University of Leicester | Wikipedia audio article

University of Leicester | Wikipedia audio article

October 13, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


The University of Leicester ( (listen) LES-tər)
is a public research university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is south of the city
centre, adjacent to Victoria Park. In 1957, the university’s predecessor (University College,
Leicester) gained university status. For 2018/19, the university is nationally
ranked 34th in The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 63rd by The Guardian University Guide
and 29th in The Complete University Guide. It is ranked as one of the top 200 universities
in the world by the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the 25th in
the United Kingdom. The university had an income of £302.8 million in 2016/17, of which
£52.2 million was from research grants.The university is famous for the discovery of
genetic fingerprinting and contributing to the discovery and identification of the remains
of King Richard III.==History=====
Desire for a university===It is argued that the first serious suggestions
for a university in Leicester began with the Leicester Literary and Philosophical society
which had its interest in literature and philosophy in the old sense, meaning science. With the
success of Owen’s College in Manchester, and the establishment of Birmingham University
in 1900, and Nottingham University College, it was thought that Leicester ought to have
a university college too. University colleges could not award degrees; they were not fully
independent universities but were associated with other Universities. In most cases students
sat the exam of the University of London. In the late 19th century, presidents of the
society Revered James Went, headmaster of the Wyggeston Boys’ School, and Mr J.D Paul
regularly called for an establishment of a University College However, no private donations
to establish the University were forthcoming and the Corporation of Leicester was busy
funding the School of Art and the Technical School. The matter was brought up again by
Dr Astey V Clarke (1870–1945) in 1912. Born in Leicester in 1870, he was educated at Wyggeston
and Cambridge before receiving his medical training at Guy’s Hospital. He was the new
president of the Literary and Philosophy society. Reaction was mixed with some saying that Leicester’s
small size would mean lack of demand. With the outbreak of the war in 1914, talk of the
University subsided. In 1917, during the despair of war, the Leicester Daily Post urged in
an editorial that something more of practical utility than memorials ought to be used to
commemorate the dead. With the ending of the war, the local newspapers, The Leicester Post
and The Leicester Mail encouraged donations to form the University. Some suggested that
Leicester should join forces with neighboring university colleges of Nottingham, Sutton
Bonington and Loughborough, to create a federal East Midlands college, rather than an independent
one.===Establishment===
The old asylum building had often been suggested as a site for the new university, and after
it was due to be finished being used as a hospital for the wounded, Astley Clarke was
keen to urge the citizens and local authorities to buy it. Fortunately, Clarke quickly learned
the building had already been bought by Thomas Fielding Johnson, a wealthy philanthropist
that owned a worsted manufacturing business. He had bought 37 acres of land for £40,000
and intended not only to house the college, but also the boys and girl’s grammar schools.
Soon, further donations topped £100,000; many donated after they had lost loved ones
in the war, donations were also for those who took part and survived. King George V
gave his blessing to the scheme after a visit to the town in 1919.
Talk turned to the curriculum with many arguing that it should focus on Leicester’s chief
industries hosiery, boots and shoes. Others had higher hopes than just technical training.
The education acts of 1902 and 1918, which brought education to the masses was also thought
to have increased the need for a college, not least to train the new teachers that were
needed. Talk of a federal university soured and the decision was for Leicester to become
a stand-alone college. In 1920, the college appointed its first official. W.G. Gibbs,
a long-standing supporter of the college while editor of the Leicester Daily Post, was nominated
as Secretary. On 9 May 1921, Dr R.F Rattray (1886–1967), was appointed Principal, aged
35. Rattray was an impressive academic. Having gained a first class English degree at Glasgow,
he studied at Manchester College, Oxford. He then studied in Germany, and secured his
Ph.D at Harvard. After that, heworked as a Unitarian Minister. Rattray was to teach Latin
and English. He recruited others including Miss Measham to teach Botany, Miss Sarson
to teach geography, and Miss Chapuzet to teach French. In all, 14 people started at the University
when it opened its doors in October 1921: the principal, the secretary, 3 lecturers
and nine students (eight women and one man). Two types of students were expected, around
100–150 teachers in training, and undergraduates hoping to sit the external degrees of London
University. A students union was formed in 1923–24 with a Miss Bonsor as its first
president.In 1927, after it became University College, Leicester, students sat for the examinations
for external degrees of the University of London. Two years later, it merged with the
Vaughan Working Men’s College, which had been providing adult education in Leicester since
1862. In 1931, Dr Rattray resigned as principal. He was replaced in 1932 by Frederick Attenborough,
who was the father of David and Richard Attenborough. He was succeeded by Charles Wilson in 1952.===University status to modern day===In 1957, the University College was granted
its Royal Charter, and has since then had the status of a university with the right
to award its own degrees. The Percy Gee Student Union building was opened by Queen Elizabeth
II on 9 May 1958.Leicester University won the first ever series of University Challenge,
in 1963. The University’s motto Ut Vitam Habeant –”so that they may have life”, is a reflection
of the war memorial origins of its formation. It is believed to have been Rattray’s suggestion.The
university medical school, Leicester Medical School, opened in 1971.
