|Established||1992 – Coventry University (gained university status)
1970 – Lanchester Polytechnic
|Chancellor||Sir John Egan|
|Former names||Coventry Polytechnic (1987-1992)
Lanchester Polytechnic (1970-1987)
|Affiliations||Association of Commonwealth Universities
Coventry University is a public research university in the city of Coventry, England. It was established as a university through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, and was formerly known as Lanchester Polytechnic until 1987 and Coventry Polytechnic until it was awarded university status.
With more than 27,000 students (as of 2013), Coventry University is the larger of the two universities in the city, the other being the University of Warwick. It has two campuses: one in the city centre of Coventry where a large majority of the university operates, and one in London. The campus in Coventry is currently undergoing a £160m redevelopment programme. The university comprises four faculties and one school, and manages a number of commercial subsidiaries that provide business services to local and national organisations.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Structure and organisation
- 4 Academic profile
- 5 Student life
- 6 Notable people
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The origins of Coventry University can be traced back to the 19th century with the founding of the Coventry College of Design in 1843. Later renamed the Coventry School of Art, it was again renamed in the early 20th century to the Municipal Art School as part of the Education Act 1902. One final name change took place in the 1950s, when it became known as the College of Art.
In the late 1950s, to address the need for a high level of technical training in Coventry which the existing Coventry Technical College (now City College Coventry) could not meet, the construction of a new institution began. Opened in 1961, it was called the Lanchester College of Technology, named after Frederick Lanchester.
In 1970, the Lanchester College of Technology and the College of Art, along with the Rugby College of Engineering Technology in the neighbouring town of Rugby, amalgamated to form Lanchester Polytechnic. The institution was designated as such in February 1971 by then Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher. The name Lanchester gave the institution a certain degree of obscurity, notably when none of the contestants on the BBC Radio 4 general knowledge show Brain of Britain could give its correct location. The polytechnic cancelled its graduation ceremony in 1974 following the Birmingham pub bombings in fear that public gatherings could be targeted; the ceremony was eventually held in 2009, 35 years later. Lanchester Polytechnic was later renamed "Coventry Polytechnic" in 1987, and when the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 afforded Coventry Polytechnic university status that year, the name was changed to Coventry University.
In 2010, a campus in London was established to further attract international students to the university. In 2012 "Coventry University College" was set up within the main university campus, offering qualifications up to degree-level at a lower cost compared to typical university fees.
Coventry currently occupies a purpose-built 33-acre (130,000 m2) campus in Coventry City Centre adjacent to Coventry Cathedral and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. It occupies a mix of new purpose-built buildings, converted structures, and those inherited from its predecessor institutions.
The centrepiece of the campus is The Hub, an award-winning building which opened in August 2011. The Hub is the home of the Coventry University Students’ Union, other student support services, a bar and nightclub, and a food hall and food outlets catered by Compass Group. In September 2012, a new £55 million engineering building was opened, with facilities such as a full-scale Harrier jump jet, a wind tunnel and flight simulators. The Hub was awarded a BREEAM 'excellent' rating and between them The Hub and the engineering building feature sustainable initiatives such as grey-water harvesting, a biomass boiler and a green roof. The opening of the buildings marks the first stage of a £160m redevelopment plan of the campus phased over 15 years.
Coventry's £20 million library opened in 2000 and is on the outskirts of the campus. It was officially opened by Princess Anne in September 2001 and contains over 2,000 print periodicals, 350,000 monographs, and more than 6,000 video tapes, audio tapes and films. The library has a distinctive turreted exterior and has won awards for its interior design which features a light distribution system to make the most of natural light throughout the building.
There are two converted buildings on the campus. A former car engine factory built in 1910 located next to the university's library now houses the Coventry Business School, and a cinema built in 1880 on Jordan Well is currently home to the performing and media departments of the Coventry School of Art and Design.
