University of Sussex

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University of Sussex
University of Sussex Coat of Arms.jpg
University of Sussex Coat of Arms
Motto Latin: Vacate et scire
Motto in English
Be still and know
Type Public research university
Established 1961 (Royal Charter)
Endowment £11.0 million (as of 31 July 2017)[1]
Budget £286.1 million (2016-17)[1]
Chancellor Sanjeev Bhaskar
Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell
Visitor Andrea Leadsom as The Lord President of the Council ex officio
Administrative staff
4,954 (2016)[2]
Students 17,319[3]
Undergraduates 11,925[3]
Postgraduates 5,394[4]
Location Falmer, East Sussex, England
Campus City, Campus, Seaside
Colours White and Flint          
Affiliations Universities UK, BUCS, 1994 Group, Sepnet, SeNSS, SCONUL
Mascot Badger
Website www.sussex.ac.uk
University of Sussex Logo.svg

The University of Sussex is a public research university in Falmer, Sussex, England. Its campus is located within the South Downs National Park and is a short distance away from Central Brighton. The university received its Royal Charter in August 1961, the first of the plate-glass generation,[5] and was a founding member of the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities.

It has more than a third of its students enrolled in postgraduate programs and around a third of its staff is drawn from outside the United Kingdom.[6] Sussex has a diverse community of over 17,000 students, with around one in three being international students, and over 2,600 academics, representing over 100 different nationalities.[7] The university has an active Student Union as well as a history of political activism, and is known for both its interdisciplinarity and its international partnerships. The annual income of the institution for 2016–17 was £286.1 million of which £36.0 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £270.4 million.[1]

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 placed Sussex 147th in the world. The QS world university ranking 2018 placed Sussex as 228th in the world. The Times Higher Education, the Complete University Guide, the Guardian and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide all place Sussex within the top 30 universities in the United Kingdom in 2018.

Sussex counts 5 Nobel Prize winners, 15 Fellows of the Royal Society, 7 Fellows of the British Academy, 23 fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences and a winner of the Crafoord Prize among its faculty. By 2011, its academics had also received the Royal Society of Literature Prize and the Bancroft Prize.

History[edit]

20th century[edit]

In an effort to establish a university to serve Sussex, a public meeting was held in December 1911 at the Royal Pavilion in order to discover ways to fund the construction of a university; the project was halted by World War I, and the money raised was used instead for books for the Municipal Technical College.[citation needed]

Aerial view of the Sussex campus, showing the sports fields

The idea was revived in the 1950s and, in June 1958, the government approved the corporation's scheme for a university at Brighton, to be the first of a new generation of what came to be known as plate glass universities.[5] The University was established as a company in 1959, with a Royal Charter being granted on 16 August 1961.[5] The University's organisation broke new ground in seeing the campus divided into Schools of Study, with students able to benefit from a multidisciplinary teaching environment. Sussex would emphasise cross-disciplinary activity, so that students would emerge from the university with a range of background or 'contextual' knowledge to complement their specialist 'core' skills in a particular subject area.[8] For example, arts students spent their first year taking sciences while science students took arts.

The university quickly grew, starting with 52 students in 1961-62, to having 3,200 in 1967-68. Its campus was praised as gorgeously modernist and groundbreaking, receiving numerous awards.[9] Its Student Union was quite active, organising events and concerts. Performers like Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Chuck Berry repeatedly performed at the University Common Room, giving the university a reputation for Rock and Roll.[10]

Sussex came to be identified with student radicalism. In 1973 a mob of students physically prevented United States government adviser Samuel P. Huntington from giving a speech on campus, due to his involvement in the Vietnam War.[11]

In 1980, Sussex edged out the University of Oxford to become the University with the highest income from research grants and contracts.[12]

21st century[edit]

In an attempt to appeal to a modern audience, the university chose in 2004 to cease using its coat of arms[13] and to replace it with the "US" logo.[14]