In 1994, the University of Leicester celebrated winning the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for
its work in Physics & Astronomy. The prize citation reads: “World-class teaching, research
and consultancy programme in astronomy and space and planetary science fields. Practical
results from advanced thinking”.In 2011, the university was selected as one of four sites
for national high performance computing (HPC) facilities for theoretical astrophysics and
particle physics. An investment of £12.32 million, from the Government’s Large Facilities
Capital Fund, together with investment from the Science and Technology Facilities Council
and from universities contribute to a national supercomputer.In September 2012, a ULAS team
exhumed the body of King Richard III, discovering it in the former Greyfriars Friary Church
in the city of Leicester. As a result of that success Prof King was asked to investigate
whether a skeleton found in Jamestown was that of George Yeardley, the 1st colonial
governor of Virginia and founder of the Virginia General Assembly.In January 2017, Physics
students from the University of Leicester made national news when they revealed their
predictions on how long it would take a zombie apocalypse to wipe out humanity. They calculated
that it would take just 100 days for zombies to completely take over earth. At the end
of the 100 days, the students predicted that just 300 humans would remain alive and without
infection.==Campus==The main campus is a mile south of the city
centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College. The skyline
of the university is punctuated by three distinctive, towering, buildings from the 1960s: the Department
of Engineering, the Attenborough Tower and the Charles Wilson Building.===Fielding Johnson Building===
The Fielding Johnson Building was designed by William Parsons in a late Georgian provincial
style as the Leicestershire and Rutland County Asylum. From 1921 the building was home to
most of the university departments until purpose-built accommodation was created, and it was renamed
the Fielding Johnson Building in 1964. It now houses the university’s administration
offices, the Faculty of Law and a lecture theatre.===Attenborough Tower===The 18-storey Attenborough Tower is home to
the College of Social Sciences and has undergone extensive renovation.===Engineering Building===
The Engineering Building was the first major building by British architects James Stirling
and James Gowan. This Grade II* listed building comprises workshops and laboratories at ground
level, and a tower containing offices and lecture theatres.===Other buildings===Opposite the Fielding Johnson Building are
the Astley Clarke Building, home to the School of Economics, and the University Sports Centre.
The Ken Edwards Building, built in 1995, lies adjacent to the Fielding Johnson Building
and is home to the School of Management. Built in 1957, the Percy Gee Building is home
to Leicester University’s Students’ Union. Percy Gee was one of the first treasurers
of the University College. The David Wilson Library was opened by Queen
Elizabeth II on 4 December 2008, following an extensive refurbishment with a budget of
£32 million.The Bennett Building, Physics and Astronomy Building, the Chemistry Building
and the Adrian Building lie beyond the Charles Wilson Building. Across University Road lies
the Maurice Shock and Hodgkin Nuildings, home to Leicester’s Medical School.
The Adrian Building was built in 1967 and designed by Courtald Technical Services which
became W.F Johnson & Partners. It was named after Edgar Adrian the first chancellor of
the University (1957–1971). The Charles Wilson Building was designed by
Denys Lasdun and completed in 1967. Further along University Road and on Salisbury
Road and Regents Road are the Department of Education and the Fraser Noble Building.
On Lancaster Road there is the Attenborough Arts Centre, the University’s arts centre.