To the south of the main campus is the 20-acre (81,000 m2) Coventry University Technology Park, a business park owned by Coventry University Enterprises Limited, a commercial subsidiary of the university. Tenants of the park are small businesses which receive support from the university and are allowed access to the university's library. The park is also home to conference facilities at the TechnoCentre building, the Coventry and Warwickshire New Technology Institute, which works with companies to address skills shortages in ICT and advanced technology, and a digital lab for serious game and other technology development.
Coventry University College
Coventry University College was established on campus in 2012 and is an offshoot of Coventry University, providing part-time professional courses such as accounting, legal studies and marketing. The college is independent from the university with its own staff and facilities, though its programmes are validated and awarded by the university. Because the courses offered are part-time, tuition fees at the college are set at a maximum of £4,800, compared to the maximum £9,000 universities in the UK can charge for full-time courses. The part-time nature of the courses delivered means classes can run at atypical times, such as early mornings, evenings and weekends. Although working within the Coventry University campus, students of the college do not have access to some of the university's resources, such as the sporting facilities.
Coventry has adopted a policy of naming its buildings after people or organisations with a significant local or regional impact. These include former Coventry-based automotive company Armstrong Siddeley; Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry; Coventry-based automotive pioneer Frederick Lanchester; Victorian novelist, critic and poet George Eliot; the father of the bicycle industry James Starley; former MP for Coventry East and political journalist Richard Crossman; artist Graham Sutherland; and founder of the Morris Motors automotive manufacturer William Morris.
Coventry University's London campus was opened in 2010 as part of a trend seen by a number of different British universities, where a campus in London was set up with a predominately international student body to build the universities' international reputation. The campus operates out of East India House in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, almost 100 miles southeast of Coventry.
Structure and organisation
Coventry University is headed formally by the Chancellor, a largely ceremonial role, currently Sir John Egan. The Chancellor is supported by six Pro-Chancellors and is appointed by the university's Board of Governors. Terms for the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellors are five years in length; the number of terms a Chancellor can serve is unrestricted while Pro-Chancellors are limited to two. The university is led on a day-to-day basis by the Vice-Chancellor, who is supported by four Deputy Vice-Chancellors and three Pro Vice-Chancellors. The position of Vice-Chancellor has been occupied by John Latham since March 2014.
Faculties and schools
Faculty of Business, Environment and Society
Faculty of Engineering and Computing
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
In the financial year ended 31 July 2013, Coventry University had a total income of £220.43 million and a total expenditure of £199.71 million. Key sources of income included £136.53 million from tuition fees and contracts, £45.18 million from funding body grants, £8.82 million in research grants and contracts, £1.96 million from investment and endowment income, and £27.92 million from other income.
Coventry University is an exempt charity under the Charities Act 1960. Commercial activities are undertaken by six subsidiaries wholly owned by the university. These subsidiaries are together known as the Coventry University Group, and deliver education, business support, partnership and consultancy, and serious game development to local and national organisations.
Coventry offers more than 130 undergraduate degrees and 100 postgraduate degrees over its four faculties, as well as qualifications such as foundation degrees and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs). It has introduced the teaching of disaster management at undergraduate level as well as parapsychology and health journalism at the postgraduate level.
The university's student body consists of 27,270 students: 22,020 undergraduates and 5,250 postgraduates. Part-time students make up 25% of undergraduates and 42% of postgraduates. The drop-out rate for first year undergraduates is 8.9% and the undergraduate intake from state schools is 97%. The university employs over 1,800 academic staff and is the fourth largest employer in Coventry.
Tuition fees for undergraduate students at the university are variable and range from £7,500 to £9,000 depending on the degree programme, following the United Kingdom government’s decision in 2010 to raise the maximum limit universities can charge UK and EU students. The university cited the variable fee structure in explaining the rise in applications received for 2012 compared to the previous year, despite an overall national fall.
