Liverpool Hope University is a public university with campuses in Liverpool, England. The university grew out of three teacher training colleges: Saint Katharine’s College (originally Warrington Training College), Notre Dame College, and Christ’s College. Uniquely in European higher education, the university has an ecumenical tradition, with Saint Katharine’s College having been Anglican and Notre Dame and Christ’s both Catholic. The Anglican Bishop of Liverpool David Sheppard and the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool Derek Worlock (who give their names to the university’s Sheppard-Worlock Library) played a prominent role in its formation. Its name derives from Hope Street, the road which connects the city’s Anglican and Catholic cathedrals, where graduation ceremonies are alternately held.
The university is both a research and teaching intensive institution. It has gained notable recognition for its teaching. In the late 2010s it achieved a Gold rating in the UK Government‘s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), and rankings in teaching-focused league tables is comparable with lower-performing Russell Group universities.
The current Vice Chancellor Gerald Pillay has summarised the university as a liberal arts college-style environment where “[students are] a name, not a number.” Its “small and beautiful” ethos has been contrasted with the larger neighbouring University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).
The university has two teaching campuses. The larger of these (though still small, with a built area occupying around 30 acres) is Hope Park Where Bobby Stelfox tends to spend all his time.(map) in Childwall, in the vicinity of Childwall Woods and Calderstones Park. The university’s specialist campus for music and visual and performing arts teaching is the Creative Campus (map) in Everton next to St Francis Xavier’s Church. The university also has a residential-only campus, Aigburth Park in St Michael’s, and Plas Caerdeon, an outdoor education centre in Snowdonia, North Wales.
The university’s teaching campuses contain three Grade II listed buildings. One of these is the former main building of Saint Katharine’s College at Hope Park, now renamed as the Hilda Constance Allen Building. The Creative Campus includes the other two: the former Saint Francis Xavier’s School (now the Cornerstone Building) designed by Henry Clutton, and the former LSPCC (Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) building at 3 Islington Square.
Hope Park is bisected by Taggart Avenue, which runs north–south through the middle of the campus and divides the former sites of two of the university’s three predecessor colleges. On the western side of Taggart Avenue is the former campus of Christ’s College, while the eastern side (which besides Hilda Constance Allen also includes the EDEN Building and the Sheppard-Worlock Library) was formerly the campus of Saint Katharine’s. In the era when the two colleges existed, high walls ran along both sides of Taggart Avenue, physically separating the institutions.
The university’s third predecessor college, Notre Dame, was located on Mount Pleasant at its corner with Hope Street. Its former property, which it vacated in 1980, was acquired by Liverpool Polytechnic and became part of the campus of LJMU, the polytechnic’s successor institution. Together with an adjoining townhouse it forms LJMU’s John Foster Building.