University of Leeds
The University of Leeds (informally Leeds University, or simply Leeds) is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Originally named The Yorkshire College, a successor to the Leeds School of Medicine, it became part of the Victoria University alongside Owens College (which eventually became the University of Manchester) and University College Liverpool (which became the University of Liverpool). In 1904, a royal charter was granted to the University of Leeds by King Edward VII. The University is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, of which the university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Michael Arthur is the current Chairman, and the N8 Group for research collaboration. The university is also a founding member of the Worldwide Universities Network, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, the White Rose University Consortium, the Santander Network and CDIO and is also affiliated to the Association of MBAs, EQUIS and Universities UK. The student population includes 24,510 undergraduate and 8,805 postgraduate students making the university the second largest single site university in the United Kingdom. From 2006 to present, the university has consistently been ranked second in the United Kingdom for the number of applications received, second only to the University of Manchester. The annual income for the institution for 2008-09 was £497.2 million, with an expenditure of £485.3 million. The university has financial endowments of £42.3 million (2008”“09), ranking outside the top ten British universities by financial endowment. Nevertheless, Leeds was ranked 8th by The Guardian for total recurrent grants in 2009-10, amounting to £143.6 million whilst being ranked 9th for research-generated income in 2009-10, with a research income of £49.5 million, a 2.1% increase from 2008-09. Described as "a top redbrick university and one of the giants of the British higher education system" by The Guardian newspaper, the university is ranked nationally between 16th ( QS World University Rankings) and 27th ( The Independent). Internationally, the university is ranked as the 34th best in Europe and globally ranked between 85th ( QS World University Rankings) and 101st.( ARWU) In 2007, The Sunday Times released a 10 year average of their rankings, placing Leeds 26th out of 119 institutions from 1998 - 2007. Leeds was ranked 8th in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the best result in the Yorkshire and the Humber region and in 2010, Leeds was ranked as the 9th most targeted British university by graduate employers. Notable alumni include former Secretary of State Jack Straw, Piers Sellers ( NASA astronaut) and multiple Nobel laureates.

History

Prior to formation
The university's history is linked to the development of Leeds as an international centre for the textile industry and clothing manufacture in the United Kingdom during the Victorian era. The university's roots can be traced back to the formation of Schools of Medicine in English Core Cities to serve the general public. Prior to 1900, only five universities had been established in England and one in Wales. These consisted of the University of Oxford (founded somewhere between 1096”“1201), University of Cambridge (founded c. 1201), University of London (founded in 1836), Durham University (founded in 1832), and the federal Victoria University (founded in 1880) whilst the University of Wales was later founded in 1893. The Victoria University was established in Manchester in 1880 as a federal university for the North of England, this was consequential of the government's unwillingness to raise Owens College to university status and grant it a royal charter of its own. Owens College was the only member of the Victoria University from 1880 to 1884; from 1887 when Yorkshire College joined there were three member colleges.

Origins of the Leeds School of Medicine
In 1831, the Leeds School of Medicine was established, with the aim of serving the needs of the five medical institutions that had sprung up in the city. In 1874, the School was joined by the Yorkshire College of Science, an institution intended to provide education for the children of middle-class industrialists and merchants. Financial support from local industry was crucial in setting up the College and aiding the students. The University continues to recognise these elements of its history"for example, there is still a Clothworkers' Court on campus"to this day. The College of Science was modelled on Owens College, Manchester, established in 1851 as a non-sectarian alternative to Oxford and Cambridge, where religious tests were applied and those outside the Church of England were not allowed to receive degrees or were barred from entry to the universities outright. Owens College, like the earlier University College London, applied no such tests and was open to Protestant Dissenters, Catholics and Jews (though not then to women). While religious tests for students at Oxford and Cambridge ceased in the 1850s, Northern colleges continued to promote themselves as offering a different, distinct type of teaching. They took pride in the progressive and pragmatic nature of their scientific education looking to the technical colleges of Germany as examples; a field in which the ancient universities, with their focus on general and classical study, were felt to lag behind. The Yorkshire College of Science began by teaching experimental physics, mathematics, geology, mining, chemistry and biology, and soon became well known as an international centre for the study of engineering and textile technology (due to the manufacturing and textile trades being strong in Northern England). When classics, modern literature and history went on offer a few years later, the Yorkshire College of Science became the Yorkshire College. In 1887, the College merged with the Leeds School of Medicine to form a college which later joined the Victoria University (established at Manchester in 1880) on 3 November 1887. Students in this period were awarded external degrees by the University of London.

