University of Exeter

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University of Exeter

Lucem sequimur
"We Follow The Light"

Exeter,
Devon

Trees, Exeter University - geograph.org.uk - 1039229.jpg
University of Exeter arms.svg
Founded: 1955
Chancellor: The Lord Myners
Faculty: 2,165 (2016/17)
Endowment: £38.2 million (2018)
Website: www.ex.ac.uk
Location
Location: 50°44’11"N, 3°32’4"W

The University of Exeter is a public research university in Exeter, Devon, with additional institutions elsewhere in Devon and Cornwall. It was founded and received its Royal Charter in 1955, although its predecessor institutions, St Luke's College, Exeter School of Science, Exeter School of Art, and the Camborne School of Mines were established in 1838, 1855, 1863, and 1888 respectively.[1][2] In post-nominals borne with its degrees, the University of Exeter is abbreviated as Exon. (from the Latin Exoniensis).

University of Exeter clock tower

The university has four campuses:

  • In Exeter:
    • Streatham Campus
    • St Luke's
  • In Cornwall:
    • Truro
    • Penryn

The university is primarily located in the city of Exeter, Devon, where it is the principal higher education institution. Streatham is the largest campus containing many of the university's administrative buildings.[3][4] The Penryn campus is maintained in conjunction with Falmouth University under the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative.

The Exeter Streatham Campus Library holds more than 1.2 million physical library resources, including historical journals and special collections.[5]

Exeter was named the Sunday Times University of the Year in 2013[6] and was the Times Higher Education University of the Year in 2007.[7] It has maintained a top ten position in the National Student Survey since the survey was launched in 2005.[8] The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £415.5 million of which £76.1 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £414.2 million.

Exeter is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive UK universities[9] and is also a member of Universities UK, the European University Association, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities and an accredited institution of the Association of MBAs.

History

The university's origins can be traced back to three separate educational institutions that existed in the city of Exeter and in Cornwall in the middle of the nineteenth century.

University College of the South West of England

Bradninch Place, original site of the University College of the South West of England
Reed Hall, Streatham Campus

To celebrate the educational and scientific work of Prince Albert,[10] and inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851,[11] Exeter School of Art in 1855 and the Exeter School of Science in 1863 were founded. In 1868, the Schools of Art and Science relocated to Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Queen Street, Exeter and, with support from the University of Cambridge, became the Exeter Technical and University Extension College in 1893.[1]

In 1900 its official title was changed to the Royal Albert Memorial College and the college moved to Bradninch Place in Gandy Street.[2] The college was again renamed to the University College of the South West of England in 1922 after the college was incorporated under the Companies Act[11] and included on the list of institutions eligible to receive funds from the then University Grants Committee. As was customary for new university institutions in England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the college prepared students for external degrees of the University of London.

Alderman W H Reed, a former Mayor of Exeter, donated Streatham Hall on the Streatham Estate to the new University College in 1922. Streatham Hall was renamed to Reed Hall after its benefactor. At the same time, the first principal of the University College, later Sir Hector Hetherington, persuaded the Council of the College to buy a major portion of the Streatham Estate. A slow move to the Streatham Estate from the centre of the city occurred over time. The first new building erected on the Streatham Estate was the Washington Singer building; the foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), then President of the University College of the South West of England. The building was opened in 1931. The first of the purpose-built halls of residence, Mardon Hall, opened in 1933. The second academic building on the estate was the Roborough Library named in recognition of the interest taken in the development of the college by the first Lord Roborough, one of its early benefactors. Roborough Library was completed around 1939.[11]

The University College of the South West of England became the University of Exeter and received its Royal Charter in 1955, exactly one hundred years after the formation of the original Exeter School of Art. The Queen presented the Charter to the university on a visit to Streatham the following year.[1]

