Keele University: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keele University

The Keele University shield
Motto Thanke God for All
Established 1949 (as University College of North Staffordshire); university status granted in 1962
Type Public
Endowment £735,000[1]
Chancellor Prof Sir David Weatherall
Vice-Chancellor Prof Dame Janet Finch
Visitor The Lord President of the Council ex officio
Faculty 403
Students 12,345[2]
Undergraduates 8,951[2]
Postgraduates 3,400[2]
Location Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
53°00′11″N 2°16′23″W / 53.003°N 2.273°W / 53.003; -2.273Coordinates: 53°00′11″N 2°16′23″W / 53.003°N 2.273°W / 53.003; -2.273
Campus Rural
Keele University logo w2t.png

Keele University is a research-intensive campus university located near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, England. Founded in 1949 as an experimental college dedicated to a broad curriculum and interdisciplinary study,[3] Keele is most notable for pioneering the dual honours degree in Britain.[4] The University occupies a 617 acre (2.5 km²) rural campus close to the village of Keele and houses a Science Park[5] and a conference centre.[6] The University's School of Medicine and School of Nursing and Midwifery operate clinical courses from a separate campus at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent.



Keele University was established in 1949 as the University College of North Staffordshire, at the initiative of A. D. Lindsay, then Master of Balliol College, Oxford. Lindsay was a strong advocate of working-class adult education,[7] who had first suggested a "people's university" in an address to the North Staffordshire Workers' Educational Association in 1925.[8]

On 13 March 1946, Lindsay wrote to Sir Walter Moberly, chair of the University Grants Committee (UGC), suggesting the establishment of a college “on new lines”.[9] Established practice was for new colleges to be launched without degree-awarding powers, instead taking external degrees of the University of London. Crucially, Lindsay wanted to “get rid of the London external degree”, instead forming a college with the authority from the start to set its own syllabus, perhaps acting under the sponsorship of an established university. Lindsay wrote also to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, tentatively requesting just such sponsorship.[9]

An exploratory committee was established by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, chaired by Lindsay and supported by Alderman Thomas Horwood, Vicar of Etruria and leader of the Labour group on the City Council.[10] Having secured public funding from the UGC in January 1948,[11] the Committee acquired Keele Hall, a stately home on the outskirts of Newcastle-under-Lyme, from its owner, Ralph Sneyd.[12] The Hall, ancestral residence of the Sneyd family, had previously been requisitioned by the War Office for military use during World War II, and was supplied with the bulk of the Sneyd estate and a number of prefabricated structures erected by the Army, for the sum of £31,000.[12]

Growing steadily, the University College was promoted to university status in 1962,[13] receiving a new Royal Charter in January of that year,[14] and adopting the name The University of Keele. This remains the official name, although Keele University is now the name used by the University itself.

In 1968, the Royal Commission on Medical Education (1965–68) issued its report (popularly known as the Todd Report), which considered the possibility of a medical school being established at Keele University. It was generally considered that North Staffordshire would be a good site for a new medical school, having a large local population and several large hospitals. However, it was considered that a minimum intake of 150 students a year would be necessary to make a medical school at Keele economically and educationally viable, and it was considered that Keele University was at that time too small an institution to be able to support a medical school of this size. However, in 1978, Keele Department of Postgraduate Medicine opened. This department conducted medical research, and played a part in postgraduate medical education, but did not teach undergraduate medical students. This was followed, in 2002, by medical students from Manchester Medical School being taught at Keele, eventually leading to Keele's own medical school starting in 2007.

In 1994, the Oswestry and North Staffordshire School of Physiotherapy (ONSSP), which had been a separate institution based at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, Shropshire, merged with Keele University, becoming Keele's Department of Physiotherapy Studies, and relocating from Oswestry to the Keele University campus. In August 1995, Keele University merged with North Staffordshire College of Nursing and Midwifery, forming the new School of Nursing and Midwifery.

The University estimates that there are now upwards of 5,600 full-time students at Keele; 1,300 part-time students; and around 4,000 participants on professional and short courses.[15] The University is committed to further growth,[16] with the stated objective of increasing its numbers to 10,000 full-time students.[15]


Keele Hall, formerly the ancestral home of the Sneyd family; now part of Keele University.

The university is located on a 617 acre (2.5 km²) estate. The campus is home to an increasing number of academic and residential buildings.

Campus facilities include an astronomical observatory, an art gallery, an arboretum, a chapel, an Islamic centre, and shops, cafes and places to eat and drink. Just outside the entrance to the University is Keele Golf Course and practice range.

The university has also built award-winning science and business parks and conference centres on the campus.

