Isle of Man College of Further & Higher Education

History: Began with the Douglas School of Art in 1880, became the School of Technology, Arts and Crafts in 1947 and the College of Further Education in 1960. Current title adopted in 1991. Isle of Man College and the Isle of Man International Business School merged in 2012.

Kaplan Holborn College

History: Established in 1969 and has since developed into one of the most successful independent HE colleges in the UK. It specialises in law and business, offering a range of courses in association with leading UK universities. In 2005 the college became part of Kaplan Inc., one of the largest international private education providers. Wholly owned by the Washington Post Company, Kaplan provides education and training to a million students across 30 countries every year.

Birmingham Conservatoire

History: Began life in 1859 as a department of the Birmingham and Midland Institute and was formally constituted as the Birmingham School of Music in 1886. The School became a part of the former Birmingham Polytechnic in 1971 whilst retaining conservatoire status, and remains part of Birmingham City University to the present day. 1989 saw the formal inauguration of the School under the name of Birmingham Conservatoire.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

TCM was founded in 1872 by Henry George Bonavia Hunt, after concern that church music had reached a low. At first, all students were male members of the Church of England. The college was established for practising and testing as well as teaching, so Trinity developed the first exam board. Laban, the centre of contemporary dance founded by influential dance practitioner Rudolf Laban, began life as the Art of Movement Studio in Manchester, before being renamed and moving to South East London in 1975. The two colleges merged in September 2005 to become Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the UK's first HE institution specialising in music and dance. As a joint institution, the conservatoire is just six years old, but Trinity College of Music has been around for 140 years and Laban for 64.

Warwickshire College (including Pershore College)

History: Warwickshire College’s Leamington Campus dates back to 1950, when it was known as Mid-Warwickshire College. The Moreton Morrell campus, originally called the Warwickshire Institute of Agriculture, opened in 1948. In the early seventies equine provision was introduced and quickly established a strong reputation. In 1996, both establishments merged to become Warwickshire College. In 2003 three further sites were acquired: the newly built £11m Trident Centre in Warwick, the Henley-in-Arden Centre (previously a private school) and the Rugby campus (the result of a merger between Warwickshire College and Rugby College in 2003). In 2007, Warwickshire College merged with Pershore College.

Cranfield School of Management

History: Management has been part of Cranfield University since the Fifties. Founded on an old RAF site as the first postgraduate college of aeronautics, when it decided its students needed management training. It grew out of industrial need, not ivory towers. The school was formally established in 1967, making it one of the three oldest business schools in the UK.

Leeds College of Art

Ranking: Leeds College of Art ranks 8th in the Guardian University League Tables for both specialist institution and art and design categories.

Edinburgh College of Art

History: Although Edinburgh College of Art traces its roots back to 1729, it was founded as the Drawing Academy in 1760. In 1821, it became the Edinburgh School of Arts, changing its name 30 years later to the Watt Institution and School of Arts. Edinburgh College of Art was founded in 1907. It became part of the University of Edinburgh in August 2011 but retains its own identity.

University College Birmingham

Overall ranking: 123rd out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

Warwick Business School

Age: 46

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Swansea Metropolitan University

History: Its roots lie in a college of technology, a college of art, and a college of education set up in the 19th century. All three colleges came together in 1976 and, in 1992, it became Swansea Institute of Higher Education. Became part of the University of Wales in 2004 and changed its name to Swansea Metropolitan University in 2008.

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