2011 marked Sussex's 50th anniversary and saw the production of a number of works including a book on the university's history and an oral history and photography project. The university launched its first major fundraising campaign, Making the Future, and gathered over £37 million.[15]

The university underwent a number of changes with the Sussex Strategic Plan 2009-2015, including the introduction of new academic courses, the opening of new research centres, the renovation and refurbishment of a number of its schools and buildings as well as the ongoing expansion of its student housing facilities. The university has spent over £100 million on campus redevelopment, which is ongoing with £500 million set to be spent by the year 2021.[citation needed]

Sussex is heavily involved with the larger community across England, especially in East Sussex. There are many regular community projects, such as children's activity camps, the Neighbourhood scheme, the community ambassador programme and Street Cleans. Local residents can receive free legal advice from Sussex's law school and get guidance on renting through Sussex's Rent Smart program.[16] The university also facilitates volunteering opportunities for a number of local and international organizations. The university also offers language courses for the public through its Sussex centre for language studies.[17]

In September 2017, the University appointed Saul Becker as its first permanent deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Campus[edit]

A picture of Meeting House
View of Arts A
Side entrance to Bramber House with Eat Central food court

Sussex is situated near the city of Brighton, and surrounded by the South Downs National Park. The campus is also close to Hove and Lewes and is under one hour away from central London.[citation needed]

The campus, designed by Sir Basil Spence, is in the village of Falmer. It is close to the South Downs, which influenced Spence's design of the campus. The campus is self-contained with facilities, restaurants and shops including banks, bookshops, a pharmacy, a health centre, childcare facilities and cafes.[18]

Fulton Building

Spence's designs were appreciated by architects; many of the campus buildings won awards. The gatehouse-inspired Falmer House won a bronze medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.[5] Another campus building, The Meeting House, won the Civic Trust award in 1969.[19] In 1993, the buildings which made up the core of Spence's designs were given listed building status, with Falmer House being one of only two buildings to be given a Grade 1 status of "exceptional interest".[19] A number of the original buildings are now Grade I listed buildings, the first time university buildings in England become listed. [20]

Sussex laid claim to being the "only English university located entirely within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".[21] It is now entirely surrounded by the newly-founded South Downs National Park.

Essex House

The Gardner Arts Centre, another of Basil Spence's designs, was opened in 1969 as the first university campus arts centre.[22] It had a 480-seat purpose-built theatre, a visual art gallery and studio space, and was frequently used for theatre and dance as well as showing a range of films on a modern cinema screen. The Centre closed in the summer of 2007:[23] withdrawal of funding and the cost of renovating the building were given as the key reasons. Following an extensive refurbishment, the Centre reopened as the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) in the autumn of 2015, and a public performance programme started in Spring 2016.

The campus has facilities such as the Genome Damage and Stability Centre; the medical imaging equipment at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS); and the University's Library, until 2013 the home of the Mass Observation Archive, which relocated to The Keep, a purpose-built facility nearby.

The Library[edit]

The Sussex Main Library

The university's main library is at the centre of its campus. It was opened by the Queen in 1973. It houses over 800,000 books, more than 58,000 journals and many databases, digital archives and the university's own archives.[citation needed] The Royal Literary fund office is based at the Library, providing support for students and staff. The Library also houses a research support centre and a research hive for PhD students and research staff.[24] There are also a Skills Hub, training facilities, a support centre and a Careers and Employability Centre.

There are also smaller libraries within schools and The Keep. The university collections include original manuscripts and first editions by Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen and Rudyard Kipling as well as The New Statesman Archive and the Mass Observation Archive. Sussex also has a number of collections, such as the archival collection of CBW related documents on chemical and biological weapons disarmament (SHIB - Sussex Harvard Information Bank).[citation needed]

University of Sussex students have access to the University of Brighton libraries, in addition to other libraries through the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) scheme.

Organisation and administration[edit]

Schools of Studies[edit]

The university was founded with the unusual structure of "Schools of Study" (ubiquitously abbreviated to "schools") rather than traditional university departments within arts and science faculties.