Recently, the university received planning permission to begin a building programme on a 70 acre portion of the campus. This will include a mixture of academic and residential buildings to accommodate the planned increase in student numbers.


Halls of residence

There are five halls of residence. Barnes, Lindsay, Holly Cross and The Oaks and Horwood are located on the main campus, while The Hawthorns is just outside the university gates in Keele village itself.[17] Together, these halls provide accommodation for approximately 70% of the full-time students.[15]

Barnes Hall has no M block (it has A-L and N-X), this coupled with the large clear area adjacent to L block helped an urban legend about Barnes Hall to develop. The myth is that M block sank into the ground due to an abandoned mine tunnel, this is only partially true - the block became unsafe due to subsidence and was demolished.

Students' Union

The Students' Union building.

Keele University Students' Union is active in organising social activities throughout the year. The Student Union holds student social nights most nights, with the busiest being "Retro Rooms" on a Wednesday (with a fortnightly "Flirt!" night) and "Get Funked" on a Friday. The Union has several bars - The Lounge, Sam's Bar, Barista and K2. Restaurants are Harveys Coffee Shop and The Kiln. The union formerly owned the Golfer's Arms, adjacent to the campus but this was finally sold to the local council at the end of 2005.

Concourse is the name of the student newspaper. It is issued twice a month.

In the early 1990s the Keele Students Union RAG committee was instrumental in the formation of the "National Association of RAGs". This wider scope of activity lead to good natured rivalry with other RAG committees, especially Warwick and Cardiff.

Student Activity

The Keele University team won the 1968 series of University Challenge.[18] The same team also made runner up to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (1979) in the 2002 special; University Challenge: Reunited.

In the early 1980s Keele attracted the attention of the national press and television news when some students founded a 'cuddling society' and a 'mass cuddle' was filmed in the car park outside the students union.

The post-modern sculpture situated outside Keele's Library was stolen by a visiting sports team only to be later retrieved and securely fitted. In 2005 the same statue was damaged in protest of the University's policy of fining regulations against its undergraduate students.

In 2007, Keele University students were responsible for getting Keele featured as a location on the UK 'Here and Now' version of the traditional board game Monopoly. People in the UK had an opportunity to vote for which places should make the board, and Keele was the highest "wild-card" location which made it on. It even finished higher on the board than London, and takes the place of "Fleet Street" in the game.[19]

In 2007, Keele students won a competition hosted by O2 via facebook called "The battle for the UK's favourite university", scoring over 172,000 points by uploading photos, videos and making wall posts on the group. The prize for winning the competition was a party at their students union, hosted by O2.

Kube Radio

There is also a very popular student radio station called Kube Radio, broadcast over the Internet. This station is currently the most internationally acclaimed student radio station with awards from both the New York Festivals and the European Radio Awards both for Best Online Only Radio Station.

A recent poll conducted on Facebook in collaboration with Kube Radio found that Keele University has been overcharging foreign students and the matter has now been taken up with the UK Border Agency and the UCAS Tuition Fee Board.

Reputation and academic organisation

The University's distinctive profile[20] reflects the aims of its founders: breadth of study and community atmosphere.[21]

Breadth of study was guaranteed by the "pioneering"[22] four-year dual-honours degree programmes initially offered by Keele. The University's curriculum required every student to study two "principal" subjects to honours level, as well as further "subsidiary" subjects, with an additional requirement that students should study at least one subject from each of the subject groupings of Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences.[23] The cross-disciplinary requirement was reinforced by the Foundation Year, an innovation which meant that for the first year of the four-year programmes, all students would study a common course of interdisciplinary "foundation studies". In the words of the first UCNS Prospectus, the programme offered:

"...a broad education based upon an understanding of the heritage of civilisation, movements and conditions, and of the nature, methods and influence of the experimental sciences"[24]

Standard three-year degrees were introduced in 1973[25] and the number of students following the Foundation Year course have steadily dwindled since. The Foundation Year has never quite been formally discontinued, however, and remains an option for prospective students who qualify for entry into Higher Education, but lack subject-specific qualifications for specific degree programmes.[26] By contrast, the Dual Honours system at Keele remains distinctive and popular, with almost 90 per cent of current undergraduates reading dual honours.[27]

As an experimental community, Keele was initially founded as a "wholly residential"[21] institution. Of the initial intake of 159 students in October 1950, 149 were resident on campus,[28] and it was required of the first professors appointed that they should also be in residence.[29] With the expansion of the University, total residency has long since been abandoned, but the proportion of students and staff resident on campus remains above average: 70 per cent of full-time students[15] and "a significant proportion of staff"[30] currently live in campus residences.

