Solent University (formerly Southampton Solent University) is a public research university based in Southampton, United Kingdom. It has approximately 10,500 students (2019/20). Its main campus is located on East Park Terrace near the city centre and the maritime hub of Southampton.
Solent University students are represented by Solent Students’ Union, which is based on the East Park Terrace campus.
The university’s origins can be traced back to a private School of Art founded in 1856, which eventually became the Southampton College of Art. Mergers with the Southampton College of Technology, and later the College of Nautical Studies at Warsash, led to the establishment of the Southampton Institute of Higher Education in 1984.
Southampton Institute became a university on 12 July 2005, adopting the name Southampton Solent University on 15 August that year.Prior to this, Southampton Institute provided assistance to Nottingham Trent University in its provision of business-focused degrees, relating to accountancy, finance and professional ACCA qualifications; some Nottingham Trent University certificates included Southampton Institute/Solent University stamps to indicate this agreement.
In 2005, Solent University was featured on an edition of BBC South’s investigative programme Inside Out for rewarding grades for poor standards of work; independent experts questioned if those students were ready to study at the university if the courses were ‘remedial’.
In 2015, Solent University came to an agreement with New College of the Humanities, London, whereby it would validate some of their degrees. In November 2017, the Privy Council approved the change of name of Southampton Solent University to Solent University, with effect from 2018.