History of the Union

Click here for the Throwback 40 photo archive. 


Loughborough Students’ Union is one of the best in the country, unique amongst British universities in that its premises are owned by the students themselves.

The Union represents the KEY ingredient and often the best part of your “the Loughborough Experience” with a wide range of unique opportunities at a glance.

This year, we celebrate 40 years since the Union was formally established in 1975. We have selected the best moments captured in the 40 years of activity. Keep an eye on our social media accounts for the #Throwback40 campaign and get in touch with us if you recognise yourself or someone you know in our pictures because we all know that Loughborough is for Life.

The Union has in fact been around for almost a century. Having started in 1918 with the formation of a joint staff/ student Social Union, this later developed into Loughborough College Union with them merging with the sports committee – hence the dominant sporting tradition.

The union has somewhat unusual origins. Dr Hebert Schofield, Principal of Loughborough College from 1915 to 1950, was closely associated with the Students’ Association, even serving as its President despite being the College Principal. He was far-seeing and accumulated land to the East of Loughborough for the College. However, when he could not persuade Leicestershire County Council to pay for the land, he used student monies. Thus, land became vested in the name of the Union of Loughborough Colleges.

In the early 1970s, The Union of Loughborough Colleges was relatively asset rich, whereas it had low income. Conversely, Loughborough University of Technology Students’ Union had relatively high capitation fees and income, but few assets. Both unions wanted to develop student facilities on the campus, but there was a dispute as to how best to do this. A scheme was devised whereby the University bought most of the land from Union of Loughborough Colleges and agreed a land swap so the students would own an area of land adjacent to the Ashby Road on which a new student building was subsequently built. Both student groupings agreed to this and voted to adopt a new joint constitution. Elections were held in March and Loughborough Students’ Union was founded on 1 August 1975. Its founder President was David S Dixon, who held the position in 1975-76.

In this way, the construction of a new students' union building began, although this project was placed in jeopardy by the liquidation of the building firm employed, almost leaving the building unfinished, however the building was completed and officially opened on 20 February 1979.