University of Warwick
|The University of Warwick|
|Motto||Mens agitat molem (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Mind moves matter|
|Type||Public research university|
|Endowment||£8.6 million (as at 31 July 2014)|
|Chancellor||Sir Richard Lambert|
|Vice-Chancellor||Sir Nigel Thrift|
|4,912 inc. 687 academics, 702 researchers|
The University of Warwick (informally known as Warwick University or Warwick (//)) is a public research university in Coventry, England. It was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand access to higher education. Warwick Business School was established in 1967 and Warwick Medical School was opened in 2000. Warwick merged with Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004.
Warwick is primarily based on a 290 hectare campus on the outskirts of Coventry with a satellite campus in Wellesbourne and a London base at the Shard in central London. It is organised into four faculties—Arts, Medicine, Science and Social Sciences—within which there are 32 departments. Warwick has around 23,400 full-time students and 1,390 academic and research staff and had a total income of £481 million in 2013/14, of which £90 million was from research grants and contracts. Warwick Arts Centre, a multi-venue arts complex in the university's main campus, is the largest venue of its kind in the UK outside London.
Warwick consistently ranks in the top ten of all major domestic rankings of British universities and is the only multi-faculty institution aside from Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial to have never been ranked outside of the top ten. It is ranked by QS as the world's third best university under 50 years (and first in Europe) and as the world's 13th best university based on employer reputation. It was ranked 7th in the UK amongst multi-faculty institutions for the quality of its research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Entrance is competitive, with around 8.25 applicants per place for undergraduate study.
Warwick is a member of AACSB, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, EQUIS, the European University Association, the M5 Group, the Russell Group and Universities UK. It is the only European member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, a collaboration with New York University. The university has extensive commercial activities, including the University of Warwick Science Park and Warwick Manufacturing Group.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Organisation and administration
- 4 Academics
- 5 Student life
- 6 Commercial activities
- 7 Notable people
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The idea for a university in Warwickshire was first mooted shortly after the Second World War, although it would not be founded for a further two decades. A partnership of the city and county councils ultimately provided the impetus for the university to be established on a 400-acre (1.6 km2) site jointly granted by the two authorities. There was some discussion between local sponsors from both the city and county over whether it should be named after Coventry or Warwickshire. The name "University of Warwick" was adopted, even though the County Town of Warwick itself lies some 8 miles (13 km) to its southwest and Coventry's city centre is only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northeast of the campus. The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. Since then, the university has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1979 and has extended its land holdings by the continuing purchase of adjoining farm land. The university also benefited from a substantial donation from the family of Jack Martin, which enabled the construction of the Warwick Arts Centre.
The university initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. Since its establishment Warwick has expanded its grounds to 721 acres (2.9 km2) with many modern buildings and academic facilities, lakes, and woodlands. In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution. More recently, the university was seen as a favoured institution of the Labour government which was in power from 1997 to 2010. It was academic partner for a number of flagship Government schemes including the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and the NHS University (now defunct). Tony Blair described Warwick as "a beacon among British universities for its dynamism, quality and entrepreneurial zeal".
The Leicester Warwick Medical School, a new medical school based jointly at Warwick and Leicester University, opened in September 2000.
On the recommendation of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton chose Warwick as the venue for his last major foreign policy address as US President in December 2000. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, explaining the decision in his Press Briefing on 7 December 2000, said that: "Warwick is one of Britain's newest and finest research universities, singled out by Prime Minister Blair as a model both of academic excellence and independence from the government."
In February 2001, IBM donated a new S/390 computer and software worth £2 million to Warwick, to form part of a "Grid" enabling users to remotely share computing power. In April 2004 Warwick merged with the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International. In July 2004 Warwick was the location for an important agreement between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions on Labour policy and trade union law, which has subsequently become known as the "Warwick Agreement".
In June 2006 the new University Hospital Coventry opened, including a 102,000 sq ft university clinical sciences building. Warwick Medical School was granted independent degree-awarding status in 2007, and the School's partnership with the University of Leicester was dissolved in the same year. In February 2010, Lord Bhattacharyya, director and founder of the WMG unit at Warwick, made a £1 million donation to the university to support science grants and awards.
