University of Leicester

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
University of Leicester
University of Leicester Logo Shield
Motto Ut Vitam Habeant
So that they may have life
Established 1957 - gained University Status by Royal Charter
1921 - Leicestershire and Rutland University College
Type Public
Endowment £11.8 million (2013)[1]
Chancellor Lord Grocott
Vice-Chancellor Sir Robert Burgess
Visitor The Queen
Academic staff 2,030[2]
Admin. staff 2,495[2]
Students 17,055[3]
Undergraduates 11,095[3]
Postgraduates 5,960[3]
Location Leicester, England, UK
Campus Urban parkland
Colours
                     
Affiliations 1994 Group
AMBA
EUA
ACU
EMUA
Website www.le.ac.uk

The University of Leicester (Listeni/ˈlɛstə/ LES-tər) is a public research university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park.

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.[4] 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.[5] The 2012 QS World University Rankings also placed Leicester 8th in the UK for research citations.[6]

The University is most famous for the invention of genetic fingerprinting and for the discovery of the remains of King Richard III.

History[edit]

University of Leicester seen from Victoria Park - Left to right: the Engineering Building, the Attenborough tower, the Charles Wilson building.
The Fielding Johnson Building (built 1837)

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'.

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.

Campus[edit]

The David Wilson Library
The Percy Gee building, home of the Students' Union

The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College.

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. Opposite the Fielding Johnson Building are the Astley Clarke Building, home to the School of Economics, and the University Sports Centre.

The Ken Edwards building, built in 1995, lies adjacent to the Fielding Johnson Building and is home to the School of Management.

Built in 1957, the Percy Gee building is home to Leicester University's students' union.

The David Wilson Library was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on the 4th of December 2008, following an extensive refurbishment costing £32 million.[citation needed]

The university campus is home to several notable examples of Brutalist architecture, including the Grade II listed Engineering Building and the Charles Wilson Building. Another prominent building on campus is the 18-storey Attenborough Tower, home to the College of Social Sciences.

The Bennett building, Physics and Astronomy building, the Chemistry building and the Adrian Building lie beyond the Charles Wilson Building. Across University Road lies the Maurice Shock and Hodgkin buildings, home to Leicester's Medical School.

Further along University Road and on Salisbury Road and Regents Road are the Department of Education and the Fraser Noble building.

Notable architecture[edit]

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 noteworthy: many of the halls (nearly all located in Oadby) date from the early 1900s and were the homes of Leicester’s wealthy industrialists.

Development[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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[7]) was completed in September 2010. Nixon Court was extended and refurbished in 2011.

Organisation[edit]

The University's academic schools and departments are organised into four colleges[8] which are, in turn, supported by the Corporate Services.

  • College of Arts, Humanities & Law
  • College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology
  • College of Science & Engineering
  • College of Social Science

The four colleges replaced the former five faculties in 2009.

Academic profile[edit]

Teaching[edit]

The University is held in high regard for the quality of its teaching.[9] 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.[10]

Science[edit]

The University has 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 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.[citation needed] 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.

Physics and Astronomy[edit]

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 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.[11] 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.[citation needed]

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, 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.

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".[12]

Engineering[edit]

The Grade II* listed Engineering Building

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.[citation needed]

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 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.

Arts, humanities and social sciences[edit]

The Attenborough Tower, home of many of the university's arts departments

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.

College of Arts, Humanities & Law[edit]

The School of Archaeology and Ancient History was formed in 1990 from the then Departments of Archaeology and Classics, under the headship of Graeme Barker, FBA. The current Head is Lin Foxhall, Hon. MBE. The academic staff currently (as of July 2012) includes 21 archaeologists and 6 ancient historians, though several staff teach and research in both disciplines; 7 staff hold the rank of Professor.