Leicester’s halls of residence are noteworthy: many of the halls (nearly all located in Oadby)
date from the early 1900s and were the homes of Leicester’s wealthy industrialists.===Development===
In recent years, the University has disposed of some of its poorer quality property in
order to invest in new facilities, and is currently undergoing a £300+ million redevelopment.
The new John Foster Hall of Residence opened in October 2006. The David Wilson Library,
twice the size of the previous University Library, opened on 1 April 2008 and a new
biomedical research building (the Henry Wellcome Building) has already been constructed. A
complete revamp of the Percy Gee Student Union building was completed in September 2010,
and another is underway, due for completion in spring 2020. Nixon Court was extended and
refurbished in 2011.==Organisation==
The University’s academic schools and departments are organised into colleges. In August 2015,
the colleges were further restructured with the merging of Social Sciences and Arts, Humanities
and Law to give the following structure:===College of Life Sciences===
The college has the following academic schools: Leicester Medical School
School of Biological Sciences School of Psychology
School of Allied Health ProfessionsThe research departments and institutes: Cardiovascular Sciences
Genetics and Genome Biology (including the Leicester Cancer Research Centre)
Health Sciences (including the Leicester Diabetes Centre)
Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Molecular and Cell Biology
Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour (including the Centre for Systems Neuroscience)
Leicester Precision Medicine Institute (including Leicester Drug Discovery and Diagnostics)
Leicester Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology====Leicester Medical School====The university is home to a large medical
school, Leicester Medical School, which opened in 1971. The school was formerly in partnership
with the University of Warwick, and the Leicester-Warwick medical school proved to be a success in helping
Leicester expand, and Warwick establish. The partnership ran the end of its course towards
the end of 2006 and the medical schools became autonomous institutions within their respective
universities.===College of Science and Engineering===
The college comprises the following departments: Chemistry
Informatics School of Geography Geology & the Environment
Engineering Mathematics
Physics and AstronomyThere are also interdisciplinary research centres for Space Research, Climate
Change Research, Mathematical/Computational Modelling and Advanced Microscopy.====Engineering====The department offers MEng and BEng degrees
in Aerospace Engineering, Embedded Systems Engineering, Communications and Electronic
Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and General Engineering.
Each course is accredited by the relevant professional institutions. The department
also offers MSc courses.====Physics and Astronomy====
The Department has around 350 undergraduate students, following either BSc (three-year)
or MPhys (four-year) degree courses, and over 70 postgraduate students registered for a
higher degree.The main Physics building accommodates several research groups—Radio and Space
Plasma Physics (RSPP), X-ray and Observational Astronomy (XROA), and Theoretical Astrophysics
(TA)—as well as centres for supercomputing, microscopy, Gamma and X-ray astronomy, and
radar sounding, and the Swift UK Data Centre. A purpose built Space Research Centre houses
the Space Science and Instrumentation (SSI) group and provides laboratories, clean rooms
and other facilities for instrumentation research, Earth Observation Science (EOS) and the Bio-imaging
Unit. The department also runs the University of Leicester Observatory in Manor Road, Oadby,
with a 20-inch telescope it is one of the UK’s largest and most advanced astronomical
teaching facilities. The department has close involvement with the National Space Centre
also located in Leicester. The department is home to the University’s
ALICE 3400+ core supercomputer and is a member of the UK’s DiRAC (DiStributed Research utilising
Advanced Computing) consortium. DiRAC is the integrated supercomputing facility for theoretical
modelling and HPC-based research in particle physics, astronomy and cosmology.===College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities
===The college has 10 schools including: American Studies
Archaeology and Ancient History School of Arts
School of Business Criminology
Education History, Politics and International Relations
Leicester Law School School of Media, Communication and Sociology
Museum Studies====
Archaeology and Ancient History====The School of Archaeology and Ancient History
was formed in 1990 from the then Departments of Archaeology and Classics, under the headship
of Graeme Barker. The academic staff currently (as of January 2017) include 21 archaeologists
and 8 ancient historians, though several staff teach and research in both disciplines.The
School has particular strengths in Mediterranean archaeology, ancient Greek and Roman history,
and the archaeology of recent periods; and is also home to the University of Leicester
Archaeological Services (ULAS).====Business====The School of Business was founded in 2016,
bringing together the expertise of the School of Management and the Department of Economics.
The new school now has approximately 150 academic staff, 50 from Economics and 100 from Management.