Victoria University and Royal Charter
Leeds was given its first university in 1887 when the Yorkshire College joined the federal Victoria University on 3 November: the Victoria University had been established by royal charter in 1880; Owens College being at first the only member college. Leeds now found itself in an educational union with close social cousins from Manchester and Liverpool. Unlike Owens College, the Leeds section of the Victoria University had never barred women from its courses. However, it was not until special facilities were provided at the Day Training College in 1896 that women began enrolling in significant numbers. The first female student to begin a course at the university was Lilias Annie Clark, who studied Modern Literature and Education. The Victoria University was a short-lived concept, as the multiple university locations in Manchester and Liverpool were keen to establish themselves as separate, independent universities. This was partially due to the benefits a university had for the cities of Liverpool and Manchester whilst the institutions were also unhappy with the practical difficulties posed by maintaining a federal arrangement across broad distances. The interests of the universities and respective cities in creating independent institutions was further spurred by the granting of a charter to the University of Birmingham in 1900 after lobbying from Joseph Chamberlain. Following a Royal Charter and Act of Parliament in 1903, the then newly formed University of Liverpool began the fragmentation of the Victoria University by being the first member to gain independence. The University of Leeds soon followed suit and was granted a royal charter as an independent body by King Edward VII in 1904. The Victoria University continued after the breakup of the group, with an amended constitution and renamed as the Victoria University of Manchester (though "Victoria" was usually omitted from its name except in formal usage) until September 2004. On October 1, 2004 a merger with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology was enacted to form The University of Manchester.

Present day
During the 2009”“10 academic year, over 32,800 students were attached to around 560 different first-degree programmes and approximately 300 postgraduate degree programmes. :6 Whilst maintaining its strengths in the traditional subjects (for example more students studying languages and physical sciences than anywhere else in the UK), Leeds has also developed expertise in more distinctive and rare specialist areas such as Colour Chemistry, Fire Science, Nanotechnology and Aviation Technology with Pilot studies. In December 2004, financial pressures forced the University's governing body (the Council) to decide to close the Bretton campus. Activities at Bretton were moved to the main University campus in the summer of 2007 (allowing all Bretton-based students to complete their studies there). There was substantial opposition to the closure by the Bretton students. The University's other satellite site, Manygates in Wakefield, also closed, but Lifelong Learning and Healthcare programmes are continuing on a new site next to Wakefield College. In May 2006, the University began re-branding itself to bring together its visual identity to produce one consistent look. A new logo was produced, based on that used during the centenary celebrations in 2004, to replace the combined use of the modified University arms and the old Parkinson Building, which has been in use since 2004. The University arms will still be used in its original form for ceremonial purposes only. Individual department and service logos are also being phased out. Four university colours were also specified as being green, red, black and beige. The University is committed to working with the private sector and invests heavily in realising the commercial potential of its academic developments. Leeds attracts the highest level of industrial funding of any university in the UK whilst also aiding the local Leeds community with over 2,000 university student volunteers. With 8,800 staff currently employed, the university is the third largest employer in Leeds and contributes around £800 million a year to the local economy with students adding a further £190 million through rent and living costs. The University’s educational partnerships have included providing formal accreditation of degree awards to Leeds College of Art and Leeds Trinity University College, although the latter now has the power to award its own degrees. The College of the Resurrection, an Anglican theological college in Mirfield with monastic roots, has, since its inception in 1904, been affiliated to the University, and ties remain close. The University is also a founding member of the Northern Consortium. In August 2010, the university was one of the most targeted institutions by students entering the UCAS clearing process for 2010 admission, which matches under-subscribed courses to students who did not meet their firm or insurance choices. The university was one of nine Russell Group universities offering extremely limited places to "exceptional" students after the universities in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Oxford declared they would not enter the process due to courses being full to capacity. On the 12th October 2010, The Refectory of the Leeds University Union hosted a live edition of the Channel 4 News, with students, academics and economists expressing their reaction to the Browne Review, an independent review of Higher Education funding and student finance conducted by John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley. University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor and Russell Group chairman Professor Michael Arthur participated, giving an academic perspective alongside current vice-chancellor of Kingston University and former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Education at the University of Leeds, Sir Peter Scott. Midway through the broadcast a small group of protesters against the potential rise of student debt entered the building before being restrained and evacuated.

