• History
  • History

    Oxford Brookes University began life as the Oxford School of Art in 1865, when it occupied one room on the ground floor of the Taylor Institution in the centre of the city.

    Five years later the School of Science was incorporated, offering a wide range of scientific and technical subjects and evening classes in the University Museum. In 1891, the School was taken over by Oxford City Council’s Technical Instruction Committee and renamed Oxford City Technical School.

    John Henry Brookes became Vice-Principal of the Oxford City Technical School and Head of the School of Art in 1928 and over the next 30 years he exerted a powerful influence on the development of the institution. He was committed, throughout his life, to the goal of making education available to all. In 1949, a 25-acre site was secured in Headington and Lord Nuffield laid the foundation stone six years later. Brookes referred to the move to Headington as 'setting foot in the Promised Land'.

    Find out more about our roots and development