In February 2012 Warwick and Melbourne-based Monash University announced the formation of a strategic partnership, including the creation of 10 joint senior academic posts, new dual master's and joint doctoral degrees, and co-ordination of research programmes. In March 2012 Warwick and Queen Mary, University of London announced the creation of a strategic partnership, including research collaboration, joint teaching of English, history and computer science undergraduates, and the creation of eight joint post-doctoral research fellowships.
In April 2012 it was announced that Warwick would be the only European university participating in the Center for Urban Science and Progress, an applied science research institute to be based in New York consisting of an international consortium of universities and technology companies led by New York University and NYU-Poly. In August 2012, Warwick and four other Midlands-based universities—the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham—formed the M5 Group, a regional bloc intended to maximise the member institutions' research income and enable closer collaboration.
In September 2013 it was announced that a new National Automotive Innovation Centre would be built by WMG at Warwick's main campus at a cost of £100 million, with £50 million to be contributed by Jaguar Land Rover and £30 million by Tata Motors.
In July 2014, the government announced that Warwick would be the host for the £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre, a joint venture between the Automotive Council and industry. The ten-year programme intends to position the university and the UK as leaders in the field of research into the next generation of automotive technology.
Warwick is located on the outskirts of Coventry, 5.5 km (3.4 mi) southwest of the city centre (and not in the town of Warwick as its name suggests). The university's main site comprises three contiguous campuses, all within walking distance of each other. The university also owns a site in Wellesbourne, acquired in 2004 when it merged with Horticulture Research International.
The main Warwick campus occupies a 2.8 km2 site straddling the boundary between the City of Coventry and the County of Warwickshire. The original buildings of the campus are in contemporary 1960s architecture, a style chosen in deliberate contrast to the medieval, classical, or "red brick" character of older British universities. The campus contains all of the main student amenities, all but four of the student halls of residence, and the Students' Union. Other amenities include a grocery store, pharmacy, two bank branches (Barclays and Santander), a hair salon, a post office, a copy shop, and an STA Travel agency. A Tesco superstore, which is open 24 hours, is located at the nearby Cannon Park shopping centre.
Warwick Arts Centre
The Warwick Arts Centre is a multi-venue arts complex situated at the centre of Warwick's main campus. It attracts around 300,000 visitors a year to over 3,000 individual events spanning contemporary and classical music, drama, dance, comedy, films and visual art. The centre comprises six principal spaces: the Butterworth Hall, a 1,500-seat concert hall; a 550-seat theatre; a 180-seat theatre studio; a 220-seat cinema; the Mead Gallery, an art gallery; and the Music Centre, with practice rooms, and an ensemble rehearsal room where music societies and groups can rehearse. In addition the site includes the university bookshop, hospitality suites, a restaurant, cafe, shops, and two bars.
In 2003 Warwick acquired the former headquarters of National Grid plc, which it converted into an administration building renamed University House. There is a student-run facility called the "Learning Grid" in the building, which includes two floors of PC clusters, scanners, photocopiers, a reference library, interactive whiteboards and plasma screens for use by individuals and for group work.
The White Koan is a modern art sculpture by Liliane Lijn which is installed outside the main entrance to the Warwick Arts Centre. The Koan is 6 metres (20 ft) high, white in colour, decorated with elliptical of fluorescent lights and is rotated by an electric motor whilst illuminated. It is intended to represent the Buddhist quest for questions without answers, the Kōan. The Koan was made in 1971 as part of the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation City Sculpture Project and was originally sited in Plymouth; it moved to the Hayward Gallery in London before being purchased by Warwick in 1972.
The main campus hosts a large sports centre. In 2013, the university invested £1.5 million in developing the centre, installing a state-of-the-art gym, alongside other facilities including a 25 metre six-lane swimming pool, squash courts, an indoor rock climbing facility, and two sports halls. Elsewhere on campus are a number of other sports halls, a £2.5 million 4-court indoor tennis centre with floodlit outdoor courts, a 400 m athletics track, multi-purpose outdoor surfaces, and over 60 acres of outdoor playing fields, including a football pitch and cricket grounds. Sports facilities are being constantly expanded, following the commencement of Warwick Sport, a 2005 joint venture between the university and the Students' Union. Most of the university's sports facilities are open to the general public.
