Leeds College of Art is awarded university status

Image source, Leeds Arts University
Image caption,
The new Leeds Arts University is building a £14m extension

An arts college has been awarded university status, making it the fourth in Leeds.

Leeds College of Art has become Leeds Arts University, joining the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University.

The institution said it is "the only specialist arts university in the North of England".

Founded in 1846, former students include renowned artists Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Damien Hirst.

The university said the change in its status would "give us more autonomy over such things as planning and delivering new courses".

It is now the smallest university in Leeds with just under 2,000 students, compared with 3,700 at Leeds Trinity, almost 26,000 at Leeds Beckett and almost 32,000 at the University of Leeds.

Chris Clements, chairman of the board of governors, said he was "delighted" at the college becoming a university.

"As a specialist arts university we have a strong reputation for delivering excellent teaching in a close-knit creative community, and will continue to nurture this environment in this new phase of growth, he said.

The new university has started work on a £14m expansion, creating a five-storey building that will house will house an auditorium, music, film and photography studios and a library.

Image source, Leeds Arts University
Image caption,
Students taking part in Rag Week in 1946

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