The Research Assessment Exercise 2008 classed that research conducted by the university in the subjects ‘Allied Health Professions and Studies’, ‘Computer Science and Informatics’, ‘Electrical and Electronic Engineering’, ‘Library and Information Management’, ‘Politics and International Studies’, ‘Social Work and Social Policy & Administration’, and ‘Art and Design’ contained elements of 'world-leading' research.
Nationally, Coventry is ranked 27th by The Guardian University Guide 2015, 45th by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2014 and 51st by The Complete University Guide 2015. Internationally, Coventry is ranked within the top 800 universities in the world by the 2013/14 QS World University Rankings, the first time it has been included in such a ranking.
Subject strengths in The Guardian 2015 rankings include Architecture (16th), Building and Town and Country Planning (7th), Design & Crafts (15th), Drama & Dance (19th), Mechanical Engineering (19th), Film Production and Photography (1st), Hospitality, Event Management and Tourism (5th), Mathematics (19th), Media & Film Studies (12th), Nursing and Midwifery (9th)  and Social Work (10th). Strengths in The Complete University Guide include Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation and Tourism (13th) and Drama, Dance and Cinematics (20th).
The People & Planet Green League 2013, a UK ranking based on environmental and ethical performance, placed Coventry 43rd, gaining a 'First Class' rating. According to the 2013 National Student Survey, 90% of Coventry University students were satisfied with their course.
Coventry University's Department of Industrial Design won the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in the 'Engineering and Technology' category for "[e]ducating tomorrow’s world leaders in automotive design" in 2007. Coventry was named 'Entrepreneurial University of the Year' in the Times Higher Education Awards 2011.
The university holds an annual public degree show which exhibits conceptual designs and performances by final year undergraduate students of the Coventry School of Art and Design.
Accommodation for students is provided by the university and by private companies. Coventry owns four facilities: Priory Hall, Quadrant Hall, Singer Hall and 72a Margaret Road, as well as several houses around Coventry, mostly in the Earlsdon area. It also manages four facilities: Apollo House, Lynden House, Radford Road and Pillar Box, the latter being exclusively for postgraduate students.
Facilities provided through partnerships Coventry has with private companies, such as Unite, Liberty Living and Derwent Living, include Liberty Park (shared with the University of Warwick), Trinity Point, Paradise Place, Sherbourne House, Callice Court and Raglan House. New accommodation facilities shared with the University of Warwick down the city’s Trinity Street and Market Way opened in autumn 2010, with two more along Corporation Street and Greyfriars Lane opening the following year. Further plans to expand accommodation for Coventry students in the city centre was announced in April 2013 with the expected conversion of the former Hotel Leofric into student flats.
In total, the university’s accommodation can provide for 3,579 students.
Coventry University Students' Union (CUSU) is a registered charity that acts as a representative and campaigning organisation for students at Coventry University. It is headquartered in The Hub and has a variety of membership services including supporting more than 100 sports clubs and societies, a free advice centre and a volunteering department. CUSU owns and runs an independent nightclub on Far Gosford Street which opened in November 2012 despite opposition from a rival nightclub.
Coventry University's sports team, Team Phoenix, represents the university in five sports. Coventry annually competes with the University of Warwick in a series of formal and informal varsity matches over a number of different sports. The University of Warwick won the 2013 series, its 23rd victory in a row. Coventry is an entrant in Formula Student through its Phoenix Racing team, finishing 42nd out of 102 entrants in 2012 and winning an award for the most fuel-efficient car in 2011.
Notable students of Coventry University (and its previous incarnations Lanchester Polytechnic and Coventry Polytechnic) include businessmen Neil Carson, CEO of Johnson Matthey plc, and Nick Buckles, CEO of security firm G4S; aerodynamicist John Iley; writer and journalist David Yelland; politician and MP for South Ribble (1997-2010) David Borrow; television presenter Andrea McLean; and meteorologist John Kettley.
- Coventry School of Art and Design
- Coventry University Business School
- Coventry University Department of Media
- Category:Academics of Coventry University
- University of Warwick
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