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University of Warwick
Motto Latin: Mens agitat molem
Motto in English "Mind over matter"
Established 1965
Type Public
Endowment £5.23 million[1]
Chancellor Richard Lambert
Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift
Staff 4,992, incl. 1,046 academics and 702 researchers
Students 21,598 (full-time)[2]
Undergraduates 12,510[2]
Postgraduates 9,088[2]
Location Coventry, England, UK
Coordinates: 52°22′48.29″N 1°33′42.95″W / 52.3800806°N 1.5619306°W / 52.3800806; -1.5619306
Affiliations Russell Group, AMBA, EQUIS, Universities UK
Website http://www.warwick.ac.uk/
The University of Warwick logo

The University of Warwick is a British campus university located on the outskirts of Coventry, West Midlands, England. It was established in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand access to higher education, and in 2000 Warwick Medical School was opened as part of an initiative to train more doctors in Britain. The University describes itself as a research led institution and in the last Research Assessment Exercise the University was the 7th highest-ranked research institution in the UK.[3]

In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution.[4] More recently, the University has been seen as a favoured institution of the British New Labour government.[5] Warwick was one of the first UK universities to develop close links with the business community, and has been successful in the commercialisation of research. This commercial approach has resulted in its being nicknamed "Warwick University Limited" (or, more recently, "Warwick University PLC").[6]

Warwick is a member of the Russell Group. It also used to be a member of the 1994 Group but withdrew in July 2008.

The University's coat of arms includes atoms of two isotopes of lithium, a DNA helix to represent science and also the Bear and Ragged Staff of Warwickshire 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 was in earlier versions and in the letters patent issued by the College of Arms.

Contents

History

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Establishment

Warwick banner on University Road

The idea for a university in Coventry was mooted shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War but it was a bold and imaginative partnership of the City and the County which brought the University into being on a 400-acre (1.6 km2) site jointly granted by the two authorities.[7] There was some discussion between local sponsors from both the city and county over whether it should be named after Coventry or Warwickshire.[7] The name "University of Warwick" was adopted, even though the county town of Warwick itself lies some 8 miles (13 km) to the southwest and Coventry city centre lies only 3.5 miles (5.5 km) northeast of the campus.[8][9][10][11] 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 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 is currently situated on a large 2.8 km² campus which straddles the boundary between the City of Coventry and the County of Warwickshire. The Central Campus contains all of the main student amenities, all but one of the student halls, and the Students' Union. It also has Barclays Bank, Natwest Bank, a laundrette, a health centre, and a pharmacy.

Rapid growth

The University initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. The student population is now 16,646 (as of April 2008),[12] with around a third being postgraduates. 25% of the student body comes from overseas[13] 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 Studies. There are 1,607 academic staff, 844 research staff, and 5,168 total staff (as of April 2008).[12]

Since its establishment Warwick has expanded its grounds to 721 acres (2.9 km2) with many modern buildings and academic facilities, lakes and woodlands. A recent survey by The Times resulted in the campus being voted the best in the UK by a national poll of university students.

Architecture and policy

The campus originally consisted of distinctive Modern (1960s) architecture, in deliberate contrast with the medieval, classical, or "red brick" character of older Universities. The freedom given to academic departments combined with an aggressive and unapologetic commercial approach, both policies of the first Vice-Chancellor Lord Butterworth, were new innovations for UK Higher Education and have subsequently been copied by many other Universities.

Warwick is one of the few universities to reach its target for the proportion of state students admitted (86%). This may be due to the University's distinctive community policy and commitment to increasing access to higher education.

Chancellors

Current Chancellor Richard Lambert

Vice-Chancellors

Campuses

Lake at the rear of Warwick Business School

The University of Warwick is located on the outskirts of Coventry, 5.5 km (3.5 miles) southwest of the city centre, and not in Warwick as its name suggests. The University comprises three contiguous campuses, all in easy walking distance of the others:

  • The Main Campus
  • The Gibbet Hill Campus — home to Biological Sciences and Warwick Medical School
  • The Westwood Campus — home to the Institute of Education, Arden House conference centre, an indoor tennis centre, a running track, some postgraduate facilities and residences

In addition, other University properties include:

  • University of Warwick Science Park
  • Clinical Sciences Building at University Hospital Coventry — part of the Warwick Medical School
  • Warwick Horticulture Research International (HRI) Research & Conference Centre, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire

Academic standards

Research

The University was ranked seventh for quality of research out of 159 of the institutions which took part in the UK Funding Councils' 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.[15] Over 65% of the University's academic staff are located in "world-leading" or "internationally excellent" departments with top research ratings of 4* or 3*.[15] Warwick is particularly renowned for its research in environmental science, history, mathematics, statistics, economics, French, Italian, classics, business and management, film studies and theatre studies in which it ranked in the top 5 of the Research Assessment Exercise. Furthermore, 19 Warwick departments are in the top 10 in the UK and Warwick has achieved a 35% increase in the number of staff submitted with almost 90% taking part.

Rankings

Warwick is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 universities in the UK[16]. Entry to Warwick is competitive and according to The Sunday Times' University Guide 2006, Warwick has around ten applicants for every place.[17][18] Warwick students also average top A-Level grades (often equivalent to more than AAAa at A-level).[19]

In the World MBA rankings published by the Financial Times, Warwick ranked 14th in the world for its Executive MBA and 29th for its MBA. Furthermore, The Economist Intelligence Unit's Which MBA? Guide, published annually, ranked Warwick's Full-Time MBA program 23rd in the world and top 10 in Europe.[20]

According to The Sunday Times, September 2006: "In barely forty years, Warwick has established itself as a leading alternative to Oxford and Cambridge. It recruits some of the brightest students who are taught by staff often working at the cutting edge of their subjects."[21] The Guardian, in May 2007, described the University as "consistently rated among the best universities in the country. Warwick is something of a leader in the academic field."[22]

Moreover, the Sunday Times released averages of all its tables over 10 years, ranking Warwick as 7th in the country from 1998 - 2007.[23]

In 2000 the Sutton Trust also named Warwick as one of the leading universities in the UK, placing it 7th overall.[24]

UK University Rankings
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Times Good University Guide 6th[25] 6th[26] 7th[27] 8th[28] 8th 5th[29] 8th 6th[30][31] 6th 8th = 8th = 7th 6th 5th 8th = 5th = 8th = 8th =
Guardian University Guide 4th[32] 4th[33] 8th[34] 8th 8th[35] 9th[36] 9th[37] 9th[38] 5th[30]
Sunday Times University Guide 6th[39] 7th[39] 7th 7th[39] 6th[40] 6th[40] 7th[41] 8th[41] 5th[41] 7th[41] 8th[41] 7th[41] 7th[41]
Daily Telegraph 8th[42] 9th[43] 10th[30]
FT Good University Guide 6th[44][45] 7th[30] 10th[46] 9th[47] 9th[48]
Independent
Complete University Guide
supported by
PriceWaterHouseCoopers
6th[49] 5th[50] 8th[50]
Times - HES QS World Rankings 58th 69th[51] 57th[52] 73rd[53] 77th[54] 80 th[55]

Academic staff

Current and former notable members of academic staff at Warwick include:

Biological Sciences

  • Sir Brian Follett, also formerly Warwick University's Vice-Chancellor (1993 to 2001)

Computer Science

Economics

English

Engineering and Warwick Manufacturing Group

History

Law

Mathematics and Statistics

Philosophy

Sociology

Ethnic Relations

  • H. A. Hellyer, senior research fellow, specialist on Muslims in Europe and West-Muslim world relations.

Other

Future development

Vision 2020

Recently constructed buildings on the Warwick campus; (left to right) the International Manufacturing Centre (IMC), the Department of Computer Science (DCS), and the Zeeman building (Maths and Statistics).

In November 2005, the University of Warwick made public its vision for the year 2020 and outlined proposals for how it would like to develop its campus over the next 15 years. These proposals built upon recent construction activity which included a new Mathematics and Statistics Building, a new Computer Science Building, new Business School buildings, the new Heronbank Residences and an expanded Sports Centre. The proposals would see a shift in the "centre of gravity" on campus away from the Students' Union towards the new University House and a proposed "Academic Square", located around the new Maths and Computer Science buildings.

University House

University House, the main administration building

In 2003 the University acquired the former Headquarters of the National Grid which it converted into its new University administration building (now called University House). The building includes a student learning centre called the "Learning Grid".

Singapore Campus

In 2004 the University publicly revealed that it planned to open a 10,000-student campus in Singapore. Due to concerns about academic freedom, cost and freedom of speech for students, many students and academic staff opposed the scheme. Following exhaustive research the matter was discussed by the University's Senate, which requested further research to be undertaken, in effect forcing the University to abandon the scheme. Attempts to establish some firm links with Singapore (albeit not necessarily a full physical campus) are continuing.

Campus life

Student life

Rootes Social Building

Undergraduate student life at Warwick is 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 the second and third years, as students move off-campus, the focus shifts to either Leamington Spa or Earlsdon in Coventry.