The university underwent a period of considerable expansion in the 1960s. Between 1963 and 1968, a period when the number of students at Exeter almost doubled, no fewer than ten major buildings were completed on the Streatham estate as well as halls of residence for around 1,000 students. These included homes for the Chemistry and Physics departments, the Newman, Laver and Engineering Buildings and Streatham Court. Queen's Building had been opened for the Arts Faculty in 1959 and the Amory Building, housing Law and Social Sciences, followed in 1974. In the following two decades, considerable investment was made in developing new self-catering accommodation for students.[1]

Gifts from the Gulf States made it possible to build a new university library in 1983 and more recently have allowed for the creation of a new Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. A further major donation enabled the completion of the Xfi Centre for Finance and Investment. Since 2009, significant further investment has been made into new student accommodation, new buildings in The Exeter Business School, and the Forum: a new development for the centre of Streatham Campus.[1][12]

St Luke's College Exeter

North Cloisters, St Luke's Campus

In 1838, the Exeter Diocesan Board of Education resolved to found an institution for the education and training of schoolmasters, the first such initiative in England. As a result, a year later, the Exeter Diocesan Training College was created in Cathedral Close, Exeter at the former house of the Archdeacon of Totnes, adjacent to Exeter Cathedral. The first Principal was appointed and the college opened in 1840.[10]

Expansion followed, and in 1853, John Hayward (who was later responsible for the design of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum) was commissioned to design a purpose-built premises for the college on Heavitree Road. The building, largely built in grey limestone from Torbay with Bath Stone dressings, was completed by the autumn of the following year. On 18 October 1854, after a service in Exeter Cathedral, an opening ceremony for the new buildings was held. From this date in 1854 (St Luke's Day), the college was unofficially known as St Luke's. The college's intake in 1854 was 40 students.[10]

In parallel, at the Royal Albert Memorial College, an initiative within the Arts and Sciences department in 1912 eventually led to the formation of an Institute of Education (of which St Luke's College was a constituent member) and a separate department of Extra Mural Studies for the purposes of teacher training. Exeter Diocesan Training College was formally renamed to St Luke's College Exeter in 1930 and became co-educational in 1966.[10]

In 1978, St Luke's College Exeter was incorporated into the University of Exeter. A faculty was created incorporating the university's Institute of Education and St Luke's College Exeter into a new School of Education.[10]

The Peninsula Medical School was established in 2000 in conjunction with the University of Plymouth and the National Health Service, based at St Luke's and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. The School of Dentistry opened in 2007 and, together with the Peninsula Medical School, created the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry.[1] St Luke's campus is the main site for the University of Exeter Medical School, which accepted its first students in 2013.[13]

Camborne School of Mines

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Cornwall was among the most significant metalliferous mining regions in the world. Camborne School of Mines was founded in 1888 to meet the needs of this local industry.[14]

Camborne School of Mines was located in the centre of Camborne for almost a century but, following major investment by the international mining industry and others, relocated in 1975 to purpose-built facilities midway between Camborne and Redruth. Significant expansion and diversification of teaching and research provision occurred during the 1980s and early 1990s, including the development of undergraduate and taught postgraduate degree programmes in geology, environmental science and surveying. In 1993, Camborne School of Mines was incorporated into the University of Exeter.[14]

Initiatives by the university and others to expand the provision of higher education in Cornwall resulted in the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative in 1999. As part of this initiative, Penryn, just outside Falmouth, became the site of the Penryn Campus, a facility shared with Falmouth University. Camborne School of Mines relocated to Penryn during 2004 when the university's new University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus opened.[1][14]

Campus

Streatham Campus

The Piazza, outside the Great Hall and University Reception
Washington Singer, Streatham Campus

Streatham is the main campus, sitting on a hillside one side of which looks down across Exeter city centre. The Independent has described the campus environment as 'sublime'.[15] The campus has several galleries, including the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. A Sculpture Walk includes pieces by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.[16] There is a bar called the 'Ram' and a bar (previously called the 'Ewe') within a nightclub called the Lemon Grove (or 'Lemmy'), both run by the Students' Guild. The campus hosts a medical centre, a counselling service, a children's day-care centre, and numerous catering outlets. Many halls of residence and some self-catering accommodation are located on this campus or in the near vicinity. The Northcott Theatre resides on the campus.