Warwick was an official training venue for the London 2012 Olympics. During the Games, some football matches were played at the nearby Ricoh Arena, home of Coventry City Football Club, and Warwick provided training and residential facilities for the Olympic teams.
Other Warwick sites include:
- The Gibbet Hill Campus, located contiguous to the main campus; home to the department of Life Sciences and the pre-clinical activities of Warwick Medical School.
- The Westwood Campus, located contiguous to the main campus; home to the Institute of Education, Centre for Lifelong Learning, the Arden House conference centre, an indoor tennis centre, a running track and some postgraduate facilities and student residences.
- The University of Warwick Science Park.
- University Hospital Coventry, in Walsgrave on Sowe area and home to the Clinical Sciences Building of the medical school.
- Warwick Horticulture Research International Research & Conference Centre, located in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire.
- The Shard skyscraper, in the city of London, is Warwick Business School's metropolitan campus where the MSc in Finance, MSc in HR, and the Executive MBA are taught.
In November 2005, Warwick announced its vision for the year 2020 and outlined proposals for how it would like to develop its campus over the next 15 years. The proposals built upon recent construction activity including a new Mathematics and Statistics Building, a new Computer Science Building, new Business School buildings, the Digital Laboratory, the new Heronbank Residences and an expanded Sports Centre. The proposals envisage a shift in the "centre of gravity" of the campus away from the Students' Union towards University House and a proposed "Academic Square" located around the new maths and computer science buildings.
Forthcoming projects include an inter-disciplinary biosciences research facility; a £25 million upgrade to Warwick Business School; and the National Automotive Innovation Campus, a new £92 million venture funded by Jaguar Land Rover and the UK government. The NAIC's purpose is to research and develop novel technologies to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and to reduce CO2 emissions. The new 30,000 square foot campus will provide research opportunities for postgraduates from 2016 onwards. The campus has been dubbed a ‘brain trust’ and will be used to pioneer the green and high-tech sports and luxury cars of tomorrow, doubling the size of Jaguar’s research team.
Organisation and administration
Warwick is governed by three formal bodies: the Court, Council and the Senate. In addition to these, a Steering Committee provide strategic leadership in between meetings of the formal bodies. Faculties are overseen by Faculty Boards which report to the Senate. The Principal Officers of the university have responsibility for day-to-day operations of the University.
Faculties and departments
Warwick's academic activities are organised into the following faculties and departments:
- Faculty of Arts
- Classics and Ancient History
- Comparative American Studies
- English and Comparative Literary Studies
- Film and Television Studies
- French Studies
- Hispanic Studies
- German Studies
- History of Art
- Theatre Studies
- Faculty of Medicine
- Warwick Medical School
- Education and Development Unit
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Social Sciences
In the financial year ended 31 July 2014, Warwick had a total income, including share of joint ventures, of £480.5 million (2012/13 - £459.6 million) and total expenditure of £468.7 million (2012/13 - £440.5 million). Key sources of income included £213.2 million from academic fees and support grants (2012/13 - £190.0 million), £90.1 million from research grants and contracts (2012/13 - £83.7 miilion), £64.7 million from funding council grants (2012/13 - £77.4 miilion) and £1.6 million from endowment and investment income (2012/13 - £2.1 million). During the 2013/14 financial year Warwick had a capital expenditure of £49.7 million (2012/13 - £35.5 million). At year end Warwick had endowment assets of £8.6 million (2012/13 - £8.1 million) and total net assets of £327.1 million (2012/13 - £312.3 million).
Coat of arms
Warwick's coat of arms depicts atoms of two isotopes of lithium, a DNA helix to represent science and also the Bear and Ragged Staff, historically associated with Warwickshire (and previously the Earls of Warwick) and the Elephant and Castle of Coventry. The bear is not chained in the current depiction of the university's coat of arms, although it had been in its original grant of Letters Patent by the College of Arms.
In March 2011 Warwick had 22,648 students, with around two fifths being postgraduates. About 27% of the student body comes from overseas and over 114 countries are represented on the campus. The university has 29 academic departments and over 40 research centres and institutes, in four faculties: arts, medicine, science and social sciences. There were 979 academic staff and 692 research staff.
