University of Buckingham
|The University of Buckingham|
|Motto||Alis Volans Propriis (Latin)|
|Motto in English||"Flying On Our Own Wings"|
|Established||1983 - gained University Status by Royal Charter
1976 - University College 
|Admin. staff||97 academic, 103 support|
The University of Buckingham (UB) is a private university located in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, on the banks of the River Great Ouse. It was originally founded as the University College at Buckingham in 1973 and received its Royal Charter from the Queen in 1983. The university's funding regime is not like that of other UK universities, but rather is on the model of many US universities, as it does not receive state funding via HEFCE. It has formal charity status (Registered Charity number 1141691), as a non-profit making institution dedicated to the ends of research and education. Buckingham offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and doctoral degrees through five 'schools' (or faculties) of study.
Some of the founding academics migrated from the University of Oxford, disillusioned or wary of aspects of the late-1960s ethos. On 27 May 1967, The Times published a letter from J. W. Paulley, a physician, who wrote: "Is it now time to examine the possibility of creating at least one university in this country on the pattern of [the] great private foundations in the USA." Three London conferences followed which explored this idea.
Its development was influenced by the libertarian Institute of Economic Affairs, in particular, Harry Ferns and Ralph Harris, heads of the Institute. In keeping with its adherence to a libertarian philosophy, the university's foundation-stone was laid by Margaret Thatcher, who was also to be the university's Chancellor (nominal and ceremonial head) between 1993 and 1998. The University's first three Vice-Chancellors were Lord Beloff (1913–1999), former Gladstone Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford; Sir Alan Peacock, the economist, founder of the Economics department at the University of York, and Fellow of the British Academy; and Sir Richard Luce, now Lord Luce, the former Minister for the Arts.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2013)|
The schools of law and science are situated in the upper campus; the river-side campus covers humanities, business, social sciences, biomedical science and education. As the university is expanding, it has acquired a new site on the west side of the river, hence increasing the capacity of the river-side campus as a whole. Teaching on some master's degrees takes place in London, in Grosvenor Place, at the home of one its partner institutions: the European School of Economics, and some Life Science programmes are also run in Central London, in conjunction with Medipathways.
The University's five schools are Law, Humanities, Arts and Languages, Business, and Science and Medicine. Each of these is presided over by a Dean.
The quality of the University's provision is maintained, as at other UK universities, by an external examiner system (i.e., professors from other universities oversee and report on exams and marking), by an academic advisory council (comprising a range of subject-specialist academics from other universities), and by membership of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
The Department of Education has two aspects, research and vocational: it conducts research into education and school provision (see above), and also maintains various PGCE courses, for teacher training. The Department of Education is home to some of the most prominent educationalists in Britain, including Professor Chris Woodhead (former head of Ofsted), Professor Anthony O'Hear (director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy), and Professor Alan Smithers. Its postgraduate certificate in education – which deals with both the state and the independent sector – is accredited with Qualified Teacher Status which means that it also qualifies graduates to teach in the state sector.
The University was created as a liberal arts college, and the major humanities subjects such as history and politics are offered with economics as a degree in international studies. Economics, however, is available as a stand-alone degree. So too is English literature, as a single honours subject, and in combinations with English Language, or Journalism, and related areas. The Professor of Economics, and Dean of Humanities, Professor Martin Ricketts, is the chair of the Institute of Economic Affairs Academic Advisory Council.
Some degree programmes at Buckingham, Law for example, place greater emphasis on exams as an assessment method rather than coursework, but in general its degree programmes balance assessment between exams and coursework.
School of Medicine 
The cancer specialist Karol Sikora is Dean of the School of Medicine. The school offers postgraduate MD programmes for qualified doctors in a range of specialisations, but is not approved by the General Medical Council as it does not yet offer an undergraduate medical qualification (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery).
