50 years: A force for positive change

This year marks 50 years since Leeds Polytechnic was established. From these widely respected foundations, the modern-day Leeds Beckett University has grown and developed.

The polytechnic brought together a number of specialist colleges to meet an increasing demand for professional and technical education in the city. It was the largest Polytechnic in Yorkshire with 3,000 full-time students and 4,000 part-time students with around 450 full-time teaching colleagues.

Today, Leeds Beckett University contributes £624m to the economy and is a community of more than 24,000 students and 3,000 colleagues. Its mission is to ensure that its knowledge and resources are used to make a decisive and positive difference to people, communities and organisations.

It provides academic, professional, vocational and applied learning, which contributes to the social, economic and cultural life of the city and region. Every year, the University’s graduates include the next generation of teachers, nurses, social workers, lawyers and many other front-line workers whose expertise benefits individuals, communities and wider society.

More recently the university has helped to establish, and now leads, a group of large local organisations forming the Leeds Anchors Network. This group is working together to help grow the Leeds economy and to foster inclusive growth, so that everyone can benefit from increasing prosperity.

The University has taken its role as an Anchor institution seriously. 51% of its purchasing spend is invested with Leeds based businesses, and £20m of this spend is with businesses in the top 20% most deprived areas of Leeds*.

Throughout 2020, the university will celebrate this contribution through stories which illustrate the impact on people, communities, business and the difference it will make in shaping the future of Leeds.

*Centre for Local Economic Strategies report 2019

Man in cap holding radio in front of Game of Thrones characters

From West Yorkshire to Westeros

Originally from Germany, Fabian Wagner graduated from the Northern Film School 2003 with an MA inFilm & Moving Image Production beforegoing on to work as a cinematographer inboth film and TV. Fabian has worked on shows including Game of Thrones, for which he won the American Society of Cinematographers Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series.


Tackling diversity in the classroom

An education programme aims to promote the integration of refugees, asylum seekers and newly-arrived migrants in the classroom. The Promise project - involving seven European partners - will develop strategies to address the integration of children and young people with special educational needs, ethnic minorities, Roma and Sinti populations and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Silhouette of woman drawing. Global Impact: Transforming the art of war.

Transforming the art of war

Dr Jill Gibbon, has been drawing international arms fairs since 2007 under the guise of a ‘war artist’. After eventually being challenged by a security guard, who noticed that she was drawing the dealers as well as the weapons, she took drastic measures to ensure she could continue to shine a spotlight on the secretive world of the international arms trade.

Scientists in lab

£10m plan to take Yorkshire's medical technologies expertise to the world

Innovative new medical technologies being developed at Leeds Beckett University – including a project using sensors to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease – will be supported by a new partnership aiming to support the commercialisation of university research.


Image of female lecturer with Global Impact, transforming conflict resolution writing over the top

Transforming conflict resolution

Imagine a world where trained, unarmed people can put an end to armed violence in their own communities. That’s what Dr Rachel Julian – a Reader in Leeds Beckett’s School of Social Sciences – is striving to achieve.

Man and woman smiling on the beach

Love in Leeds

Graduates Rossukon Mahutthanasakul, originally from Thailand and Di Zhao from China, met at Leeds Beckett when they studied MSc International Hospitality Management, graduating in 2004. They married in 2016 with Rossukon living and working in Bangkok and Di working in Beijing, China.

law global

Academic to lead new global law network

Education network OneHE has named Leeds Beckett University’s Dr Jessica Guth as the convenor of its Global Subject Centre for Law.

top 10 women in events graphic

MSc Events Management graduate included in the US Top Women in Events for 2019

Caz Lockwood, MSc Events Management graduate, has been included in the US Top Women in Events for 2019. The Top Women in Events is an initiative from LASSO recognising the top-performing women in the Events Industry for their positive impact on growth and the success of their teams.

Disclosure - Film Poster

Film crewed by students & staff from the Northern Film School received its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film festival

Feature film crewed by students & staff from the Northern Film School (NFS) to receive its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film festival in January 2020.

Image showing a woman using a Mac

New research to tackle the digital divide

The Department of Languages is taking part in a European-wide project to develop teachers’ digital skills and address the digital divide across the continent.

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