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 65% of its research was placed in the top two classes of excellence (4* and 3*),[13] 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).[14] In April 2008, the Centre for Historical Archaeology was opened. The Leverhulme-funded 'Tracing Networks' project is based in the School.[15]

On 4 February 2013 the University of Leicester announced that the remains of King Richard III had been discovered 'beyond all reasonable doubt' in GreyFriars carpark, in the city centre.[16]

The School of English teaches English at degree level. The Guardian's 2009 University Guide ranked Leicester 6th in the UK for English and 2nd for American Studies.[citation needed] 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 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 has made considerable scholarly achievements in many areas of history, notably Urban History, English Local History, American Studies and Holocaust Studies.[17] The School houses both the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA)[18] and the Media Archive for Central England (MACE).[19]

The School of Law is one of the biggest departments in the University. The School has a number of leading academics who provide consultation to a number of legal and governmental bodies such as Erika Szyszczak, Chris Clarkson and Malcolm Shaw QC.[citation needed] 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. According to the Times Online Good University Guide 2009, the Faculty of Law was ranked 8th, out of 87 institutions, making it one of the top law schools in the country.

The School of Museum Studies has the highest proportion of world-leading rated research in any subject in any UK university (RAE 2008).[citation needed] In its 40 year history the school has played an influential role in the reinvention of museum theory and practice.

The School of Geography and Geology, housed in the Bennett building, is notable for its collection of maps dating back almost a century, and equally for the Geology department's fossil collection. Both departments feature highly in rankings for the UK.

Also within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Law are the Department for the History of Art and Film and the School of Modern Languages.

Mass Communication Research[edit]

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.

Management[edit]

The Ken Edwards Building, in which the School of Management is based

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.[20]

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.[21]

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 Association of MBAs.[22]

Learning Innovation and Technology-Enhanced Learning[edit]

The Institute of Learning Innovation within the University of Leicester is a research and postgraduate teaching group , directed by Grainne Conole. The Institute has and continues to research on UK- and European-funded projects (over 30 as of August 2013),[23] focusing on topics such as educational use of podcasting,[24] e-readers in distance education,[25] virtual worlds, open educational resources and open education,[26] and learning design.[27]

Leicester Medical School[edit]

The university is home to a large medical school, Leicester Medical School, which opened in 1971. The 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.

Leicester Research Archive[edit]

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 and is managed by staff based in the university library.[28] 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.

Rankings and reputation[edit]

Rankings
ARWU[29]
(2013, national)
20-30
ARWU[29]
(2013, world)
201-300
QS[30]
(2013/14, national)
30
QS[30]
(2013/14, world)
202
THE[31]
(2013/14, national)
25
THE[31]
(2013/14, world)
161
Complete[32]
(2014, national)
16
The Guardian[33]
(2014, national)
13
Times/Sunday Times[34]
(2014, national)
14

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.[35] 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.[5]

Library special collections[edit]

Local history collections (for the Centre for English Local History), including:

  • Thomas Hatton (1876–1943) was a successful local businessman whose collection of nearly 2,000 books on English local history was donated to the Library of Leicester College in 1920. This was one of the first major donations to the Library.

The library also holds a number of collections containing items written by several famous writers, these include:

Student life[edit]

The University has a number of different societies within its Students' Union. The Union has around 100 different societies.

Student media[edit]

Founded in 1957, The Ripple is the university's student magazine and in 2012 celebrated its 55th birthday.

Founded in 1996, LUSH Radio is the radio station of the University of Leicester Students' Union. It is run and presented exclusively by students and broadcasts a mixture of music, chat and news.[36] 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).

Annual events[edit]

The station holds an annual 24-hour charity broadcast. In 2011, £300 was raised for Comic Relief. In 2013 the station held its first '69 Hour Broadcast', which raised over £450 for Comic Relief.[37]

The station holds an award ceremony every year, the 'LUSH Awards'. This aims to recognise the achievements and successes of the station's broadcasters and producers.

LUSH have broadcast live the annual Varsity match against De Montfort University for both Football from the King Power Stadium and Rugby Union from Welford Road Stadium.