In the early 2000s, the university benefited from an investment programme worth more than £235 million.[17] New student accommodation was constructed, including Holland Hall, named after the former vice-chancellor of the same name. Sports facilities, including a professional-standard tennis centre, have been completed in addition to an upgrade of the Students' Guild building.

After a donation from the ruler of Sharjah, Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, an alumnus of the university, an extension was added to the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies building. He has donated over £5m since 2001.[18] In 2006, the Department of Drama completed a major renovation with the construction of the state of the art Alexander Building, named after the university's former Chancellor Lord Alexander. The Department of Biosciences is based in three buildings on the Streatham Campus: Geoffrey Pope, the Henry Wellcome building for Biocatalysis and the Hatherly Laboratories. The department has recently received significant investment to further develop its facilities, particularly with improvements to the Geoffrey Pope building.[19]

The University of Exeter Business School has a new addition with the completion of Building One to add to its existing buildings of Streatham Court and the Xfi Centre for Finance and Investment. The Xfi Centre is the venue for the Business School's MBA and executive programmes and incorporates the Centre for Leadership Studies. A student services centre has also been constructed in Streatham Court, with its lecture theatre and MBA suite recently renovated.

The Exeter Innovation Centre, based at the Streatham Campus, has been completed in two phases. Phase I of the Innovation Centre was finished in 2000 with Phase II opening in 2008, creating a 37,000 square foot building for use by new and growing businesses within the development and research sectors. A base for 55 firms in the city, the centre houses high-tech businesses from the software and biomedical sectors to advanced manufacturing and internet firms. The Innovation Centre is host to some of the most upwardly mobile small firms in the country, according to Experian in a report commissioned by the BBC.[20]

As a result of a £48 million investment, The Forum building includes new facilities including a 400-seat auditorium, a student services centre, learning spaces and retail facilities. The Forum is located at the centre of the Streatham Campus and features the refurbished main library, the Great Hall and the area between it. Designed as a glass structure of modernist design, The Forum also acts as the university reception area.[21] The Forum was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 2 May 2012.[22] The Forum's structural engineers, Buro Happold, won the 2013 Institution of Structural Engineers award for Education or Healthcare structures for the project.

In 2017, the £52 million Living Systems Institute was opened to pioneer research into living systems and the diagnosis and treatment of disease.[23]

St. Luke's Campus

Exeter Medical School, St Luke's Campus

St Luke's Campus is just over a mile from the larger Streatham campus and ten minutes walk from the centre of Exeter. The campus is home to the largest academic school of the university, the Graduate School of Education. It shares the campus with the Department of Sport and Health Sciences.

The future of St Luke's Campus was the subject of a feasibility study in 2007, and a proposal was considered by the university to relocate one of the departments to the Streatham Campus to facilitate future expansion at St. Luke's.[24] A final decision was taken by the university management team in July 2007, with the Graduate School of Education, the Department of Sport and Health Sciences, and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry remaining in residence at St. Luke's.

Penryn Campus

Penryn campus

The Penryn Campus is a campus of the university in Penryn, Cornwall. The campus is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall project, and is shared with Falmouth University. University of Exeter departments on the site include the internationally renowned Camborne School of Mines, whose graduates are highly sought after by mining and civil engineering industries as well as the renewable energy sector. Other departments at Penryn include the rapidly growing Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC), the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), and the Institute of Cornish Studies.

The campus is set in 100 acres of countryside, but close to the towns of Penryn and Falmouth. The campus has a population of around 4,000 students. All the Cornwall departments are constitutionally parts of departments also represented at the University's Exeter campuses, including the Camborne School of Mines, which is part of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

A driving force behind Cornish concentrated research is that of the Institute of Cornish Studies, directed by Dr Garry Tregidga. It seeks to promote a greater knowledge of historical and contemporary Cornwall with a particular emphasis on the use of oral history through the Cornish Audio Visual Archive (CAVA) which is based at the Institute.[25]

Cornwall Council is building the Tremough Innovation Centre on land adjacent to the campus, with the aim of enabling existing and start-up companies to grow and thrive.