The school had an association with the alternative medicine community via a Diploma course in integrated medicine. This was later withdrawn under pressure from David Colquhoun, a campaigner against pseudoscience and alternative medicine. Sikora is a Foundation Fellow of Prince Charles' now-defunct alternative medicine lobby group the Foundation for Integrated Health and Chair of the Faculty of Integrated Medicine, which is unaffiliated with any university but also includes Drs Rosy Daniel and Mark Atkinson, who co-ordinated Buckingham's "integrated medicine" course. Daniel has been criticised by David Colquhoun for breaches of the Cancer Act 1939, regarding claims she made for Carctol, a herbal remedy with no utility in treating cancer. Prof. Andrew Miles is on the scientific council of the College of Medicine an alternative medicine lobby group linked to the Prince of Wales. Sikora is also a "professional member" of this organisation.
Sikora is very critical of cancer care available on the National Health Service. During President Obama's campaign for healthcare reform, he appeared in a Republican Party attack ad in the United States criticising the NHS. The ad led Imperial College to seek legal advice to stop Sikora from claiming to be a professor of cancer medicine at Imperial; a claim that he had made repeatedly over the previous five years.
Professor of Theoretical Medicine at the school is Bruce Charlton, controversial editor of the journal Medical Hypotheses, who has recently been dismissed as editor by publisher Elsevier over the publication of a paper by AIDS denialists claiming that HIV is not responsible for AIDS and concerns over the lack of peer-review at the journal.
Degrees: timescale and cost 
The university offers traditional degrees over a shorter time-frame. Students at Buckingham study for eight terms over two years, rather than nine terms over three, which (with extra teaching) fits a three-year degree into two years. From September 2009, tuition fees for full-time UK and EU undergraduate students have been £8,040 per year for these two-year bachelor's degree programmes. For non-EU students, fees are equivalent to £13,500 p.a. Because Buckingham's degrees take two years to complete, the university views its courses as cost-effective compared to ordinary UK university courses, once living expenses and the income from an extra year's employment are taken into account.
The Humanities Research Institute includes academics working in a range of disciplines, particularly military history, security studies, political history, the history of art, 19th-century literature and social history.[self-published source?] Professor Alan Smithers runs the Centre for Education and Employment Research, from within the Department of Education. This has produced a series of reports on the fundamentals of secondary and primary education.[importance?] From within the English department, Professor John Drew runs Dickens Journals Online, the project which has put the whole of Dickens's journalistic output on free-access on the web. The research unit devoted to contemporary Security Studies is run by Antony Glees.[importance?]
League tables 
General overall ranking 
The Times Good University Ranking 2013 ranked Buckingham in its league tables in 41st position out of 120 UK higher education institutes.
The Sunday Times University Guide for 2013 ranked Buckingham in its league tables in 61st (2012: 56th) position out of 122 UK higher education institutes.
Department rankings 
The most recent league tables of individual university departments in The Guardian University Guide 2013, produced by The Guardian newspaper, ranked the Business department as 28th (out of 116) in the country, English as 14th (out of 106), Economics as 17th (out of 70), Psychology (20 out of 109), and Law as 30th (out of 97). It is not represented in any other field.
Global ranking 
Buckingham does not rank in the top 400 universities globally as rated by Times Higher Education, nor does it appear in the top 700 universities ranked globally by Quacquarelli Symonds, nor does it rank in the top 500 universities rated by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. However, it is ranked at 4,084 out of 11,998 universities in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.
The University's Royal Charter, unlike those of other universities, provides for three sovereign bodies, the third one (in addition to the usual Council and Senate) being the Academic Advisory Council, which is a group of external academics that audits the academic staff.
When the national Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) was created, the University felt it should join, even though - as Britain’s only independent University – it is markedly different from the state-funded universities that the QAA otherwise audits.
The University got "broad confidence" (the highest band) in its first QAA audit in 2003, but "limited confidence" in its last QAA audit in 2008. This poor assessment lead to criticism of the QAA by prominent Buckingham academics which were rebuffed by the QAA.
