Book launched to celebrate University’s heritage

The University of Wolverhampton has launched a new book which charts its origins and history over 180 years.


21 Proud Book

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, Sheila Holgate-Wright and Professor Mike Haynes with the copies of Opening Doors in the Heartlands: A History of the University of Wolverhampton


Opening Doors in the Heartlands: A History of the University of Wolverhampton tells the story of the University from its early roots as the Wolverhampton Mechanic’s Institute in 1827, through to the formation of the polytechnic to 21 years of University status

Researched and written by the University’s Professor Mike Haynes and Lib Meakin the book explores the people and places that have made the University of Wolverhampton what it is and celebrates the opportunities to access higher learning that were given by the University to generations of students in the Black Country.

Mike, who is Professor of International Political Economy Joint Head of Management Research Centre, said: “Doing the book has been a really exciting journey. We’ve found out how tens of thousands of ordinary people from the Black Country, West Midlands and beyond have managed to get a higher education.

“Higher education for myself and Lib was a journey that itself opened up possibilities not available to their parents and grandparents. Today higher education in universities like Wolverhampton continues to do the same for new generations.”

The book, priced £7.99, is available to purchase from the University’s estore and outlets including the University Shop in The Gateway@The George.

All proceeds will go towards the Student Hardship Fund.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “We’re celebrating 21 years of university status but we’ve been around for a lot longer than that.

“We have a fantastic history and heritage and have been helping people change and improve their lives over a long period of time.

“I think the book is a fantastic idea and Mike and Lib have done a great job putting it together. It’s even better that all proceeds will go towards helping students.”

The book was commissioned as part of the University’s 21 and Proud celebrations, and was officially launched at the 21st anniversary Heritage Event on 17 June 2013.

Among the guests attending the launch were five mayors and one of the oldest surviving graduates, 84-year-old Sheila Holgate-Wright, whose memories feature in the book.