Organisation and administration

Governance

The governance framework of the university is in its royal charter[26] which was granted in 1955.[1] The council is the university's governing body, with responsibility for institutional policies and financial, estates and legal matters. Academic governance is provided by the Senate which is responsible for teaching and learning, examinations and research.[27]

The chancellor is the chief ceremonial officer of the university and presides over occasions such as degree ceremonies. The vice-chancellor is the chief academic and executive officer and is supported by four deputy vice-chancellors.

The university's visitor is The Queen.[28]

The university organises its academic and administrative departments into six academic colleges.[29] Each college contains a number of subject disciplines, institutes and research centres. The colleges are led by a dean who works in partnership with a college manager and is supported by two associate deans, one for research and knowledge transfer and one for education.[30] The university annually measures its performance relative to another ten peer universities which includes Durham, St Andrews, University College London and Warwick. The universities are chosen because, like Exeter, they are research-intensive, offer a broad range of disciplines, perform strongly in league tables, and function with similar quantities of financial resources.[31]

Colleges and departments

Template:Col-3
College of Humanities
  • Department of Archaeology
  • Department of Classics and Ancient History
  • Department of Drama
  • Department of English
  • Department of Film Studies
  • Department of History
  • Department of Modern Languages
  • Department of Theology and Religion
College of Social Sciences and International Studies
  • Law School
  • Department of Politics
  • Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
Template:Col-3
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
  • Department of Biosciences
  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Sport and Health Sciences
College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
  • Camborne School of Mines
  • Department of Engineering
  • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
Template:Col-3
The Business School
  • Centre for Leadership Studies
  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Management
University of Exeter Medical School
  • Department of Medicine
  • Department of Medical Imaging
  • Department of Medical Sciences

Centre for Maritime Historical Studies

The Centre for Maritime Historical Studies was formed in 1991 to promote a wider understanding of the significance of maritime history within the world of historical scholarship. Some of the supported programmes are:[32]

  • Naval History
  • Maritime History

Coat of arms

The university coat of arms symbolises the university's historical associations with the locality. The triangular gold castle with three towers comes from Exeter's coat of arms and represents Rougemont Castle, as alluded to by the red background. The fifteen gold bezants (Byzantine gold coins) that appear around the edge of the shield are from the arms of the Duchy of Cornwall and represent Cornwall, while the green cross on the white background is from the city of Plymouth's coat of arms.

The theme of learning is symbolised by the book with gold edges and a Latin motto, Lucem sequimur ("We follow the light").

Research

There are approximately 70 research centres and institutes within the university,[33] including the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum , the Institute of Cornish Studies, the Environment and Sustainability Institute and the Marchmont Observatory. The Centre for Leadership Studies, now part of the University of Exeter Business School, was established in 1997 as an institute for research and advanced study into leadership theory. It is the only specialist centre in Europe dedicated to scholarship in leadership studies. Exeter had a total research income of £70.2 million in 2016/17.[34] In addition to the traditional MPhil and PhD route, professional doctorates and split-site PhDs for International students are also offered.[35]

Extrasolar planetary research using the Hubble Space Telescope

Research at Exeter focuses on a number of interdisciplinary themes. Research strengths and key themes include:[36]

Research into extrasolar planets – planets located outside our solar system – is strong at Exeter. A team of international scientists led by the university are exploring the atmospheric conditions of exoplanets using the Hubble Space Telescope.[37] Other international astronomical facilities available to facilitate the detection of exoplanets include the VLT Survey Telescope, the Gemini Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The university has developed links with the Met Office,[38] also based in Exeter, to build sophisticated climate prediction models.

Exeter Law Review

The university is also home to the student-led publication, the Exeter Law Review.[39] The Review publishes once annually, covering a wide area of legal topics from academics at all levels of university education.[40] It also has a distinguished history stemming from its original inception as the Bracton Law Journal in 1965,[41] making it the oldest student-led law review in the United Kingdom.

Since 2017, they have also been operating ExeterLaw.org, which acts as a spotlight publication for shorter and more contemporary legal publications all year round.[42]

Student life

Students' Guild

Students at Exeter are represented by a Guild of Students,[43] which has an active role in campaigning at local and national levels.

There are over 220 affiliated student societies,[44] ranging from the Theatre Company, The Poker Society, Game of Thrones, Bake Soc and Creative Writing to the Liberal Youth, Conservative Future, and Socialist Students societies.

The Debating Society predates establishment of the university, having started life in 1893 as the Exeter Debating Society at the Royal Albert Memorial College, and has played host to many notable speakers including Anthony Eden, H. H. Asquith, Ludovic Kennedy, Michael Foot and Stephen Fry. From 2012, a debating scholarship supported by alumni of the Debating Society has been made available.[45]

Bracton Law Society, the largest student society

Bracton Law Society (or "BLS") was established in 1965 and became the largest student society at the University of Exeter in October 2016, with over 1,040 members. The society has received national recognition as one of the largest and most successful student law societies in the United Kingdom.[46] In 2018, BLS suffered serious scrutiny when 5 of its members, including committee members, were found to be engaged in a racist and misogynist group chat.[47]

Exeter Student Volunteers is a volunteering agency within the students' guild which runs its own projects with members of the local community that are run by volunteers and provides further volunteering opportunities through links with external partner organisations.[48] There is a RAG (Raising and Giving) group[49] which exists to raise money for five nominated charities, and collects in town centres around Britain every weekend. RAG events are run by students, under the co-ordination of a full-time member of staff. The main aim of these societies and activities groups is to provide opportunities for student development.

Sport

Exeter Tennis Centre

The Exeter University Athletic Union (AU) is the organisation responsible for administering all aspects of sporting activity at the university. Activities range from recreational sport to competitive fixtures at local, regional, national, and international level. The AU is a separate body from the Students' Guild and is run by four members of staff based in the Athletic Union Office. Additionally, the elected AU President represents the student body on all sporting matters. Jim Balshaw is the current sabbatical Athletic Union President.[50]

The AU runs 50 Sports Clubs which have a combined membership of in excess of 5,000 students. An additional 3000 students take part in intramural sport and sports volunteering in the local community.[50]

Many clubs compete in the inter-university fixtures in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competition in a range of sports including cricket, golf, hockey, netball, rowing, rugby union, sailing, squash, surfing, and tennis. In the 2011/12 academic year, Exeter finished in 7th position in the final BUCS rankings of 155 Higher Education institutions.[51] Exeter University Speleological Society (EUSS), whilst not competing in BUCS, holds the title of Ultimate Caving Club for the year 2015/16, an award made by the Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs (CHECC).

Theatre

Exeter, as a leading UK university for academic Drama, has 7 registered theatre societies which produce shows throughout the year, the primary being Exeter University Theatre Company (EUTCo). The campus is home to the Northcott Theatre, where student societies such as EUTCo or the Exeter Footlights annually perform. In addition, the university regularly has a large presence at the Edinburgh Festival, and has produced alumni including comedian Rhod Gilbert, BAFTA winning actress Vanessa Kirby, and Felix Barrett, founder of Punchdrunk.

Journalism

Exeposé is the official student newspaper of the Guild, it has been in print since 1987 and is published every two weeks. The television station XTV and radio station Xpression FM are guild affiliated news sources that aim to cover a variety of life at Exeter. Xpression FM traces its routes back to 1976 and continues the tradition of hosting student written and run shows throughout term time. It is one of three student stations in the country to have a year-round FM licence.[52]

EUOTC

Exeter University Officers Training Corps (EUOTC) is one of 19 university OTCs in the United Kingdom. It mainly serves the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, but also serves other Higher Education establishments in the South West of England.

Outside links

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References

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