing to return to their research careers after taking a break for family reasons.

NASA launch university team

1981

NASA launches UoSAT-1, the University's first small satellite.

08_Dome
DomeOverlay

1982

The iconic Geodesic Dome is presented to the University and is still a key landmark on our beautiful campus.

Aerial shot of Surrey Research Park

1985

Surrey Research Park's first tenants take up residence. Over 500 companies have since been residents on the Research Park, creating more than 7,000 technology jobs.

1986

Professor Alf Adams invents the strained quantum-well laser, since used in billions of optical electronic devices (such as CDs, DVD players and barcode readers) and in the fibre-optic telecommunication equipment that powers the internet.

1988

Perfoming Art and Technology Studios opened, home to the elite Tonmeister degree course. Former students have won Oscars, BAFTAs and Mercury prizes for music, sound recording, film soundtracks and studio production.

Two nurses

1995

European Institute of Health and Medical Sciences established.
Now called the School of Health Sciences, it is a leading centre for teaching and research in e-health, healthcare and social care.

The Queen at the Surrey Space Centre

1998

HM The Queen visits campus to open the Surrey Space Centre.

Surrey and DUFE of China logo

2006

Surrey launches a joint academic institution in partnership with Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE) in Dalian, China.

2009

Guildford School of Acting (GSA) merges with Surrey.

Performance action shot

GSA is the world's foremost conservatoire for musical-theatre training, with former students to be found among the cast in almost every West End show.

16_Sat

2009

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd is sold to EADS Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) in the largest ever spin-out deal from a British university.

17_SportsPark

2010

Surrey Sports Park opens. One of the finest university sports facilities in Europe, it is used by elite sports stars as well as staff, students and the local community.

2011

Surrey is awarded a third Queen's Anniversary Prize, for our research into the provision of safe water and sanitation. Previous prizes were awarded for our research and development of ion beams and optoelectronic devices, and our work in satellite communications.

2011

Ivy Arts Centre opened by HRH The Duke of Kent.

18_IvyArts

Our performing arts and production students use the Ivy's state-of-the-art facilities to put on sell-out shows of a professional standard.

Why not come along to a performance?

2015

HM The Queen visits campus again to open the School of Veterinary Medicine's new buildings.

Queen with Vet at Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine

Surrey partnered with the veterinary profession, including Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, to open only the second new vet school in the UK since 1965.

2015

HRH The Duke of Kent visits campus to open the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC).

The Duke of Kent at the Surrey 5G Innovation Centre

The 5GIC is now the largest UK academic research centre dedicated to the development of the next generation of mobile and wireless communications.

The Duke of Kent at the Surrey 5G Innovation Centre

2015

Surrey is ranked in the top 10 by all the major league tables and awarded The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year 2016.

2016

We’re planning a special programme of events to mark our 50th anniversary year.

Join the celebrations