In 2013/14 Warwick had a total research income of £90.1 million, of which £33.9 million was from Research Councils; £25.9 million was from central government, local authorities and public corporations; £12.7 million was from the European Union; £7.9 million was from UK industry and commerce; £5.2 million was from UK charitable bodies; £4.0 million was from overseas sources; and £0.5 million was from other sources.
In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF), Warwick was again ranked 7th overall (as 2008) amongst multi-faculty institutions and was the top-ranked university in the Midlands. Some 87% of the University's academic staff were rated as being in "world-leading" or "internationally excellent" departments with top research ratings of 4* or 3*.
In the RAE 2008, 19 of Warwick's departments were ranked in the top 10 by output in the UK in the assessment, including English, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Computing, Philosophy, Economics, Chemistry, Politics, Statistics, Film and TV Studies, Theatre Studies, History, Classics and Law.
Warwick is particularly strong in the areas of decision sciences research (economics, finance, management, mathematics and statistics). For instance, researchers of the Warwick Business School have won the highest prize of the prestigious European Case Clearing House (ECCH: the equivalent of the Oscars in terms of management research).
Entry to Warwick is competitive and according to The Sunday Times' University Guide 2006, Warwick has around ten applicants for every undergraduate place. Warwick students also average top A-Level grades (often equivalent to more than A*AA at A-level).
Warwick students can study abroad for a semester or a year and may obtain a double degree (degrees awarded by both partners). International partners include Columbia University, UC Berkeley, Sciences Po Paris, Monash University, University of Tokyo, Queen's University, Fudan University, Duke University, SDA Bocconi, McGill University, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, University of Mannheim, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University, University of Amsterdam, HEC Montreal, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, University of Vienna, Vanderbilt University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chulalongkorn University, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universidad de Granada, University of Sydney, University of Seoul and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.
Warwick is a member of Nereus, the network of the libraries of the leading institutions in economics research - including Columbia, Oxford, the LSE, Paris-Dauphine and Sciences Po Paris.
The main university library is located in the middle of the main campus. It houses approximately 1,265,000 books and over 13 km of archives and manuscripts. The main library has recently been remodelled and now houses new services to support Research and Teaching practice and collaboration between departments. The Wolfson Research Exchange opened in October 2008 and provides collaboration spaces (both physical and virtual), seminar rooms, conference facilities and study areas for Postgraduate Research students. The Teaching Grid, which opened in 2008, is a flexible space which allows teaching staff to try out new technologies and techniques. Adjacent to the main library building is the Modern Records Centre, a sizeable archive collection, including the UK's largest industrial relations collection. The Central Library Service also runs the Learning Grids, reference libraries which are accompanied by technology rich study space, providing access to video conferencing facilities, smart boards and networked PCs. These are currently based in University House, the Rootes Building and Leamington Spa Town Hall. The two learning grids located on Main Campus provide study space for approximately 600 students. In addition, the Central Library Service also operates the BioMed Grid, a reference library and study space specifically for Life Science students. An additional study space, The Postgraduate Hub, is also maintained for use by Postgraduates in Senate House.
In addition to the facilities provided through the main library, several departments have subject specific collections and study spaces. Notably, these include Maths and Statistics, Law, Modern languages, Life Sciences, Philosophy, Engineering, and Sociology.
In 2008 the university launched a new prize, the Warwick Prize for Writing, worth £50,000. It is defined as "an international cross-disciplinary award which will be given biennially for an excellent and substantial piece of writing in the English language, in any genre or form, on a theme that will change with every award". The inaugural winner of the award was Naomi Klein for her critically acclaimed book Shock Doctrine.
Warwick Economics Summer School
In July 2014, Warwick's Department of Economics commenced its very first Economics Summer School (WESS), designed to enable more students to benefit from their teaching. Students from across the globe can apply to enhance their skills in a variety of Economic topics as well as experience an exciting social programme. Whether it be a specialized course or a beginners course, the programme caters for everyone with an interest in Economics. The 2014 Summer School was delivered by renowned faces such as Lord Gus O’Donnell the former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the UK Civil Service and Lord Robert Skidelsky. The Summer School lasts for 3 weeks with a variety of courses to choose from as well as social/leisure time and day trips to Oxford, Stratford & London.
Rankings and reputation
Warwick is ranked 50th overall in the 2011 QS World University Rankings, 151–200th by Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 103rd in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In the ARWU Warwick is ranked 36th worldwide in the field of social sciences and ranked 33rd worldwide for Law and 30th for Economics and Business. Warwick has been placed third in the QS World University Rankings ‘Top 50 Under 50’ category.
Warwick is consistently ranked amongst the top ten in national rankings of British universities. In latest national rankings by The Guardian for 2013 it is ranked 5th overall. In 2008 the Sunday Times released averages of its rankings for the period 1998 to 2007, in which Warwick ranked 7th overall.
According to the survey by Times Higher Education, Warwick is ranked 6th amongst UK universities for value-added university education in relation to fees (costs). According to a 2012-13 High Fliers Research survey, Warwick is the "university targeted by the most top employers."
Warwick was declared as The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year 2015.
The QS World University Rankings places Warwick's Economics department at 19th worldwide in its 2013 subject rankings. Further, The Complete University Guide ranked Warwick's Economics department 1st overall in its latest rankings for 2014.
Undergraduate student life at Warwick can be broadly divided into two phases. In the first year, student life revolves around campus and, in particular, the Students' Union (with its sports clubs, societies, and entertainment facilities). In subsequent years students typically live off-campus, in Leamington Spa, or in either the Coventry suburbs of Earlsdon and Canley or Kenilworth.
The University of Warwick Students' Union is one of the largest students' unions in the UK, and currently has over 260 societies and 76 sports clubs including basketball, rowing and ice hockey. There are new societies every year, including Jailbreak and more recently the HOMMOUS Society. The Union has an annual turnover of approximately £6 million, the profit from which is used to provide services to students and to employ its staff and sabbatical officers. The Union is divided into two buildings—SUHQ (mainly societies and administration and Restaurant Xananas) and The Union Building (entertainment facilities). The Union Building contains a 3-room club venue known as "The Copper Rooms", CAMRA-accredited "The Dirty Duck" pub, a popular bar called "The Terrace Bar", Curiositea- a tea shop famous for its hot chocolates, cakes and vintage atmosphere and The Bread Oven, a design-your-own sandwich shop. The original Union South building underwent an £11 million refurbishment in Spring 2008, which was completed in January 2010, and alongside its various outlets provides a pool room and various society spaces. The Students Union is also home to Refresh Catering, a bespoke catering provision for Warwick Campus and its surrounding areas.
The Students Union provides popular events in most of its outlets including POP!, Skool Dayz, pub quizzes and karaoke nights (the latter two held in The Dirty Duck) and film nights in Curiositea. The ents team also provide the Christmas party- which often incorporates reindeer and an ice rink, and the Summer Party. The Summer Party is an outdoor mini-festival that showcases both up-and-coming and popular acts alongside funfare rides, games and bars.
The Union has a tradition of hosting up-and-coming bands; recently it has seen bands such as Ash, Sugababes, Amerie, The Kooks, Reel Big Fish, The Departure, The Subways, Idlewild, The Rory McKenna Variety Show, Hell is for Heroes, The Automatic, The Dave Wright Experience, Boy Kill Boy, Amy Winehouse, The Killers, The Streets, Feeder, and Scouting for Girls.
Warwick hosts many major student-run events including TEDxWarwick, One World Week, Warwick Economics Summit, People & Planet's Go Green Week, Warwick Afrofest, Warwick Climate Forum, Warwick International Aid Forum, Warwick China Summit, Warwick Higher Education Summit, Beyond the Bottom Line: Warwick Emerge Conference, Warwick International Development Summit, Warwick Model United Nations, RAG Week, Warwick Student Arts Festival and the PPE Society Speaker Series.
The Warwick Economics Summit is a student-run international forum which attracts students from universities in 14 different countries, including Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, the LSE, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford. Past speakers have included eminent economists and three Nobel Laureates, including Professor John Nash, Professor George Akerlof, Professor Eric Maskin, Alistair Darling, Vince Cable, and Professor Steven Landsburg.