In 2010 the former School of Management was ranked 2nd after Oxford University by the
Guardian.The School of Business provides postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in Management,
Accounting and Economics. The School of Business, is one of the only 168 Schools/Universities
in the world accredited by the Association of MBAs.====English====
The School of English teaches English at degree
level. The School offers English Studies from Contemporary Writing to Old English and language
studies. It contains the Victorian Studies Centre, the first of its kind in the UK..
Malcolm Bradbury is one of the Department’s most famous alumni: he graduated with a First
in English in 1953.====Historical Studies====
The School of Historical Studies is one of the largest of any university in the country.
It has made considerable scholarly achievements in many areas of history, notably Urban History,
English Local History, American Studies and Holocaust Studies. The School houses both
the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) and the Media Archive for Central England.====Law====
The School of Law is one of the biggest departments in the University. According to the Times
Online Good University Guide 2009, the Faculty of Law was ranked 8th, out of 87 institutions,
making it one of the top law schools in the country.==Academic profile=====
Admissions===New students entering the university in 2015
had the 42nd highest UCAS Points in the UK at 374 points (the equivalent of BBC at A
Level and BC at AS Level). According to the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University
Guide, approximately 2% of Leicester’s undergraduates come from independent schools.===Teaching===
The University is held in high regard for the quality of its teaching. 19 subject areas
have been graded as “Excellent” by the Quality Assurance Agency – including 14 successive
scores of 22 points or above stretching back to 1998, six of which were maximum scores.
Leicester was ranked joint first in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 National Student Survey for
overall student satisfaction among mainstream universities in England. It was second only
to Cambridge in 2008 and again joint first in 2009.===Research===
The University has research groups in the areas of astrophysics, biochemistry and genetics.
The techniques used in genetic fingerprinting were invented and developed at Leicester in
1984 by Sir Alec Jeffreys. It also houses Europe’s biggest academic centre for space
research, in which space probes have been built, most notably the Mars Lander Beagle
2, which was built in collaboration with the Open University.
Leicester Physicists (led by Ken Pounds) were critical in demonstrating a fundamental prediction
of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity – that black holes exist and are common
in the universe. It is a founding partner of the £52 million National Space Centre.
Leicester is one of a small number of universities to have won the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary
Prize for Higher Education on more than one occasion: in 1994 for physics & astronomy
and again in 2002 for genetics. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF)
exercise for the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, 74% of research activity,
including 100% of its Research Environment, was classed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally
excellent’, ranking it 6th among UK university departments teaching archaeology and 1st for
the public impact of its research.The Institute of Learning Innovation within the University
of Leicester is a research and postgraduate teaching group, directed by Grainne Conole.
The Institute has and continues to research on UK- and European-funded projects (over
30 as of August 2013), focusing on topics such as educational use of podcasting, e-readers
in distance education, virtual worlds, open educational resources and open education,
and learning design.===Rankings and reputation===
The university was named University of the Year of 2008 by the Times Higher Education.
It is also the only university ever to have won a Times Higher Education award in seven
consecutive years. The university was previously consistently ranked among the top 20 universities
in the United Kingdom by the Times Good University Guide and The Guardian. However, since 2014
the university has continued to fall below that level across all rankings, which it has
defined as ‘disappointing’.In 2017, the university ranked 25th in The Sunday Times Good University
Guide, 32nd in The Complete University Guide and 47th in The Guardian.==Library special collections=======
Local history collections=====The Library has one the largest local history
collections in the country. The main collection contains c.37, 000 items covering all the
major counties of England. Much of this material has been collected for the Centre for English
Local History since its founding in 1948. In addition, there are several rare book collections
and archives: Hatton Collection. This collection is focused
on the early English county histories and works by the antiquarians. Thomas Hatton (1876–1943),
a local businessman whose collection of nearly 2,000 books on English local history was donated
to the Library of Leicester College in 1920. This was one of the first major donations
to the Library. Chaproniere Collection. Photographic archive
of English parish churches organised by geological region. Donated by Donna Chaproniere.
Fairclough Collection. Portrait prints and topographical illustrations of 17th century
Britain. Donated by A. B. R. Fairclough in 1970.