In the early 1990s the University promoted the system by claiming "[c]lusters of faculty [come] together within schools to pursue new areas of intellectual enquiry. The schools also foster broader intellectual links. Physics with Management Studies, Science and Engineering with European Studies, Economics with Mathematics all reach beyond conventional Arts/Science divisions."[25] By this time the original schools had been developed somewhat and were:

  • African and Asian Studies (abbreviated to AFRAS)
  • Biological Sciences (BIOLS)
  • Chemistry and Molecular Sciences (MOLS)
  • Cognitive and Computing Sciences (COGS)
  • Cultural and Community Studies (CCS)
  • Engineering and Applied Sciences (ENGG, formerly EAPS)
  • English and American (ENGAM or EAM)
  • European Studies (EURO)
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)
  • Social Sciences (SOC)

There was also the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).

In 2001, as the university celebrated its 40th anniversary, the then Vice-Chancellor Alasdair Smith proposed major changes to the curriculum across the "Arts schools", and the senate agreed to structural changes which would create two Arts schools and a "Sussex Institute" in place of the five schools then in place. Corresponding changes would be made in Sciences.[26]

The changes were finally implemented in September 2003.[citation needed] After discussion in senate and the schools, disciplinary departments which had been located across the different schools, were located firmly within one school, and undergraduates were offered straightforward degree subjects. The multi-disciplinarity provided by the school courses was now to be achieved through elective courses from other departments and schools.

In 2009 the university adopted a new organisational structure. The term "Schools of Studies" was retained, but each was headed by a "Head of School" rather than the traditional "Dean". Many of these new heads were appointed from outside Sussex rather than from existing faculty. The schools as of 2009 are listed below.[27]

The term "department" has been retained in some cases, where a school contains separate disciplines.

The Law, Politics and Sociology school
  • Engineering and Informatics (two separate schools before 2011)[28]
  • Life Sciences (includes Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry and houses the Centre for Genome Damage and Stability)
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences (includes Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy)
  • Psychology
  • Business, Management and Economics
  • Education and Social Work
  • Global Studies (includes Anthropology,[29] Geography and International Relations, as well as interdisciplinary programmes in Development Studies)
  • Law, Politics and Sociology
  • English
  • History, Art History and Philosophy
  • Media, Film and Music

The changes did not affect the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

The Doctoral School supports PhD student and Post-docs across all schools and departments and is activly involved with the Sussex Research hive, the Researcher Development Program, multiple funding schemes as well as its own partnerships.[citation needed]

Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors[edit]

Lord Attenborough in academic regalia
Library Square at Christmas

The current and fifth Chancellor of the university is Sanjeev Bhaskar, who succeeded Lord Attenborough in 2009.[30]

Name of Chancellor Period
Walter Monckton, 1st Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 1961-65
Hartley Shawcross 1965-85
Charles Gordon-Lennox, 10th Duke of Richmond 1985-98
Richard Attenborough 1998-2009
Sanjeev Bhaskar 2009–present

The university has had seven Vice-Chancellors:

Name of Vice-Chancellor Period
John Fulton 1961-67
Asa Briggs 1967-76
Denys Wilkinson 1976-87
Leslie Fielding 1987-92
Gordon Conway 1992-98
Alasdair Smith 1998-2007
Michael Farthing 2007-16
Adam Tickell 2016–Present

Academic profile[edit]

The university offers over 350 Undergraduate programs, over 210 Master Programs and over 70 PhD programs. It is research-led, with around 1000 teaching and research staff of which around 300 are research-only staff. Additionally, there are over 1200 PhD students at the university distributed across the different Schools. The university fees are at £9,250 per year for undergraduates, the highest a university can charge in the U.K.[31]

The Sussex Genome Centre

Research[edit]

