University Lights Up The Night in celebration of 60 Years

Current and former students from the University, along with staff and members of the community illuminated the Canterbury sky producing a spectacular trail of light through the city to celebrate the official launch of Canterbury Christ Church University’s Diamond Jubilee.

They came together to Light Up the Night and celebrate 60 years of transforming people’s live through education and working with communities in Kent and Medway.

The event is just one of many that the University will be hosting throughout 2022 to reflect on its history, celebrate the achievements of its students, alumni and staff and look ahead to an exciting future.

Group of staff and students outside Augustine House for Light up the Night

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, said: “The Diamond Jubilee is a significant milestone for our University. Since 1962 we have supported over 120,000 students to help them achieve their goals and provide skilled, talented graduates for the region we are so proud to be a part of, particularly in healthcare and education, professions that have been so vital in these challenging times. 

“We are proud to celebrate our wonderfully diverse community, and our Diamond Jubilee is the perfect moment to shine a light on all that we have achieved and blaze a trail for the future.”

The Light Up the Night event was officially launched by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Colgrain. She said: “It is my pleasure to congratulate the entire University community for all that has been in achieved in the last 60 years. From beginning as a small local college into a higher education institution with an international presence today, having brought so much positive change for us all through education and research, I offer Christ Church my very best wishes for continued growth and success in the future.”

The site of the Canterbury campus has been known as a place of learning since the 7th century. In 1962 education was once again brought back to the site as Christ Church opened its doors as a Primary Teacher Training College on one location, with nine members of staff and 70 students.

Today, over 18,000 students study a range of subjects across the arts, humanities, education, science and engineering, social sciences, medicine, health and social care, at three campuses in Canterbury, Medway and Tunbridge Wells, and through our partnerships in the UK and around the world. They are supported by 1,800 dedicated members of staff.

People walking on the City Walls for Light up the Night

Speaking at the event on Tuesday night, Professor Mike Weed, Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Enterprise and Business Development), said: “Throughout our history, we have shaped our courses and research to match the critical business, employment and social needs in within our local communities. From responding to a national shortage of teachers in the 1960s, to the development of new Engineering and STEM courses and the opening of the Kent and Medway Medical School in, partnership with the University of Kent. The first medical school to open in the region and will address the growing need for medical professionals in the south east.

“We are incredibly proud of our role as civic University. We are committed to enhancing the economic, social and cultural life of Kent and Medway, as well as promoting inclusion and equal opportunities. To improving access to higher education and supporting widening participation activities within our schools to drive social mobility and diversity within our community.”

People walking through Canterbury streets for Light up the Night

Dan Bichener, Christ Church Students’ Union President, also attended. He said: “As the 53rd President of the Students’ Union, I am very proud to be part of the Christ Church community and to be part of the Students’ Union history. The Union has always worked to improve the academic experiences of our students and make sure that they have the most fulfilled time whilst studying with us.

“The Partnership between the Students’ Union and the University is integral to the student experience. We are proud of the partnership we have built over the past 60 years. It is a partnership demonstrates our shared mission to transform individuals, create knowledge, enrich communities and build a sustainable future.”

People walking through campus for Light Up the Night

More details of the University’s Diamond Jubilee events can be found on their website: