Following the Second World War, the future of further and higher education became an important concern of the British government. The government faced immense problems as it tried to cope with the demands of an expanding population and the advent of a new technological age. After the war, there were only nine universities and less than 1000 full-time students in the country. Between 1958 and 1961, this balance was readdressed as 7 new universities were announced; one of these was Lancaster University.
In the 1960s, the North-West had more than 7 million inhabitants so it is easy to see why a third university was proposed for the region. The first Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, Charles Carter made a somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment about why the university was built, when he stated that the people in London wanted a new university in this area in order to “civilise the North.”