The results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 show that 98 per cent of research activity at Sussex is categorised as ‘world-leading’ (28 per cent), ‘internationally excellent’ (48 per cent) or ‘internationally recognised’ (22 per cent) in terms of originality, significance and rigour.[32]

The university of Sussex is one of the UK ESRC's 21 Centres for Doctoral Training, the only institutions accredited in 2010 and capable of receiving ESRC doctoral studentships and funding. The system was updated in 2016 and Doctoral Training Partnerships were established to replace the DTC. In this respect, Sussex is now a member of the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts-South East England (CHASE).[33]

In addition to being home to IDS, Sussex has over 40 university research centres, over 15 strategic research centres and a large number of smaller research clusters.[34] Its research centres include SPRU, the Science Policy Research Unit, which is ranked as 1st in the UK and 7th in the world (out of 6,600 think tanks ranked) by the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report 2016.[35] The university also has a Genome Damage and Stability Centre, a nuclear magnetic resonance facility and a purpose-built apparatus in cryogenic research.[36]

Sussex has a number of research collaborations with other Higher Education institutions as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations and institutes around the world. The Harvard Sussex program is a research collaboration focusing on public policy towards chemical and biological weapons. Sussex-Cornell Partnership, the Sussex-Bocconi-Renmin Intrapreneurship Hub and the Sussex-Lund Partnership in Middle Eastern and North African Studies are recent examples. Sussex also co-coordinates the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts.[citation needed]

In recent years, the institutes for the study of consciousness science, the institute for the study of corruption and the Middle East studies institute were opened at the university. [37][better source needed]

Rankings[edit]

Rankings
ARWU[38]
(2017, national)
21—28
ARWU[39]
(2017, world)
201—300
QS[40]
(2018, national)
30
QS[41]
(2018, world)
228
THE[42]
(2018, national)
21=
THE[43]
(2018, world)
147=
CWTS Leiden[44]
(2017, world)
205
Complete[45]
(2018, national)
19
The Guardian[46]
(2018, national)
20
Times/Sunday Times[47]
(2018, national)
27
Teaching Excellence Framework[48] Silver

The University of Sussex was ranked 62nd in Europe and 147th in the world by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018. The Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 put the University of Sussex in the top 201-300 globally, while the university was ranked 228th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2018; it placed 187th in 2017.[49]

Notably, the QS World University Rankings by Subject for both 2017 and 2018 placed the University of Sussex number 1 in the world for Development Studies.[50][51]

It was ranked 39th in the world in the 2018 instalment of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the social sciences, and 7th in the United Kingdom.[52] In the same year, it ranked 4th in the UK for Sociology, 7th for Geography, 4th for Politics and International Relations and 2nd for Communication and Media Studies by the Times Higher Education rankings by subject.[52] Further, it ranked in the world's top 100 for Anthropology, Sociology, Politics and International Relations, Geography, English Langugae and Literature and Communication and media studies in the QS 2017 rankings.[53] The university also ranked in the top 100 in the world for the social sciences in the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2016. [54]

In the last National Student Survey,[when?] the university scored 87% student satisfaction.[37]

Educational partners[edit]

Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) results from a partnership between the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. The school, the first medical school in the South East outside London, gained its licence in 2002 and opened in 2003.

BSMS building

The Institute of Development Studies offers research, teaching and communications related to international development. IDS originated in 1966 as a research institute based at the University of Sussex. It is financially and constitutionally independent under the status of a charitable company limited by guarantee.

The Centre for Research in Innovation Management, a research-based school of the University of Brighton, dates from 1990. It is located in the Freeman Centre building with the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) on the University of Sussex campus.

The Sussex Innovation Centre, an on-campus commercial business centre, opened in 1996. It provides services for the formation and growth of technology- and knowledge-based companies in the South East. It offers a business environment to over 40 companies in the IT, biotech, media and engineering sectors.

