York St John University

The modern University.

On 11 December 1839 a meeting of the Diocesan Society was held in York by the Archbishop, Vernon Harcourt.  His son William, a well-known reformer, was present, amongst others.  It was decided that a teacher training school would be built in York. 

Two weeks later it was announced:
"It was resolved upon, as the most powerful means of remedying the existing defects in the Education both of the Poor and Middle Classes of Society, to establish a School for the purpose of Training Masters in the Art and Practice of Teaching; and it was determined to found such a School at York as soon as sufficient funds should be raised in the Diocese to maintain it."

The new college opened in May 1841 with a principal, masters and just a single student.  It was initially called York and Ripon Diocesan Training School for Masters . 

Ripon is a neighbouring market town which, in 1836, had become a diocese in its own right with its own bishop and cathedral.  The new college was a joint project between the two diocese of York and Ripon and in 1862 a 'sister' Women's College opened in Ripon. The two institutions were formally merged in the 1970's during a restructure of higher education.

By this time the 'College of Ripon & York St John', as it became known, had expanded its range of courses well beyond the training of school teachers, offering "higher education leading to work in a wide range of professions and occupations".

The college continued to grow and diversify in the last quarter of the 20th century.  Early in the new millenium it moved out of the Ripon campus and consolidated its teaching in York, a controversial move at the time.  In October 2006, nearly 170 years after its foundation, the 'Training School for Masters' officially became York St John University.