Thirsk Collection. Notes and data collected by Joan Thirsk for volumes 4 (1500-1640) and
5 (1640-1750) of The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Thirsk was the editor of these
volumes and a research fellow at Leicester in the 1950s.In recent years, the Library
has digitised, and made available online, collections relating to local and urban history,
including The Historical Directories of England and Wales and the East Midlands Oral History
Archive .=====
Modern Literary Archives=====The library also holds a number of collections
of 20th century writers and illustrators: The Joe Orton Collection. Joe Orton (1933–1967)
was a Leicester-born playwright, the collection contains his manuscripts and correspondence.
The Laura Riding Letters. The collected correspondence of the American poet and critic Laura Riding
(1901–1991). The Sue Townsend Collection. The personal
papers of Sue Townsend (1946–2014). The collection contains Townsend’s literary correspondence
and notebooks detailing her works.==Student life==
The university has a number of different societies within its students’ union. The Union has
over 220 different societies.===Student media===
The students’ union has three student groups producing media: Galaxy Press, Galaxy Radio,
and LUST (Leicester University Student Television). Galaxy Press was founded in 1957, and known
as The Ripple before merging its brand with LUSH Radio in 2015 to form Galaxy Media.LUST
(Leicester University Student Television) was re-founded in 2002 after a period of dormancy.
The station is affiliated to the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) and
hosted the association’s annual awards ceremony in 2008.====Galaxy Radio====
Founded in 1996, Galaxy Radio (previously LUSH Radio, LUSH FM) is run and presented
exclusively by students and broadcasts a mixture of music, chat and news. Some notable personalities
from the early days of the station (LUSH FM at the time) who have gone on to work in the
media are Lucy O’Doherty (BBC 6 Music) and Adam Mitchenall (ETV).Galaxy Radio holds an
annual 24-hour charity broadcast. In 2011, £300 was raised for Comic Relief. In 2013
the station held its first ’69 Hour Broadcast’, which raised over £450 for Comic Relief.
For the 2018 fundraiser GR worked with fellow student group Leicester Marrow to raise £1,000
for Anthony Nolan.Galaxy Radio has broadcast live the annual varsity match against De Montfort
University for both football from the King Power Stadium and rugby union from Welford
Road Stadium.==Notable people==Notable academics from the university include;
Anthony Giddens, prominent sociologist who taught social psychology, Sarah Hainsworth,
Professor of Materials and Forensic Engineering, involved in analysing the wounds on the skeleton
of Richard III, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, NASA astronaut and physicist, Sir Alec Jeffreys, inventor
of genetic fingerprinting; Philip Larkin, librarian and poet; Charles Rees, organic
chemist; Lord Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal, visiting professor at Leicester.
Numerous public figures in many diverse fields have been students at the university. Alumni
in science include Peter Atkins, physical chemist; Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief
of Nature; Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer
Alumni in politics and government include Natalie Bennett, former leader of the Green
Party of England and Wales; Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo; Jyrki Katainen, Prime
Minister of Finland; Norman Lamb, MP; Princess Mako of Akishino, a member of the Japanese
Imperial Family; Aaron Porter, President, National Union of Students (United Kingdom)
2010–11. Alumni in the arts include Sir Malcolm Bradbury,
author; Pete McCarthy, writer, broadcaster, comedian; Bob Mortimer, comedian; Bob Parr
MBE, multi Emmy Award-winning television producer; C. P. Snow, author; John Sutherland, Guardian
Columnist, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University College London; Andrew Waterman,
poet.===The Attenboroughs===The University of Leicester is commonly associated
with the Attenborough family. Richard and David Attenborough (with their younger brother
John) spent their childhood in College House, which is now home to part of the Maths department
(and is now near to the Attenborough tower, the tallest building on the campus and home
to many of the arts and humanities departments). Their father Frederick Attenborough was Principal
of the University College from 1932 until 1951. The brothers were educated at the adjacent
grammar school before attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the University
of Cambridge respectively. Both have maintained links with the university—David
Attenborough was made an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1970 and opened the Attenborough
Arboretum in Knighton in 1997. In the same year, the Richard Attenborough Centre for
Disability and the Arts was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales. Both brothers were made
Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University at the degree ceremony in the afternoon of
13 July 2006.==See also==
National Space Centre Peer English, an academic journal published
by the Department of English Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies
University of Leicester Botanic Garden