Study Group works in partnership with the University to provide the Sussex University International Study Centre (ISC).[55] It offers a course of academic subjects, study skills and English-language training for students who wish to study a degree at the university but who do not yet possess the necessary qualifications to start a degree. The ISC course provides students with English-language and academic skills to start at Sussex the following year.

The Brighton Institute of Modern Music offers BA courses in Modern Musicianship - validated by the University of Sussex - at its centres in Brighton and Bristol.[56]

In 2012 the new Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT) was founded[by whom?] at Sussex, conducting research in the field of international relations.

Partner Institutions[edit]

Internationally, the university has over 160 partner institutions including the University of British Columbia, University of California at Berkeley (in addition to six other branches of the University of California), George Washington University, Georgetown University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Asheville, University of Pittsburgh, Purdue University, University of Rochester, State University of New York, University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington, Kyoto University, Peking University, Korea University, National Taiwan University (NTU), Université Grenoble Alpes, Aix-Marseille Université, Paris-Sorbonne University, Sciences Po Aix, Sciences Po Paris, University of Strasbourg, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.[57]

Student life[edit]

International students and opportunities[edit]

In 2016-2017, there were 17,319 students at Sussex, with under 12,000 undergraduates and over 5,000 postgraduates. In total, there are around 5,000 students from outside the EU, the majority of whom are postgraduates. It also has a large number of students from mainland Europe, a little over 7% of its student body in 2017-2018.[citation needed] One in five of its undergraduates study abroad at some point of their education: the majority of its undergraduate courses offer a study abroad year and/or placement.[6]

The Sussex Innovation Centre

Sussex students may also spend a year abroad as part of their degree, in a variety of European institutions through the ERASMUS programme, as well as North America, Asia, Central and South America, Australia and North Africa.[58]

The university runs the first generation scholars scheme, an award-winning initiative, to support students from lower-economic backgrounds as well as students who are the first to pursue higher education in their families.[59] In 2017, Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn met the first generation students during his visit to the University.[60]

Support at Sussex includes a work-study programme to help students earn money, funded work placements and three years’ aftercare for graduates to help them find a suitable career. The Sussex Plus programme documents and credits students' extracurricular skills.[31]

English Language courses for speakers of other languages are provided by the Language Institute. "English in the Vacation" gives intensive practice in spoken and written English. An International Foundation Year offered by the ISC[clarification needed] offers direct routes to Sussex degrees.[61]

The Sussex International Summer School runs for four and eight weeks starting in July, providing intensive courses. It is predominantly attended by foreign students.[62] The ISS trips office provides excursions to prominent cities, theatres, and activities.[63] Sussex is also home to the Fullbright Sussex Summer institute, a four-week academic program on British culture designed for American Students.[64]

The Sussex Student Union also runs a series of events in support of international students at Sussex. The union has a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions policy in all its shops, bars and cafes.[citation needed]

Housing[edit]

Shawcross Building

Accommodation on campus was expanded in the 1970s with the construction of the unusual split-level flats of East Slope. This development also has a social building with a porters' office and bar.

In the 1990s, as student numbers rose, further developments were constructed in the corner of campus between East Slope and Park Village. Brighthelm and Lewes Court were constructed in public-private partnership funding arrangements with the Bradford & Northern and Kelsey Housing Associations.

In total there are seven areas of student accommodation on campus. Two newer accommodation areas were completed recently:[when?] one next to Falmer railway station, named Stanmer Court, and the other next to East Slope, opposite Bramber House, known as Swanborough.[65]

Northfield were constructed at the top end of campus, beyond Lewes Court, which opened in September 2011. A few years after, they followed by Swanborough accomodation.[66]

Sport[edit]

The university has two sports centres: the Sussex Sports Centre and the Falmer Sports Complex. There is also one sports shop within the sports centre and one in the Falmer sports complex. [67] The Falmer sports centre alone has over 40 acres of playing field.[68]

Floodlit 3G pitch

The university competes in the following sports, usually with both men's and women's teams:

View of Sports fields

The Falmer stadium, home to the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., is located near the Sussex campus. A mutual relationship of benefits, including potential usage of the stadium's sporting facilities by the university, was established very early on. [69] The university offers sports scolarships, including ones for basketball and Hockey. [31]

Campus media[edit]

The Badger is the Union’s weekly newspaper and is written and designed entirely by Sussex students. The paper is available to students and staff during term-time, covering news and sport on campus, as well as comment pieces, features, lifestyle and arts coverage. It also publishes content online. The Badger began in October 1995, having formerly been known as Unionews since the 1970s. The paper has since covered a variety of stories, including several on-campus occupations and the expulsion of five Sussex students for involvement in protests.[citation needed]

University Radio Falmer was one of the first student radio stations in the country, founded in 1976.[70] It now broadcasts via digital audio broadcasting[71] and via the internet.[72] The station has a daytime schedule, and during the evening offers a range of genre programming, all from Sussex students. URF also runs a news service. It won a bronze award in the "best scripted programming" category in the 2008 UK Student Radio Awards.[73] The station also holds the former BBC Radio Director Helen Boaden and Sky News journalist Kit Bradshaw among its alumni.[74][75]

University of Sussex Student Television (abbreviated to UniTV) is a student television channel, launched in September 2010. UniTV is a member of NaSTA (National Student Television Association) and has won 7 NaSTA awards in the past three years.[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable staff[edit]

In the sciences Sussex counts among its past and present faculty five Nobel Prize winners: Sir Anthony Leggett,[76] Sir Paul Nurse,[77] Archer Martin,[78][79] Sir John Cornforth[80] and Sir Harry Kroto.[81] Sir Harry, the first Briton to win the chemistry prize in over ten years, received the prize in 1996 for the discovery of a new class of carbon compounds known as the fullerenes.

John Maynard Smith, FRS, founding father of Sussex Biology was honoured with the Crafoord Prize [82] and the Kyoto Prize[83] for his contributions to Evolutionary Biology.

The University has 15 Fellows of the Royal Society. These include Geoff Cloke (Inorganic Chemistry); Michael F. Land (Animal Vision - Frink Medal); Michael Lappert (Inorganic Chemistry); Alan Lehmann (Genetics and Genome Stability); John Murrell (Theoretical Chemistry); John Nixon (Inorganic Chemistry); Laurence Pearl (Structural Biology) and Guy Richardson (Neuroscience). Additionally, two of its faculty have received the prestigious Leontief Prize: Michael Lipton and Mariana Mazzucato.

In the arts, there are seven members of faculty who have the distinction of being Fellows of the British Academy. Former staff with FBAs include Donald Winch (economics). In 2017, Digital humanities professor David Berry was awarded the British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.

Other prominent academics on the staff of the University have included; Geoffrey Bennington, the creator of the MA programme in Modern French Thought; Homi K. Bhabha (postcolonialism); Jonathan Dollimore (Renaissance literature, gender and queer studies); Katy Gardner (social anthropology); Gabriel Josipovici (Dante, the Bible); Jacqueline Rose (feminism, psychoanalysis); Nicholas Royle (modern literature and theory; deconstruction); Alan Sinfield (Shakespeare, sexuality, queer theory); Brian Street (anthropology); Gavin Ashenden (Senior Lecturer in English, University Chaplain, broadcaster and Chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II);[84], Keith Pavitt (science and technology policy), Christopher Freeman (Economist) and Michael Lipton, shared winner of the 2012 Leontief Prize.

Other current notable staff (in addition to those mentioned above) include economist Richard Tol, psychologist Andy Field, biologist Dave Goulson, economist Mariana Mazzucato, sociologist Gerard Delanty, development economist Sir Richard Jolly, historian Robin Milner-Gulland, scholar Edward Timms, author Gabriel Josipovici, economist Michael Lipton and political economist Mick Moore.

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°51′55″N 0°05′08″W / 50.86528°N 0.08556°W / 50.86528; -0.08556