Warwick is also home to the student-run Real Ale Festival, which takes place annually in the eighth week of second academic term. The festival is organised and staffed by the Warwick University Real Ale Society. A charity skydiving weekend, The Great Warwick Jump, was set up by the Skydiving Club in 2008 and is now the largest charity event at the University, raising £20,274.00 for charities worldwide in its first year. The second year saw a new British record for the most tandem jumps in 24 hours with 137 and a total of £57,374 raised for various charities.
Student media at Warwick includes:
- Radio Warwick (RaW) – student radio station
- The Boar – award-winning newspaper distributed free across campus every second Wednesday
- The Warwick Globalist - international affairs magazine, part of the dynamic and well-established Global21 network, distributed termly across campus
- Warwick Student Cinema – shows films on two 35 mm projectors, a 70 mm projector, and a 2K Digital Cinema projector
- Warwick TV (WTV) - the student television station. Has won multiple National Student Television Awards, and was named Best Society at the University in 2013.
- Perspectives - a termly publication of Warwick Politics Society featuring comment and analysis about politics and international affairs.
Warwick hosts five major recruitment fairs annually, which more than 300 top national and international employers attend. Firms that attended the 2012 Warwick Careers Fair include Merrill Lynch, Amazon, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Deutsche Bank, Accenture, BT, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, and Lloyds TSB. The university also holds a more select programme for sectors that are hard to enter, including media, international development, publishing, and charities.
Warwick also provides a 'Career Success Toolkit' for those finalists who do not have an offer of a graduate job, which consists of a number of workshops designed to ensure students are expertly equipped to succeed in the graduate market place.
Graduates may choose to access vacancies, resources and one-to-one support for up to three years beyond graduation. The 'Placement Learning Unit' provides unemployed graduates access to paid internships.
The Warwick campus currently has around 6,300 student bedrooms across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate residences. All of the residences are self-catered, and each has residential tutors and a warden. Warwick guarantees accommodation for all first-year undergraduate students, regardless of their present address. Many of the university's postgraduate population are also catered for, with some specific residences available for postgraduate living. Each residence accommodates a mixture of students both domestic and foreign, male and female, and, sometimes, undergraduate and postgraduate.
In their second and third years, many students live in one of the surrounding towns: either Coventry, Kenilworth or Leamington Spa, where they can live in university-managed accommodation or independently owned residences. The most popular area of residence is the regency town of Leamington Spa, which was included in the Sunday Times' 'Best Places to Live' list.
Since 2011, Warwick has constructed two new halls of residences for the students. Bluebell, opened in 2011, offers accommodation in flats of 8 people, with a total of 505 single rooms for first-year undergraduates. The most recent construction is Sherbourne, which similarly provides 527 ensuite rooms to first-years.
Under the leadership of its first Vice-Chancellor, Lord Butterworth, Warwick was one of the first UK universities to adopt a business approach to higher education, develop close links with the business community and exploit the commercial value of its research. In a 2012 study by Virgin Media Business, Warwick was described as the most "digitally-savvy" UK university.
Warwick has established a number of stand-alone units to manage and extract commercial value from its research activities. The four most prominent examples of these units are University of Warwick Science Park; Warwick HRI; Warwick Ventures (the technology transfer arm of the University); and WMG.
As a result of these activities, Warwick is the only university in the UK which generates more of its income through commercial activities than it receives in Government grants, which has allowed it to invest generously in facilities and undergo rapid growth. Research is the greatest source of income for the university, followed by overseas students and Warwick Accommodation.
Warwick Accommodation provides on-campus accommodation for first-year undergraduates, final-year undergraduates (depending on availability) and postgraduate students. Off-campus accommodation is also provided and consists of privately owned houses which are University managed upon a commission charge. The location of such houses is usually within the catchment area of Coventry and Leamington Spa for student convenience.
Many of the 5,700 on-campus rooms are used by conference guests outside of term-time. En suite rooms which include Arthur Vick, Jack Martin, Benefactors, Bluebell and the new Sherbourne residences, as well as the standard single Rootes residence, are usually the primary allocation blocks for conference delegates.