The University also has a reputation for political activism, especially left-wing radicalism,[31] having been dubbed, in its early years, a "School for Socialists"[32] and "The Kremlin on the Hill".[33]


The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) last conducted an institution-wide audit of Keele's teaching between 10 and 14 May 2004. The Agency reported "broad confidence" in the management of the University's teaching quality.[34]

The QAA discontinued the "graded profile" method of individual subject review in 2001,[35] At that time, the highest-graded areas of teaching at Keele were: American studies, education, philosophy, politics and international relations (scoring 24 out of a possible 24); economics and psychology (scoring 23); maths and statistics, physics and astrophysics, organismal biosciences, sociology (scoring 22); and management, nursing and midwifery, biochemistry and biomedical sciences (scoring 21).[4]

The Good University Guide 2009
Institution Ranking: 40 of 109[36]
Best-ranked subjects: American Studies (10th)[37]

History (17th)[38]

Physics and Astrophysics (17th) [39]

Anatomy and physiology (18th)[40]

Medicine (19th) [41]

Social Policy (20th)[42]

Sunday Times University Guide 2006
Institution Ranking: 41 of 119[43]
National Student Survey 2008
Satisfaction score: 75% [44]
Highest score: Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology 100%[45]
Lowest score: Finance 71%[46]

Departments at Keele are organised into three faculties:

  • The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences contains the Schools of
    • Criminology, Education, and Sociology & Social Work (Criminology, Education, Social Relations)
    • Economic & Management Studies (Economics, Health Planning and Management, Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, Management)
    • Humanities (American studies, English, History, Languages, Culture and Creative Arts)
    • Law (Professional Ethics, Law)
    • Politics, International Relations & Philosophy.
  • The Faculty of Natural Sciences contains the Schools of
    • Computing & Mathematics
    • Life Sciences
    • Physical & Geographical Sciences
    • Psychology


In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, the research of one department (Law) was rated 5* and that of a further six departments (English, Mathematics (Applied), History, American Studies, the School of Politics, International Relations and the Environment ("SPIRE") and the Centre for Science and Technology in Medicine ("CSTM")) was rated 5. An interdepartmental submission to the Social Policy and Administration panel was also rated 5.

Research in psychology, biology, Russian, music, business and management studies and community-based clinical subjects was also highly rated in the RAE 2001.[47]

Research activities are co-ordinated by a Graduate School[48] and organised within seven Research Institutes:

  • Research Institute for the Humanities
  • Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice
  • Research Institute for Life Course Studies
  • Research Institute for Public Policy and Management
  • Research Institute for the Environment, Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics (EPSAM)
  • Research Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine
  • Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences

Since 2005, an Office of Research and Enterprise has managed Keele's "enterprise activities".

The cochlear implant was developed in the Department of Communication and Neuroscience at Keele.

In 2010 a medical center in Newport, Shropshire is to be completed, for students to learn in real medical situations and research medical sciences.

In August 2009, astronomers at the University, led by David Anderson, discovered the first planet that orbits in the opposite direction to the spin of its star. The planet was named WASP-17b.[49]


The University Library.

Turner Collection controversy

In 1998 and 1999 there was some controversy over the decision by University authorities to sell the Turner Collection, a valuable collection of mathematical printed books including some which had belonged to - and had been heavily annotated by - Isaac Newton, in order to fund major improvements to the University Library. The collection also included first printed editions of Euclid in most of the major European languages. Senior University officials authorised the sale of the collection to a private buyer, with no guarantee that it would remain intact or within the UK. Although legally permissible, the sale was unpopular among the academic community and the controversy was fuelled by prolonged negative press coverage suggesting that the £1m sale price was too low and that the collection was certain to be broken up.[50]

David Southall controversy

David Southall a paediatrician and Honorary Professor in the School of Postgraduate Medicine (1992–2004) carried out some of this studies on Fabricated or Induced Illness in North Staffordshire. Southall secretly videotaped children being harmed by their carers. While this resulted in prosecutions of the carers, it also exposed Southall to serious ethical charges. This, and other controversies, led to Southall's being officially excluded from medical practice in 2007.

Janet Finch pay rise controversy

Professor Dame Janet Finch, current Vice-Chancellor of Keele.