External degrees 
The immediate past- Chancellor is Sir Martin Jacomb, Chairman of Canary Wharf Group PLC, and Share PLC (in Aylesbury), and the director of other companies including Oxford Playhouse Trust. He was Chairman of Prudential PLC from 1995 to 2000 and last year retired from the boards of Rio Tinto Group and Marks & Spencer. Former Chancellors of the university have been Margaret Thatcher who retired in 1999, and Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone.
Lord Tanlaw was appointed to succeed Sir Martin as Chancellor in May 2010.
The current Vice-Chancellor is Dr Terence Kealey, formerly of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Cambridge University, who has held the post since April 2001. Kealey is known for his research challenging the idea that education and science are public goods needing public subsidies. He wrote an academic book on the subject in 1996 The Economic Laws of Scientific Research which he repackaged and updated for a general audience in 2008 as Sex, Science and Profits.
Kealey sparked a sexism row in September 2009. The Times Higher Education had commissioned, for its issue of 17 September 2009, seven articles of 500 words each on the seven deadly sins of academia. The seven sins were sartorial inelegance, procrastination, snobbery, lust, arrogance, complacency and pedantry, and the commissioning editor, Matthew Reisz, wrote that the contributors "entered into the spirit and offered amusing examples of their sins in action …". The illustrations in the magazine reflected the humour of the feature. Kealey wrote on lust, and he adopted a satirical tone, claiming that young female students were a "perk" for male academics and they should "look but not touch". Over the next week the Times Higher Education website filled with comments about the article, many expressing shock but some expressing support. On 23 September the London Daily Telegraph ran a story about the article and the backlash was swift from academics. Kealey was criticised by the University and College Union and the National Union of Students who said his comments displayed an "astounding lack of respect for women". At the same time Kealey was defended by scholars such as Professor Mary Beard of Cambridge University who in her online blog for the Times newspaper wrote that it was instantly clear that the piece was satire. Kealey wrote a defence of his piece in the Daily Telegraph and he was also defended by the editor of the THE but nonetheless he wrote a piece in the Times Education Supplement three weeks later in which he said that it is a mistake for a scholar to write ambiguously, which must generally preclude the use of satire, irony, humour or parody in academic writing.
In February 2010, Kealey proposed the establishment of a new independent university, modelled on American liberal arts colleges, that would concentrate on undergraduate teaching rather than research. The plan is currently being considered by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), whose 243 members include independent schools such as Eton, Winchester and St Paul's. Kealey believes that complaints about impersonal teaching and oversized classes at many traditional universities mean there will be strong demand for higher education with staff-student ratios similar to that provided by independent secondary schools.
University of Buckingham Press 
The University of Buckingham Press publishes in the areas of law, education, and business through its journal articles, books, reports and other material. In 2006 the press relaunched The Denning Law Journal and it is now available in print and its whole archive is online. It also publishes three other journals: The Buckingham Journal of Language and Linguistics, The Journal of Prediction Markets, and The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics. It has a co-publishing arrangement with The Policy Exchange for its Foundations series.
Notable people 
Alumni include Bader Ben Hirsi, playwright and director; Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth; Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North; Chris de Lapuente, Global President and CEO of Sephora; and Graham Roos, appointed in 2011 as the University's first Creative Artist in Residence.
International alumni include Pravind Jugnauth, MP in the National Assembly of Mauritius, former Deputy Prime Minister, and the leader of one of Mauritius's main parties, the Militant Socialist Movement; Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Governor of Osun State, Nigeria, racing driver Marc Gené, winner of the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in 2009; and Tun Mohammed Hanif bin Omar, Deputy Chairman of Genting Berhad, and former Inspector-General of the Royal Malaysian Police.
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- Sikora's profile is on the College of Medicine website.
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- "Elsevier Fires Journal Editor Over Paper Saying HIV Doesn't Cause AIDS". Chronicle of Higher Education. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
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- Humanities Research Institute
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- Graeme Paton (23 September 2009). "Vice-chancellor: female students are 'a perk'". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Letters to Times Higher Education: , , , 
- Tim Edwards (SEPTEMBER 24, 2009). "Terence Kealey sparks university sexism row". First Post.
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