Warwick Conferences offers three dedicated, year-round conference centres: Scarman House, Radcliffe and Arden. Every year, on average 65,000 conference delegates are catered for, with services ranging from banqueting to access to sport facilities. Warwick Conferences has won several awards, including 3 M&IT, AIM GOld, MIMA and CCE Chefs challenge awards.
Warwick Retail  is a commercial retail operation owned by the university. It operates and manages the cafes, bars, restaurants and shops on campus including Rootes Grocery Store, Costa and the university bookshop.
Warwick founded and owns the temporary employment agency Unitemps which has numerous franchises at institutions across the UK (Birmingham City University, University of Surrey, City University London, University of Nottingham, De Montfort University, University of Leicester, Staffordshire University, The University of Northampton, Canterbury Christ Church University and Roehampton University).
Warwick owns the higher education recruitment website "jobs.ac.uk".
Warwick has at times received criticism for being too commercially focused, at the expense of academic creativity and diversity. The most famous proponent of this critique was the noted historian E.P. Thompson, who wrote Warwick University Ltd in 1971.
Nevertheless, with the appointment of Sir Nicholas Scheele as Chancellor in 2002, the university signalled that it intended to continue and expand its commercial activities. In an interview for the BBC, Scheele said: "I think in the future, education and industry need to become even more closely linked than they have been historically. As government funding changes, the replacement could well come through private funding from companies, individuals and grant-giving agencies."
Warwick was at the centre of controversy in 2014 after police intervention following a free education protest. Protesters criticised the Police, the University security and the University administration, after students were threatened with a taser; CS gas was used on one protester and others were allegedly grabbed by the neck. The University supported the police action, claiming that a member of staff had been assaulted. The three protesters were arrested during the event, one for assault and the others for obstruction; they were then later charged in 2015. Protesters responded by occupying a number of buildings on campus and creating a list of demands for management.
Warwick has over 150,000 alumni and an active alumni network. Among the university's alumni, faculty and researchers are a Nobel Laureate, a Fields Medallist, and a Turing Award winner, and there are a significant number of fellows of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature, and the Royal Society, including Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1975) winner Sir John Cornforth FRS, President of the British Academy Lord Stern FBA, Ian Stewart FRS, Jonathan Bate CBE FBA FRSL, David Epstein FRS, Germaine Greer, Susan Bassnett FRSL, Sir J.R. Hale FBA, David Arnold FBA, Sir Christopher Zeeman FRS, Andrew Oswald, Lord Skidelsky FBA FRSL FRHistS, Leslie Valiant FRS, and Fields Medallist Martin Hairer FRS.
Former Warwick students are notable figures in recent British politics and government, including Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England; Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Secretary and head of the British Civil Service; David Davis, Conservative former Shadow Home Secretary; Baroness Amos, former Leader of the House of Lords; Wendy Alexander MSP, former Labour Leader in the Scottish Parliament; Kim Howells, former Foreign Office Minister; Baroness Morris, former Labour Secretary of State for Education.
Warwick graduates are highly visible in business, with many holding the role of CEO. In the automotive industry, this includes Linda Jackson, CEO of Citroën; Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover; and Alberto Grippo, CEO of Fiat Automobiles. Others include Bernardo Hees, CEO of the Heinz Company & former CEO of Burger King; Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal and General; Kieran Graham, CTO at Qatar Airways; Ken Hickey, CFO at Microsoft Operations; Jens Papperitz, CEO of Siemens Healthcare Instruments; and David Smith, CFO at Rolls Royce Aerospace & former CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.
Notable Warwick alumni in entertainment and the arts include Emmy and Bafta award-winning Stephen Merchant, best known for being the co-writer and co-director of the sitcoms The Office and Extras; science fiction and fantasy author Jonathan Green; Olivier Award winning director and writer, Dominic Cooke, who is also Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre; actress Ruth Jones MBE; comedian and actor Frank Skinner; actor Adam Buxton; actor Julian Rhind-Tutt; Olivier Award winning actor, Alex Jennings; author Anne Fine OBE FRSL; author A.L. Kennedy; Tony Wheeler, creator of the Lonely Planet travel guides; Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE; Merfyn Jones CBE, governor of the BBC; and Grammy Award and Emmy Award winning and Oscar nominated musician Sting CBE, lead singer of The Police.
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