Campus facilities

Staff, students and visitors benefit from the many non-academic facilities on campus. As well as Warwick Arts Centre (see below), the University hosts a large leisure centre, comprising 25 m swimming pool, two sports halls, gymnasium, squash courts and rock-climbing facility. Elsewhere on campus are a number of other sports halls, outside tennis courts, 400 m athletics track, multi-purpose outdoor surfaces 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. Indoor tennis courts have recently been opened on the Westwood Campus sports venue and an Olympic-size swimming pool has been rumoured in the long-term, depending on Coventry City Council's priorities. Most of the University's sports facilities are open to the general public.

Warwick University 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 earlier this year and provides seminar rooms, conference space and study areas for Postgraduate Research students. The Teaching Grid, which has just celebrated its first birthday, is a flexible space which allows teaching staff to try out new technologies and techniques. The Library also runs the Learning Grid based in University House, which is a technology rich space for all members of the University to use and provides access to video conferencing facilities, smart boards, networked PCs and a collection of core text books.

There is a Costcutter supermarket, pharmacy, two banks (Natwest, and Barclays), hair salon, post office, copy shop, and travel agent STA Travel around campus. A Tesco is located at the nearby Cannon Park shopping centre, a short walk from the Maths and Stats building or Claycroft halls.

All food and drink outlets are operated by either Warwick Hospitality or the Students' Union.

Residence halls

Students' Union

The students' union building - SU North and South
The students' union building - SU South

The University of Warwick Students' Union is one of the biggest Students' Unions in the UK, currently having over 260 societies and 76 sports clubs, including everything from Squash to Skydiving. It 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: Union North (mainly societies and administration) and Union South (entertainment facilities). Union South contains four club venues, seven bars and a cafe over four floors, with some "full Union (building)" events such as Top Banana and Skool Dayz. Drinks prices are not considered to be particularly cheap[56] but have recently been reduced for some events.

The Union has also recently hosted such bands 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.

The Union is a member of the National Union of Students (NUS), West Midlands Area NUS (WMANUS) and National Postgraduate Committee (NPC).

The Union South building underwent a £11 million refurbishment in Spring 2008, which was completed in January 2010. The new facilities included a club and gig venue, a pub, a life-sized replica model of accomplished Physics professor Benjamin Passmore, various food outlets, spaces for societies and a pool room.

Student events

Warwick hosts many major student-run events including One World Week.[57], Warwick Economics Summit, People & Planet's Go Green Week, Warwick International Development Summit, RAG Week and Warwick Student Arts Festival.

The University is also home to the largest student-run Real Ale Festival in Great Britain[citation needed], which takes place annually, always 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,[58] 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.

Campus media

  • Radio Warwick, also known as RaW, one of the most successful student radio stations in the UK
  • The Boar, an award-winning weekly newspaper distributed free across campus each Tuesday
  • Warwick Student Cinema, the university's student cinema housed in a large lecture theatre on campus, showing films on two 35 mm projectors most nights of the week.
  • Dissident Warwick, a termly publication focussed on radical politics.

Warwick Arts Centre

Warwick Arts Centre

Situated at the centre of the University's main campus, the Warwick Arts Centre is the largest arts centre in the UK outside London.[59]

The centre comprises:

  • The Butterworth Hall, a 1500-seat capacity concert hall
  • A 550-seat theatre
  • A 180-seat theatre studio
  • A 220-seat cinema
  • The Mead Gallery, an art gallery
  • The Music Centre

Warwick Koan

Warwick Arts Centre with Warwick Koan

White Koan, situated directly outside the main entrance of Warwick arts centre is a piece of modern art designed by the artist, Lilian Lijn.[60][61] The Koan is 6 metres (20 ft) high,[60] white in colour and decorated with elliptical of fluorescent lights. It is rotated by an electric motor whilst illuminated. The Koan is intended to represent the Buddhist quest for questions without answers (see koan). The Koan has been removed due to building works [1] taking place in the Warwick Arts Centre, and it is scheduled to return later in 2009.

The Koan was originally made in 1971 as part of the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation City Sculpture Project and was first sited in Plymouth and then in London at the Hayward Gallery. It was purchased by the University in 1972.[60]

Commercialism

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.