LUST[edit]

LUST (Leicester University Student Television) was re-founded in 2002 after a period of dormancy. The station is affiliated to the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) and hosted the association's annual awards ceremony in 2008.

Notable people[edit]

Chancellors[edit]

Notable academics[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also Alumni of the University of Leicester.

Numerous public figures in many diverse fields have been students at the University, including:

The Attenboroughs[edit]

College House, childhood home of David and Richard Attenborough

The University is commonly associated with the Attenborough family. Richard and David Attenborough (with their younger brother John) spent their childhood 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). Their father Frederick Attenborough was Principal of the University College from 1932 until 1951. The brothers 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 degree ceremony in the afternoon of 13 July 2006.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/finance/documents/Fin%20Statements/financial-statements-2012-13
  2. ^ a b "Profile 2009" (pdf). University of Leicester. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  3. ^ a b c "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  4. ^ University of Leicester - University of Leicester Named University of the Year
  5. ^ a b "Financial statements 2010/11" (pdf). University of Leicester. 
  6. ^ League table cites Leicester in top ten for research citations — University of Leicester
  7. ^ BBC: How Royal visits have changed http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-17300813
  8. ^ University of Leicester - Leicester strengthens management team and announces new academic structure
  9. ^ QAA.ac.uk
  10. ^ Teaching that Inspires: Undergraduate Prospectus
  11. ^ [1], The University's new observatory is opened. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ RAE 2008 : Quality profiles
  14. ^ ULAS Archaeology Unit - University of Leicester Archaeological Services. Archaeologists in Leicester, Leicestershire, East Midlands and nationally
  15. ^ Tracingnetworks.org
  16. ^ Video: Richard III: remains found in Leicester are 'beyond reasonable doubt' those of former king - Telegraph
  17. ^ Le.ac.uk
  18. ^ Le.ac.uk
  19. ^ Macearchive.org.uk
  20. ^ Guardian University guide 2010: Business and Management studies. guardian.co.uk Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  21. ^ Don Antunes, Howard Thomas (2007).The Competitive (Dis)Advantages of European Business Schools, Long Range Planning, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp. 382-404
  22. ^ Association of MBAs. mbaworld.com Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  23. ^ http://www.le.ac.uk/beyonddistance
  24. ^ Edirisingha, P., Hawkridge, D., and Fothergill, J. (2010). A Renaissance of Audio: Podcasting approaches for learning on campus and beyond, European Journal of Open Distance and E-Learning.
  25. ^ Rogerson-Revell, P., Nie, M. & Armellini, A. (2012) An evaluation of the use of voice boards, e-book readers and virtual worlds in a postgraduate distance learning Applied Linguistics and TESOL programme. Open Learning, 27(2), 103-119.
  26. ^ Nikoi, S., Rowlett, T., Armellini, A. & Witthaus, G. (2011). CORRE: A framework for evaluating and transforming teaching materials into Open Educational Resources. Open Learning, 26(3), 191-207.
  27. ^ Conole, G. (2013) Designing for Learning in an Open World, New York: Springer
  28. ^ Leicester Research Archive
  29. ^ a b "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2013". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2013/14". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Top European Universities 2013-14". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  32. ^ "University League Table 2014". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  33. ^ "University guide 2014: University league table". The Guardian. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  34. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2014". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  35. ^ University of Leicester - University of Leicester Named University of the Year
  36. ^ Radio, LUSH. "About". 
  37. ^ Red Nose Day Giving Page | Red Nose Day 2013
  38. ^ "University of Leicester elects former student as new Chancellor". University of Leicester. 31 October 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  39. ^ http://www2.le.ac.uk/news/blog/2013/april/finnish-pm2019s-politics-formed-at-the-university-of-leicester

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°37′17″N 1°07′28″W / 52.62139°N 1.12444°W / 52.62139; -1.12444