Early in 2007 it was announced that the Keele University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Finch, had received a pay rise of 31.7 per cent in the previous year. This took her annual salary to £212,000 which is greater than the salaries paid to the Vice-Chancellors of universities such as Cambridge and Warwick.[51]

In nearly 13 years as Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, Finch has seen the University expand substantially, masterminded the introduction of a new Medical School and overseen the development of a Science and Business Park, which is widely recognised as making a major contribution to the regeneration of North Staffordshire.[52]

However, critics point out that despite the success of recent expansions, Keele University has suffered the fourth biggest drop in student applications of all UK universities. Students at the university have also claimed that Finch's 'success' is down to ruthless cutbacks rather than careful investment.[citation needed] The cutbacks have been met with strike action.[53]

Finch's pay will remain frozen until 2009 and following the pay rise controversy Finch was made a Dame in the 2008 Honours List.


Keele has a tradition of participation in many different sports, ranging from rugby to lacrosse, to dodgeball. Sports teams and issues raised are managed by the Athletic Union. The Leisure Centre is one of the largest dry leisure complexes in Staffordshire.[54] The Centre boasts two national standard sports halls, a single court gymnasium, a fitness centre, dance studio and climbing wall. Outside there is an all weather floodlit Astroturf pitch, tennis courts and extensive playing fields. It is also the first University Centre in the UK to offer a full "Kinesis" gym facility.[55]


List of University officers

Principals and Vice-Chancellors

Presidents and Chancellors

Notable academics

The University Chapel.

National Teaching Fellows [56]

  • Professor Patrick Bailey - Dean of Natural Sciences
  • Dr Stephen Bostock - Head of the Learning Development Unit
  • Dr Jonathan Parker - Senior Lecturer in Politics
  • Peter Knight - Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography

Notable alumni

The Chapel in winter.
The University's Arms, as displayed on the front of the Library


Arts, Media, Entertainment, Sports


Public service


  1. ^
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.1
  4. ^ a b Tarleton, Alice (1 August 2006). "Keele University". A-Z Unis & Colleges. The Independent. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  5. ^ Keele University Science & Business Park
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Balliol College History". Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  8. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.8
  9. ^ a b Kolbert (2000), p.19
  10. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.22
  11. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.30
  12. ^ a b Kolbert (2000), p.37
  13. ^ "Keeles University Alumni: Keele's Heritage". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  14. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.108
  15. ^ a b c d "About Keele University". 9 August 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  16. ^ "Keele University Strategic Plan 2005-2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  17. ^ Living in Halls
  18. ^ University Challenge Series Champions
  19. ^ BBC News "Monopoly launches UK-wide edition" 24 September 2007
  20. ^ "Keele University Strategic Plan 2005-2010" (PDF). pp. p.4. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  21. ^ a b "Aims of the College", from the Programme for the official opening of UCNS, 17 April 1951. Reproduced in Kolbert (2000), pp.70-72
  22. ^ "Uni. finder > West Midlands > Keele University". HERO. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  23. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.48
  24. ^ UCNS Prospectus, for Session 1950-51. Quoted in Kolbert (2000), p.39
  25. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.141
  26. ^ "Foundation Years". Undergraduate Prospectus 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  27. ^ "Keele University Alumni: Keele’s Heritage". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  28. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.64
  29. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.41
  30. ^ "Keele University Strategic Plan 2005-2010" (PDF). pp. p.5. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  31. ^ Kolbert (2000), pp.142-151
  32. ^ The Sentinel, November 1946. Quoted in Kolbert (2000), p.23
  33. ^ Kolbert (2000), p.67
  34. ^ "University of Keele Institutional Audit, May 2004: Summary". Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  35. ^ "Quality assessment and subject review: England and Northern Ireland". Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  36. ^,,102571,00.html
  37. ^,,13377,00.html
  38. ^,,13419,00.html
  39. ^ University Rankings League Table 2009 | Good University Guide - Times Online
  40. ^,,13378,00.html
  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^,,13436,00.html
  43. ^
  44. ^ Average across all subject areas -
  45. ^ and enter 'Anatomy' and 'Keele'
  46. ^ and enter 'Finance' and 'Keele'
  47. ^ Keele University ratings in RAE2001 - from Keele website
  48. ^
  49. ^ Rincorn, Paul (12 August 2009). "New exoplanet orbits 'backwards'". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  50. ^ a study in university management of historical textbook resources
  51. ^ McInnes, Kathie (25 February 2007). "UNIVERSITY CHIEF'S PAY RISE TOPS 30%". The Sentinel. Retrieved 29 March 2007. 
  52. ^ Just what did they do to merit a pay rise? Times Higher Education Supplement, 23rd February 2007
  53. ^ Keele academics set to strike
  54. ^ "Environment and Facilities". Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  55. ^ "Keele University Annual Review 2005" (PDF). 2006. pp. 16. Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  56. ^



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address