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Quad buildingYork St John is a prestigious university with roots going back to the 1840’s. 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 which moved 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 almost 6,000 students studying with us).

After rapid development of its subject base and student numbers both institutions merged to become the College of Ripon & York St John in 1974. The University has also had a long and productive relationship with the University of Leeds dating back to 1920. The University continues to validate research 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 and a new name was chosen, York St John.

In September 2005 York St John was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers. Following this, York St John received approval from the Privy Council of the United Kingdom to become a University and adopted the full title of York St John University on the 1 October 2006, followed by the installation of its first Chancellor Archbishop Sentamu in March 2007.

Today the University is based on an award winning campus in the centre of York with almost 6,000 students studying on a wide range of subjects. It has a wide network of regional, national and international partnerships with a highly recognised reputation for its teaching and learning.


Heritage Room

John MawJohn Maw, former student and staff member has developed a heritage room at York St John. The room provides a central location for an ever growing collection of documents, photographs and other objects from the university’s past.  This collection provides a unique picture of life at the university through the eyes of its students. 

The heritage room contains a wide variety of material relating to individual students, clubs and societies, and the University as a whole. This will provide a place for former students to relive their years spent studying; it is also be a fantastic resource for current and prospective students to learn about university history. 


The Heritage Trail

John Maw T: 01904 424514 E: j.maw@yorksj.ac.uk) would be pleased to hear from individuals or groups who would welcome a guided tour.