One of our most iconic founding institutions, the Hornsey College of Art, becomes a hub for progressive art. It’s here where the the arts curriculum and student democracy were pioneered, leading to the famous student sit in in 1968. Hornsey College of Art was founded by Charles Swinstead, an artist and teacher, who had a vision for an art institution following breakthrough reforms in art education in the 1960s. Hornsey, is one of only two art schools that remained open during World War 2.
1947 – ‘secret listeners’ spy on German prisoners on our site
1960 - the people’s polytechnic introduced
Students at the Hornsey College of Art stage their famous overnight sit-in to protest the withdrawal of funds for the Students’ Union. What started with a one night sit-in ended up as a six week occupation, where the student body ran the college with energy and efficiency, repairing older spaces and drafting reformations to arts education. Then seen as a radical but transformative move, this revolution paved the way for the rights of all students.
Today, our Students’ Union continues to be ground-breaking and in 2017 was recognised as the best Students’ Union of the Year for their work in the local community.
Enfield and Hendon Colleges of Technology and the Hornsey College of Art come together to form Middlesex Polytechnic, a radical new type of university focussing on practical skills over academic theory.
The Principal of Enfield College, George Brosnan, and his deputy Eric Robinson have lead the fight for a new concept for higher education - the polytechnic – since the sixties. Polytechnics were higher education institutes that moved away from the traditional university model and sought to embrace the needs of their local communities.
1992 – University’s first Vice-Chancellor appointed
The Dalai Lama spends three days at Trent Park as part of the Interfaith Festival hosted by Middlesex University. The Festival drew in many celebrities including Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn and Koo Stark.
1996 – Professor Michael Driscoll becomes Vice-Chancellor
1996, 1998, 2000 – three Queen’s Anniversary Prizes
Peter Luck-Hille opens Middlesex University Real Tennis Club – the third of its kind in the country – making the 16th century sport accessible in the 21st century. The only other universities with a real tennis court are Oxford and Cambridge.
Our Students’ Union is recognised for its ground-breaking work with students and the local community alike and wins the first ever Students’ Union of the Year award.
“To have been recognised as the most innovative, inspiring and inclusive Students’ Union in the UK should make everybody involved in MDXSU and Middlesex University proud. Whether it is campaigning to resettle refugees and funding their studies at Middlesex, improving mental health provisions on campus or working alongside local faith leaders to tackle Islamophobia and Anti–Semitic hate crime, the work of students’ unions like ours really does matter.”
- Ed Marsh, CEO of MDXSU