Thames Valley UniversityEdit profile
The University of West London (formerly Thames Valley University) is a public university located in London, United Kingdom. The University of West London is based on campuses in Ealing and Brentford in west London.
The University of West London traces its roots back to 1860, when the Lady Byron School was founded, which later became Ealing College of Higher Education. In 1990, Ealing College of Higher Education, Thames Valley College of Higher Education, Queen Charlotte's College of Health Care Studies and the London College of Music merged to form the Polytechnic of West London. In 1992, the Polytechnic of West London became a university and adopted the name Thames Valley University. In 2004, Thames Valley merged with Reading College and School of Arts and Design.
In August 2010, the University announced that it had been granted permission to change its name to the University of West London, to reflect a focusing of operations onto its Ealing and Brentford campuses. The new name was formally adopted on Wednesday 6 April 2011.History
The University of West London traces its roots back to 1860, when the Lady Byron School was founded at what is now University of West London's Ealing campus. The school later became Ealing College of Higher Education.
The Slough campus was founded in 1907 as an elementary school. By the 1940s, it had become a technical institute, and in the 1970s it became Thames Valley College of Higher Education.
In 1990, Ealing College of Higher Education, Thames Valley College of Higher Education, Queen Charlotte's College of Health Care Studies and the London College of Music were merged to become the Polytechnic of West London. Two years later, the polytechnic became a university under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, and adopted the name Thames Valley University.
In 2004, the university merged with Reading College and School of Arts and Design (which was originally founded in 1947 as Reading Technical College). Reading College's sites at Kings Road and Crescent Road became TVU sites.
In 2009, the University decided to divest itself of its further education courses, together with its Kings Road site, that it had inherited from the Reading College and School of Arts and Design. In 2010 the responsibility for further education, along with the Kings Road site, were transferred to a re-launched Reading College. The University retained its other sites in Reading, including the Crescent Road site that also originated with the Reading College and School of Arts and Design.
In May 2009, the University announced that it be would closing its Slough campus in 2010 due to the relocation of nursing students, who make up the majority of the student body there, to Reading. Other courses will be moved to one of the University's west London campuses, although some part-time and nursing courses will remain in Slough at a different site.
In August 2010, it was announced that the university would change its name to the University of West London. The university unveiled a new logo and branding in April 2011. Vice-Chancellor Peter John said the change reflects the university's development since 1992 and the focus on its Brentford and Ealing campuses. The Privy Council has granted permission for the name change.Organisation
University of West London currently comprises three Faculties, made up of eight Schools. The Faculty of the Arts (FOTA), formerly the London College of Music and Media, now incorporates the London College of Music, relaunched in March 2007 and the School of Art, Design and Media (Tech Music Schools has been partnered with the University since 1993, offering a BMus in association with LCM). The Faculty of Health and Human Sciences consists of two Schools: School of Nursing and Midwifery and School of Human and Psychosocial Sciences. The Faculty of Professional Studies is made up of three schools; Ealing Law School, the Business School, London School of Hospitality and Tourism and the School of Computing and Technology. The University's Faculty of Technology formed part of the School of Computing and Technology in May 2010. The Graduate School (based in Ealing) co-ordinates and provides support to research activities and research degree courses.Academic reputation
In the 2010 editions of the major league tables of British universities the University is placed 69 out of 117 in The Guardian university guide, 98 out of 113 in The Independent associated Complete University Guide, 106 out of 122 in The Sunday Times University Guide and 110 out of 114 in The Times Good University Guide.
Official figures published in the Times Higher Education magazine in July 2008 reveal that the University has the best graduate employment record against its benchmark in the country, with almost 95% employed within six months of graduating.
HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) compared data taken from its survey that looks at the destinations of graduates six months after leaving higher education against employment performance indicators for all universities across the UK. 94.8% of graduates were employed or in full-time education within six months of leaving their course, which exceeds the university’s benchmark figure of 89.8% by 5% - the widest margin of any of the general universities in the league tables (excluding specialist institutions) - making the University of West London the best in the country in this respect for graduate recruitment.Student life
West London Students' Union
The West London Students' Union (also known as WLSU) is the recognised student organisation of the University of West London. The Students' Union represents the 47,000 students at all its sites. WLSU is affiliated to the National Union of Students.
The Union has the ground floor of the North Building at the St. Mary's Road campus at which its Coffee Shop, Bar and Gym is located.
The official radio station for the University is Blast Radio based at Ealing Studios.Student accommodation
Prior to 2006 the university operated halls of residence only at the Reading campus, although a number of private houses in the Ealing area were rented by the University and allocated to students studying there. In September 2006 the university began to offer halls of residence accommodation to students from the Ealing and Slough campuses at a student and keyworker accommodation site named Paragon. The site won the 'Major Housing Project of the Year' category at the 2007 Building awards, and is in Brentford, approximately two miles away from the Ealing campus.
Paragon is home to the tallest building to be completed using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in the UK, which serves as a 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m2) academic facility for the university's human sciences facility.
The student accommodation at Paragon has been criticised by its residents for being too expensive, costing the highest of all London universities' halls of residence along with SOAS in the 2007-2008 year. TVU defended the costs, asserting that the halls are of an especially high standard.Controversy
The University has weathered several storms in its short life. In the mid-1990s its high-profile Vice-Chancellor, Mike Fitzgerald, ushered through a new networked "New Learning Environment" for undergraduate students, involving a shift to online delivery and assessment. The NLE did not last in that form, and in 1998 Fitzgerald resigned following a negative Quality Assurance Agency report (QAA 1998) that cited serious management failures in the delivery of this model (Webster 2000).
By 2003 the QAA report on the University had returned a much more positive verdict, repeated in 2005. The NLE has now become a VLE (virtual learning environment) with a "blended e-learning" approach to teaching. In 2006 admissions were down and the University has consistently struggled to meet financial targets. Lower admissions in 2006 were evident across the HE sector following the introduction of tuition fees.
A 2007 article in The Guardian newspaper said that the University was, at that time, on a list of universities whose finances were being monitored by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as their financial stability was under threat unless they acted. The Funding Council did not publish this list.
The university has in the past offered BSc courses in subjects with foundations unsupported by scientific experimental backing, such as homeopathy and nutritional medicine, and has been criticised heavily by the scientific community for doing so.Notable staff
- The composer Andrew McBirnie was Chief Examiner in Music for London College of Music Examinations until 2008.
- Professor Mike Fitzgerald, flamboyant Vice Chancellor, 1991-1998.
- Claire Gorham - English journalist and television presenter, best known for The Girlie Show in the late 1990s.
- Mike Howlett is a teacher of music technology at the university, who previously performed with the bands Gong and Strontium 90, and produced many New Wave acts in the 1970s and 1980s.
- Professor Tim Lang, City University and government advisor - ran the Centre for Food Policy in the Health faculty in the 1990s.
- The composer Francis Pott is Head of Composition and Research Development in the Faculty of the Arts.
- Pip Williams – a course leader teaching music technology at University of West London, Ealing. Philip (Pip) Williams, (born October 7, 1947) is a record producer, arranger and guitarist, best known for producing albums for Status Quo and The Moody Blues.
- Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey