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|University of Leicester|
|Motto||Ut Vitam Habeant
So that they may have life
|Established||1957 - gained University Status by Royal Charter
1921 - Leicestershire and Rutland University College
|Endowment||£5.01 million (2008/09)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Sir Robert Burgess|
|Location||Leicester, England, UK|
The University of Leicester (i// LES-tər) is a research-led university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College.
The university has established itself as a leading research-led university and has been named University of the Year of 2008 by the Times Higher Education. The university has consistently ranked amongst the top 15 universities in the United Kingdom by the Times Good University Guide and The Guardian; it has a vision of becoming an established top ten UK university by 2015. The university was ranked third behind Oxford and Cambridge in the 2011 National Student Survey of 120 mainstream universities in the UK. Research by THE and Opinion Panel published in 2011 rated Leicester third best in England for the quality of lecturing staff.
The University was founded as Leicestershire and Rutland University College in 1921. The site for the University was donated by a local textile manufacturer, Thomas Fielding Johnson, in order to create a living memorial for those who lost their lives in First World War. This is reflected in the University's motto Ut Vitam Habeant – 'so that they may have life'. The central building, now known as the Fielding Johnson Building and housing the University's administration offices and Faculty of Law, dates from 1837 and was formerly the Leicestershire and Rutland Lunatic Asylum.
Students were first admitted to the college in 1921. In 1927, after it became University College, Leicester, students sat the examinations for external degrees of the University of London. In 1957 the college was granted its Royal Charter, and has since then had the status of a University with the right to award its own degrees. The University won the first ever series of University Challenge, in 1963.
The University's academic schools and departments are organised into four colleges which are, in turn, supported by the Corporate Services.
The four colleges replaced the former five faculties in 2009.
The University is held in high regard for the quality of its teaching. 19 subject areas have been graded as "Excellent" by the Quality Assurance Agency – including 14 successive scores of 22 points or above stretching back to 1998, six of which were maximum scores.
Leicester was ranked joint first in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 National Student Survey for overall student satisfaction amongst mainstream universities in England. It was second only to Cambridge in 2008 and again joint first in 2009.
Leicester is home to two prestigious national Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (in Genetics and Geographical Information Science) and plays an important role in a third (Physics).
The University of Leicester is one of the 1994-Group research universities. The University has particularly eminent scientific research groups in the areas of astrophysics, biochemistry and genetics. The techniques used in Genetic fingerprinting were invented and developed at Leicester in 1984 by Sir Alec Jeffreys. It also houses Europe's biggest academic centre for space research, in which space probes have been built, most notably the Mars Lander Beagle 2, which was built in collaboration with the Open University. A Leicester-built instrument has been operating in space every year since 1967. Leicester Physicists (led by Professor Ken Pounds) were critical in demonstrating a fundamental prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity - that black holes exist and are common in the universe. It is a founding partner of the £52 million National Space Centre. In total Leicester has the highest research income of any non Russell Group institution in the UK. The University of Leicester is one of a small number of Universities to have won the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education on more than one occasion: in 1994 for physics & astronomy and again in 2002 for genetics. The Guardian's 2008 University Guide, published in 2007, ranked Leicester 2nd in the UK for Physics, 3rd for Biological Sciences and 8th for Mathematics.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy has 42 full-time academic staff (including 20 Professors), supported by over 120 research, technical and clerical staff. The Department is also host to around 250 undergraduate students, following either BSc (3 year) or MPhys (4 year) degree courses, and over 70 postgraduate students registered for a higher degree.
The undergraduate physics degrees are available in five 'flavours': physics, physics with astrophysics, physics with space science and technology, physics with planetary science, and physics with nanotechnology. The 2011 National Student Survey showed 93% of students were satisfied with their course.
The main Physics building accommodates several research groups - Radio and Space Plasma Physics (RSPP), X-ray and Observational Astronomy (XROA), Condensed Matter Physics (CMP) and Theoretical Astrophysics (AG) - as well as centres for supercomputing, microscopy, Gamma and X-ray astronomy, and radar sounding, and the Swift UK Data Centre. A purpose built Space Research Centre houses the Space Projects and Instrumentation (SPI) group and provides laboratories, clean rooms and other facilities for instrumentation research, Earth Observation Science (EOS) and the Bio-imaging Unit. The department also runs the University of Leicester Observatory in Manor Road, Oadby. With a 20 inch telescope it is one of the UK's largest and most advanced astronomical teaching facilities. The department has close involvement with the National Space Centre also located in Leicester.
The department is home the University's ALICE 2048 core supercomputer and is a member of the UK's DiRAC (DiStributed Research utilising Advanced Computing) consortium. DiRAC is the integrated supercomputing facility for theoretical modelling and HPC-based research in particle physics, astronomy and cosmology, areas in which the UK is world-leading. It was funded as a result of investment of £12.32 million, from the Government's Large Facilities Capital Fund, together with investment from the Science and Technology Facilities Council and from universities.
The department is a member of the Pi-CETL collaboration of three university physics departments with a track record in teaching and learning innovation. The Physics Innovations CETL is one of 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), over all academic disciplines, and the only one in physics. It was funded for 5 years (2005-2010) by the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE). Pi-CETL involved collaboration between the Open University and the Universities of Leicester and Reading, and focused on curriculum innovation, the use of modern technology, the development of personal and professional skills, positioning physics in a broader scientific context and widening access.
In 1994 the University of Leicester celebrated winning the Queen's Anniversary Prize for its work in Physics & Astronomy. The prize citation reads: "World-class teaching, research and consultancy programme in astronomy and space and planetary science fields. Practical results from advanced thinking".
The Department of Engineering has 33 academic staff (including 8 Professors) supported by 5 academic-related staff, about 20 research staff and 30 technical and clerical staff. Engineering is one of the largest departments at Leicester and has approximately 240 undergraduate students, 50 taught postgraduate students, and 50 postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. The student/staff ratio is 10:1, which the Times Good Universities Guide describes as its "benchmark for excellence".
The Department is renowned for its research in the areas of Control and Instrumentation, Electrical and Electronic Power, Radio Systems, Mechanics of Materials, and Thermofluids and Environmental Engineering. The department achieved a rating of 5A in the latest HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise, putting it in the top tier of UK Engineering departments. Among those General Engineering departments that submitted the research records of more than 95% of their staff, only Cambridge and Oxford did better. Several research led appointments have been made in recent years, including a number of chairs, and this has resulted in research groups of international standing with strong leadership and a research base of highly talented staff.
In terms of teaching, the Department offers MEng and BEng degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Embedded Systems Engineering, Communications and Electronic Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and General Engineering. Each course is accredited by the relevant professional institutions. The Department also offers MSc courses in Embedded Systems and Control, Information and Communication Engineering, Advanced Mechanical Engineering, and Advanced Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The Department is fully committed to teaching excellence and the quality of its provision was affirmed by the results of the 2005 and 2006 National Student Satisfaction Surveys. The Department came joint first (out of 44 universities) for their teaching in Electrical Engineering and joint second (out of 43 universities) in Mechanical Engineering. The overall satisfaction score for the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester was 4.3.
The Department has an extensive range of industrial partners including: ARM Holdings, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, Siemens, Corus, Mercedes-Benz. Many undergraduate and postgraduate projects are carried out in collaboration with industry. The employment record for new graduates is strong.
Literary connections include Kingsley Amis, who is believed to have partially based his Campus novel Lucky Jim on Leicester University. Amis is alleged to have been inspired to write the book when visiting his friend Phillip Larkin who was working at the university as a librarian at the time. Malcolm Bradbury also used Leicester as a basis for his satire on university life Eating People Is Wrong. More recently, novelist Adele Parks graduated from the university in the 1990s, and the university library now holds the writings of both Joe Orton and Sue Townsend.
The School of Archaeology and Ancient History is one of the UK's largest, and highest-ranked, departments in its two subjects. It was formed in 1990 from the then Departments of Archaeology and Classics, under the headship of Professor Graeme Barker, FBA. The current Head is Professor Colin Haselgrove, FBA. The academic staff includes 19 archaeologists and 6 ancient historians, several of whom teach and research within both disciplines. In addition, there are around 25 other staff (emeriti, research or teaching fellows, research associates, honorary staff, etc.). In 2001, the School was awarded a maximum possible 24 points in the Quality Assurance Agency's teaching review. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 65% of its research was placed in the top two classes of excellence (4* and 3*), making it second equal among UK archaeology departments and first equal among departments teaching both archaeology and ancient history. The School has particular strengths in Mediterranean archaeology, ancient Greek and Roman history, and the archaeology of recent periods and is also home to the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS). In April 2008, the Centre for Historical Archaeology was opened. The Leverhulme-funded 'Tracing Networks' project is based in the School.
The School of English is one of the UK’s leading providers of English at degree level. The Guardian's 2009 University Guide ranked Leicester 6th in the UK for English and 2nd for American Studies. The School is committed to offering the whole spectrum of English Studies from Contemporary Writing to Old English and language studies. It contains the distinguished Victorian Studies Centre, the first of its kind in the UK. Malcolm Bradbury is one of the Department's most famous alumni: he graduated with a First in English in 1953.
The School of Historical Studies at Leicester is, with 35 full time members of staff, including 11 Professors as of 2009, one of the largest of any university in the country. It is has made considerable scholarly achievements in many areas of history, notably Urban History, English Local History, American Studies and Holocaust Studies. The School houses both the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) and the Media Archive for Central England (MACE).
The School of Law (formerly the Faculty of Law and Department of Law) is one of the biggest departments in the University. The School has strong formal relationships with top law schools in many other countries such as Italy, France, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. It also has a number of leading academics who provide consultation to a number of legal and governmental bodies such as Professor Erika Szyszczak, Professor Chris Clarkson and Professor Malcolm Shaw QC. In July 2007, two undergraduate law students, namely Steven Meltzer and Michael Weinstein, won the International Negotiation Competition in Singapore, which is only the second occasion that a team from England and Wales has won the competition. As a result of this win, the law school will be the hosts for the 2008 National Negotiation Competition, which is sponsored by the College of Law and CEDR. The Faculty maintains links with many top law firms, including the Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, who offer a one year scholarship to a Leicester student studying for the dual Law and French degree. The Law School is very proud of its flourishing Student Law Society which plays a central role in the life of the student body. Many law graduates at the university go on to follow careers in the City as commercial solicitors or barristers and so law at the university remains a popular choice and is always over-subscribed. According to the Times Online Good University Guide 2009, the then Faculty of Law was ranked 8th, out of 87 institutions, making it one of the top law schools in the country.
Also within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Law are the Department of Museum Studies, the Department for the History of Art and Film, and the School of Modern Languages.
Within the College of Social Sciences, the Centre for Mass Communication Research, now part of the Department of Media and Communications, is one of the longest established academic centres at Leicester, engaging in pioneering research in the 1970s and 1980s and now specializing in Masters courses, as does the Department of Museum Studies, in terms of both campus-based and distance-learning Masters.
Within the College of Social Science, the School of Management is dedicated to the advanced study and teaching of the subject matter of Management. In 2010 the School of Management was ranked 2nd after Oxford University by the Guardian.
The School of Management encourages the development of innovation and creativity through dialog, criticism and integrative learning. Professor Gibson Burrell's attempt to develop a critical management school at the University of Leicester, has been recognized in the academic literature.
The School of Management provides postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in Management. The School of Management, is one of the only 168 Schools/Universities in the world accredited by the AMBA (Association of MBAs). In addition to the AMBA accredited MBA for both full-time and distance-learning programmes, the School offers a range of postgraduate (MSc Accounting and Finance, MSc Finance, MSc Management, MSc Management, Finance and Accounting, MSc Marketing and MPhil/PhD) and undergraduate courses (BA in Management Studies, BA in Management Studies with Economics and BA in Management Studies with Politics). Many of the School's programmes can be studied flexibly through supported distance learning.
The University of Leicester has a well-developed network of student support and development agencies. Most but not all of this activity is organised through the Student Support and Development Service.
The Student Support and Development Service provides a fully integrated development and support service for students at the University of Leicester and a range of specific provision for University of Leicester staff. The SSDS also provides services at an institutional level, and for the national and international Higher Education sector.
Many SSDS services are provided though its specialist units: Careers Service; Student Counselling Service; Welfare Service; Student Support (mental well being); Student Learning Centre and the AccessAbility Centre.
The Student Learning Centre provides support and development opportunities for academic and transferable skills for students at the University of Leicester. This includes individual support, workshops and training opportunities, work with academic departments and the provision of Personal Development Planning and Work-Related Learning.
The Student Learning Centre works with students at all levels from undergraduate to postgraduate and includes a dedicated Research Student Team.
The university is home to a large medical school, Leicester Medical School, which opened in 1971. Leicester Medical School was formerly in partnership with the University of Warwick, and the Leicester-Warwick medical school proved to be a success in helping Leicester expand, and Warwick establish. The partnership ran the end of its course towards the end of 2006 and the medical schools became autonomous institutions within their respective universities.
In common with many institutions in the UK, and globally, the University maintains an open access research repository which collects and shares electronic versions of notable research publications and doctoral theses. Established in 2006 the site is called the Leicester Research Archive (the LRA) and is managed by staff based in the university library. In 2008 the university mandated the deposit of new doctoral theses, and in 2009 introduced a university-wide research publications mandate, which likewise requires the deposition of all research publications as a standard university practice.
Leicester is ranked 12th in the UK (out of 113 universities) by the Guardian University Guide 2011.
|Times Good University Guide||15th||15th||14th||21st||33th||24th||29th||27th||26th||33rd||34th=||34th=||31st=||23rd||32nd||35th=||22nd=||32nd=||37th=|
|Guardian University Guide||12th.||15th||14th||27st||25th||25th||34th||27th||25th|
|Sunday Times University Guide||20th||18th||19th||22nd||22nd||31st||23rd||19th||19th||24th||27th||36th|
|QS World University Rankings||195th||169th||196th||177th||185th|
The skyline of Leicester University is punctuated by three distinctive, towering, buildings from the 1960s: the Department of Engineering, the Attenborough tower and the Charles Wilson building.
The University's Engineering Building was the first major building by important British architect James Stirling. It comprises workshops and laboratories at ground level, and a tower containing offices and lecture theatres. It was completed in 1963 and is notable for the way in which its external form reflects its internal functions. The very compact campus contains a wide range of twentieth century architecture, though the oldest building, the Fielding Johnson building, dates from 1837. The Attenborough Tower houses the tallest working paternoster in the UK and is undergoing extensive renovation.
Leicester's halls of residence are also worthy of mention in their own right: many of the halls (nearly all in prosperous, leafy, Oadby) date from the early 1900s and were the homes of Leicester’s wealthy industrialists.
The 30-year plan is the largest in the university's history, expanding building space by 30% and student numbers from 19,000 to 25,000.
In recent years the University has disposed of some of its poorer quality property in order to invest in new facilities, and is currently undergoing a £300+ million redevelopment. The new John Foster Hall of Residence opened in October 2006. The David Wilson Library, twice the size of the previous University Library, opened on 1 April 2008 and a new biomedical research building (the Henry Wellcome Building) has already been constructed. A complete revamp of the Percy Gee Student Union building (originally opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 9 May 1958) was completed in September 2010. Nixon Court was extended and refurbished in 2011.
Large areas of the university campus are currently undergoing public sphere improvement, including repaving and access improvements.
The library also holds a number of collections containing items written by several famous writers, these include:
From the 2008-2009 annual report:
For 2010/11 :
One of the things that the University is most proud of is its societies with the Students' Union. The Union has around 100 different societies, which are organised into eight groups:
There are also many societies dedicated to various sports.
The Ripple is the student newspaper of the University of Leicester. The newspaper was founded as the Wave in the early '50s by Malcolm Bradbury. It became The Ripple in 1957 and has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The LUSH studio is currently located on the top floor of the Percy Gee building overlooking the main entrance to the Students' Union.
Some notable personalities from the early days of LUSH Radio (or LUSH FM as it was known at the time) who have gone on to work in the media are Lucy O'Doherty (BBC 6 Music) and Adam Mitchenall (ETV).
The station holds an annual 24-hour charity broadcast. Most recently in 2011, £300 was raised for Comic Relief.
The station also holds an award ceremony every year, the 'LUSH Awards'. This aims to recognise the achievements and successes of the station's broadcasters and producers.
To date, each of the former chancellors has had a University building named after him.
Numerous public figures in many diverse fields have been students at the University, including:
See also Alumni of the University of Leicester.
Two names commonly associated with the University of Leicester are Richard and David Attenborough. Their father Frederick Attenborough was Principal of the University College from 1932 until 1951. The brothers grew up on the campus (with their younger brother John), in College House which is now home to part of the Maths department (and is now near to the Attenborough tower, the tallest building on the campus and home to many of the arts and humanities departments). They were educated at the adjacent grammar school before attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the University of Cambridge respectively. Both have maintained links with the university - David Attenborough was made an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1970 and opened the Attenborough Arboretum in Knighton in 1997. In the same year, the Richard Attenborough Centre for Disability and the Arts was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales. Both brothers were made Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University at the 13 July 2006 afternoon degree ceremony.
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