In 1973 Harris College became Preston Polytechnic. It followed extensive efforts to improve and expand the delivery of higher education courses at the institution. It was one of many institutions to achieve polytechnic status in the aftermath of the Government’s 1966 White Paper, “A Plan For Polytechnics and Other Colleges,” which outlined plans to meet expanding demands for higher education across the country. This was based on the principle in the earlier Robbins Report of 1963 that all those who were qualified by ability and attainment should be able to pursue higher education if they wished to do so.
Preston Polytechnic officially came into being on 1 September 1973. It was one of a spate of other institutions to be elevated to polytechnic status around the same time.
The formal letter of designation referred to “broadly based institutions of higher education” which, as “major centres of technological and other forms of vocational education – should be able to perform an important service to the communities by providing short courses at other levels, especially for mature students from industry and commerce.”