About us

Vision and values

At BU our vision is to be recognised worldwide as a leading university for inspiring learning, advancing knowledge and enriching society through the Fusion of education, research and practice.

Our motto is Discere Mutari Est – to learn is to change. This runs through everything we do – co-creating knowledge with, and for, the wider community to change perceptions, policies, practices, and lives. We work with businesses, healthcare providers, third-sector organisations and government bodies to share expertise and gain insights that shape our education and research, providing solutions to societal challenges.

Our values are creativity, responsibility, excellence and inclusivity.

Our people and culture

BU people are welcoming and friendly. We are open minded and informal, and do our best to live our values of creativity, responsibility, excellence and inclusivity.

Fusion means that we expect our academic staff to be research active, engaged with practice and industry and participating in education. The 2020/21 HESA staff record shows that 85% of our academic staff have an employment function of ‘teaching and research’ against a sector average of 44%.  62% of our academic staff have doctorates, compared to 54% across the sector, and as of November 2022 80% of academic staff held some form of teaching qualification.


The University has strengthened its financial position in recent years. The key driver for our growth has been our success in attracting more students to our university, and in recruiting from a broad range of backgrounds in an increasingly competitive environment. The financial statements show a strong performance for 2022/23 with all BU2025 Financial KPIs being met or exceeded. Our future plans are for growth and diversification in order to remain financially resilient.

Our locations

The University has three campus sites across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.  Together with our strategic partners we embarked on a c£250m development programme in 2013.  This led to the refurbishment of many buildings within our legacy estate and the delivery of several new landmark constructions.  These landmark buildings include our Poole and Bournemouth Gateway Buildings.  Sitting at the entrance of the town, the Bournemouth Gateway at 10,000 sqm and c£50m represents the largest single capital investment ever made by the University.

In 2019 we purchased Chapel Gate, a 56-acre green field sports campus adjacent to Bournemouth International Airport.  This is home to SportBU and is a complex used by the community across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.

We are extremely proud of our sustainability record.  The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings measure the work of universities against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), and BU has risen to joint 29th place out of 1,591 universities measured internationally, up from 42nd last year.  We are also 5th in the UK.


Our origins can be traced to the early 20th century, with the foundation of Bournemouth Municipal College. In the early 1970s we became the Bournemouth College of Technology and new buildings were constructed in Talbot Village, the area now known as our Talbot Campus. In 1976 our name changed again to the Dorset Institute of Higher Education. We became Bournemouth Polytechnic in 1990, and then were inaugurated under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 on 27 November 1992 as Bournemouth University.

Facts and figures

  • More than 17,000 students
  • Over 1,700 staff
  • 4 academic faculties teaching across multiple campuses
  • Turnover of more than £180m
  • 80.7% of undergraduate programmes have a recognised professional accreditation

Awards and accolades

  • One of the top 50 young universities in the world (#41 in THE Young University Rankings 2023)
  • REF – 94% of research internationally-recognised or world-leading. Top third of UK institutions for research power. Ranked 51st out of the 157 UK institutions who participated in REF 2021.
  • TEF Silver
  • Complete Uni Guide 2024 – 55th out of 130 institutions
  • Times and Sunday Times 2024 – 81st out of 131 institutions
  • Guardian University Guide 2024 – 99th out of 122 institutions
  • Race Equality Charter (REC) bronze award
  • Athena Swan bronze award
  • THE Impact Rankings – 5th in the UK, and 29th in the world and first in the UK for UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.