What Are The Post 92 Universities? Polytechnics And More Explained
exterior of town house building Kingston university as the sun sets
Credit: Getty Images

What Are The Post 92 Universities? Polytechnics And More Explained

Jasmyne Jeffery March 16, 2023

If you’re studying in the UK, you might have heard of polytechnic or central institution universities which are supposedly different to ‘old’ ones. We’re here to explain what the post 92 universities are and which ones they are around the UK.

If you thought the only difference between universities in the UK was if they were Russell Group or not, then that’s understandable. However, that’s not the case. Quite a lot of universities used to be either polytechnics, central institutions or something else before being upgraded in the early 1990s. Though there is some stigma that they aren’t as good as ‘older’ universities, this isn’t the case.

What Are Post 92 Universities?

Simply, these are educational institutions that weren’t universities but became ones after the Further and Higher Education Act of 1992 was introduced. This meant they were granted university status without receiving a royal charter, which the ones before them had.

If you’re still confused, here’s a brief breakdown:

  • Polytechnic: a teaching institution in England Wales and Northern Ireland that offered higher diplomas, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate education. Focused mainly on STEM and engineering, they could not award their own degrees. According to The Student Room, they offered more vocational courses. Often, it was easier for students to get into a polytechnic than a university.
  • Central Institution: This was a type of higher education in Scotland that focused on teaching rather than research. Some of these were specialised such as in art or music, but generally, they were very similar to polytechnics.

Degrees at either of these were validated by the Council of National Academic Awards until 1992.

Close up of two female students talking about a book in the library

Universities That Were Polytechnics

If you think it will help inform your decision, here is a list of UK universities that were polytechnics before 1992:

Scottish Universities That Were Central Institutions

For those wanting to study in Scotland, here is the list of universities that were central institutions:

  • University of Abertay Dundee
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • The Robert Gordon University
  • University of the West of Scotland
Photo by Mometrix Test Prep on Unsplash

The Post 92 Universities That Were Neither

Some modern universities don’t have polytechnic or central institution roots, but had university status in 1992:

  • Arden University
  • University of the Arts London
  • The Arts University Bournemouth
  • Bath Spa University
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • University College Birmingham
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • University of Bolton
  • BPP University
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • University of Chester
  • University of Chichester
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Cumbria
  • Edge Hill University
  • University of Derby
  • Falmouth University
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • Glyndŵr University
  • Harper Adams University
  • University of Law
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Newman University
  • University of Northampton
  • Norwich University of the Arts
  • Queen Margaret University
  • University of Roehampton
  • Regent’s University London
  • Royal Agricultural University
  • Solent University
  • University of St Mark & St John
  • St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  • University of Winchester
  • University of Worcester
  • York St John University

Now you know what the post 92 universities are and which ones they are, you can make the best decision about where you’ll study. Just because the above universities used to be polytechnics, central institutions or more, doesn’t mean that they’re not good universities to study at with a great student experience.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time writer on Freshered after working freelance with GRV Media previously. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger. In 2022, she graduated with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Jasmyne worked briefly for her local newspaper before heading to university and completing an internship at a publishing company. She is now pursuing and loving a career in journalism. Jasmyne has a particular interest in student news, entertainment, and social media, whilst also (trying!) to help put the world to right. Originally from North Devon, she is currently loving the small-city life in Cardiff.