Commercialisation of research

The University 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:

As a result of these activities, Warwick is the only UK University to generate more income through commercial activities than it receives from 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.[62]

Warwick Conferences and Warwick Accommodation

Warwick was the first UK University to open its lecture and accommodation facilities to outside organisations, for profit, during the vacations. Warwick Conferences is now a thriving business, with its profits contributing to the University's financial independence, with dedicated, year-round conference centres, Scarman House and Radcliffe. Every year, on average 65,000 conference delegates are catered for, with services ranging from banqueting to access to sport facilities. Warwick Conferences has been recognised as one of the outstanding conference venues in the region and as such boasts among its collection, several awards including M&IT, Godiva, MIMA and CCE Chefs challenge awards.[63]

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 5700 on-campus rooms are used by conference guests outside of term-time. En suite rooms which include Arthur Vick, Jack Martin and Benefactors residences, as well as the standard single Rootes residence, are usually the primary allocation blocks for conference delegates.

Warwick Retail

The University has a small portfolio of businesses under the Warwick Retail umbrella, a private company wholly owned by the University.

Operations include:

  • Costcutter Supermarket
  • University Bookshop
  • Oxfam Books, Music, Fashion and Fairtrade (opened April 2006, closed February 2008)
  • Warwick Print (in-house publishing)
  • CopyShop (previously called Lazerlizard) (stationery and reprographics)(Closed)

The University also created and owns the temporary employment agency Unitemps[64] and the higher education recruitment website www.jobs.ac.uk.[65]

Finances

  • Total University Income: £240.4 million
  • HEFCE Grants: £72 million
  • Tuition Fees: £64.3 million
  • Research Grants and Contracts: £70 million
  • £77.6 million of the University's total income is currently derived from "earning" activities such as self-financing short courses, research contracts, management training centres, vacation conferences, retail and catering.

Criticism

There has been some criticism that the University has become too commercially-minded 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."[66]

Links with the Labour Government

Involvement with Government initiatives

Warwick has very close links to the current Labour Government and has been the 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".[67]

Tuition/top-up fees

Warwick has been a strong supporter of the Government’s policy to introduce top-up fees. This has attracted strong criticism and regular protests from the Students’ Union and many academics, concerned that access to education will be based on ability to pay and not academic ability. In response, the University’s former Vice-Chancellor, David VandeLinde, called the policy "a positive one for Higher Education institutes" and promised "70% of the additional money derived from fees will be spent on further improving student services, facilities and support."[68]

Warwick is particularly well placed to benefit from Top-Up Fees as it is one of the few universities to meet its target, set by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, for the proportion of students enrolled from state schools (86%).[69] This means that it is unlikely to come under the scrutiny of the Office for Fair Access, an issue many other leading Universities are concerned about.

Bill Clinton presidential visit

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."[70]

In his speech Clinton covered a number of issues, including Third World debt relief, fighting infectious diseases such as AIDS, basic education rights, and the "digital divide", which he summarized as the new development agenda for the 21st century. Clinton was accompanied by his wife Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton. During his visit, he planted a Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) sapling outside Senate House, the (then) university administration block.

The Warwick Agreement

The University of Warwick was the location for an important agreement between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions on Labour policy and trade union law, struck in July 2004. Subsequently the agreement has become popularly referred to as the Warwick Agreement. According to The Guardian, "it made peace between discontented elements in the unions and the government. It thereby averted the threat of mass disaffiliation from the party by the unions and helped to secure union support for Labour in the 2005 election."[71]

Governance

The University of 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.[72] The Principal Officers of the University have responsibility for day-to-day operations of the University.[73]

Awards

In 2008 the University of Warwick has 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".

University Challenge champions

Warwick won BBC television's prestigious University Challenge competition in 2007, beating title holders University of Manchester in the final.

Notable alumni

Famous people to have attended the University of Warwick include:

Politicians

  • Wendy Alexander (MA, Industrial Relations) – Former Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament

Civil servants

Academics

  • H.A. Hellyer policy consultant and currently senior research fellow looking at Muslims in Europe
  • Maris Martinsons – professor of management and international business consultant
  • Ian Stewart FRS – popular science author and currently professor of mathematics
  • C.C. Hang - professor and head of division of engineering & technology management at the National University of Singapore

Journalists

  • Jennie Bond (French and European Literature, grad. 1968) – former BBC Royal Correspondent
  • Brian Deer (Philosophy) – The Sunday Times; Channel 4
  • Torin Douglas (History) BBC Media correspondent
  • Tom Dunmore (Film & Literature); Editor In Chief, Stuff Magazine

Writers

Tony Wheeler and his wife Maureen

Media

Actors / Directors

Musicians

Entrepreneurs

Sport

References

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  2. ^ a b c "University of Warwick Profile". http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/profile/people/. 
  3. ^ University of Warwick Profile (based on multi-faculty institutions)
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