Campus

Development of campus
The University has 1,230 acres (498 ha) of land in total, with the main campus taking up 98 acres (40 ha). The main campus is located 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Leeds city centre and compromises of a mixture of gothic, art deco, brutalist and postmodern buildings, making it one of the most diverse university campuses in the country in terms of building styles and history. It is within walking distance of both the city centre and Headingley, a popular residential area for students wishing to live off campus. The main entrance to the campus for visitors by car is on Woodhouse Lane ( A660), near the Parkinson Building. The Parkinson Building is a grade II listed art deco building and campanile named after the late Frank Parkinson, a major benefactor of the university who oversaw many new build projects from 1936 onwards. These commitments culminating in the official opening of The Parkinson Building (of which Parkinson donated £200,000 towards) on the 9th November 1951. The tower of the building is a well-known landmark in the city of Leeds and is used in the university logo and as a university symbol. The campanile is the highest point of the building and stands at 57 metres (187 ft) tall, making it the 17th tallest building in the city of Leeds. The Leeds University Business School is housed in the renovated 19th century buildings (known as the Maurice Keyworth Building), which used to belong to Leeds Grammar School on the Western side of the University of Leeds campus. The university have also constructed further modern buildings on the business school area of campus known as the Innovation Hub; costing £9.3 million. The building is a three storey building of 4350m² (gross capacity) with the third floor accommodating the Innovation Hub. The university's Great Hall building is one of the most prominent buildings on campus alongside the Parkinson Building and the numerous brutalist buildings which are Grade II listed also. The Great Hall was built on a site of Beech Grove Hall Estate which was purchased in 1879 by the then Yorkshire College when joining the Victoria University. This was later demolished in 1884, to become the site of the Clothworkers buildings of the Baines Memorial Wing and the Great Hall. The buildings were designed by the renowned Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse R.A in red pressed brick and had dressings of Bolton Wood stone in a Gothic Collegiate style. The cost of the build cost £22,000 and was raised partially by public appeal and served as the university library until the opening of the Brotherton Library. The Great Hall is now primerily used for examinations, meetings and graduation ceremonies. In June 2010, post-war buildings at the University of Leeds were recommended by English Heritage to become Grade II listed buildings. The modernist and brutalist buildings being recognised include the newly Grade II* listed Roger Stevens Building, whilst the EC Stoner Building, Computer Science Building, Mathematics/Earth Sciences Building, Senior Common room, Garstang Building, Irene Manton Building, Communications and Edward Boyle Library and Henry Price Building have been recognised as Grade II listed buildings. These additions join the already listed 1877 Great Hall and Bains Wing (designed and built by Alfred Waterhouse), the School of Mineral Engineering, the Brotherton Library and the Parkinson Building which are Grade II listed. In addition to the main campus, there is also a satellite location at Wakefield. Until the 2006”“07 academic year, some courses were taught at the Bretton Hall campus in West Bretton. The site closed in summer 2007 after which the courses taught there were relocated to the main campus in Leeds. There is no railway station close to the main campus, however there are numerous bus routes which serve it. The proposed Leeds Supertram would have run past the campus. The currently proposed Leeds Trolleybus (northern line) will run past the campus, linking it with the city centre, Headingley and Lawnswood. The Leeds Inner Ring Road also lies close to the campus.

Modern expansion
The university has engaged in a wave of modern expansion since 2008, and has invested more than £300 million in transforming its campus over the coming years, resulting in new state-of-the-art educational, research, residential and leisure facilities with a further £80 million being spent to improve current assets. The programme of this expansion being one of the biggest capital investment projects in British higher education. Its over-arching vision is to provide staff and students with a world-class campus which is integral to the university's ambition and vision of securing a place among the world's top 50 universities.
  • Earth and Environment improvements included a phased refurbishment and construction of this £23 million development which is already completed. These renovations included refurbished laboratory space in the west wing which opened for staff and students in April 2009, and the completion of the remaining elements of the scheme, both new build and refurbished, followed in November 2009.
  • Charles Morris Hall student accommodation renovations started with the demolition of the previous Mary Ogilvie House, the existing 108 bed student accommodation block, and construction of a new 500-bed, £27.1 million building began in March 2009, the new halls were completed in the summer of 2010, with the first students moving in for the new academic year in September 2010.
  • The Childcare Centre building work has also been completed and led to the creation of a new 140 place staff/student childcare centre and a new landscaped green square on adjoining plot. Work on the £3.6 million project lasted approximately 12 months with the official opening in April 2010.
  • Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre improvements (known as The Edge) started in 2009 and consisted of the construction of the new £12.2 million swimming pool/gym complex on the south-western edge of campus. The facility was due for completion by the end of February 2010 however was delayed until being officially opened in May 2010.
  • The Law Building is a £12 million project which is currently in construction, work started September 2009 and completion is planned for late 2010. The new building is located on the western side of the university campus alongside the Leeds University Business School.
  • The Edward Boyle Library £28 million redevelopment of the library was approved by the University and a consultant design team appointed, with a view to work commencing late 2010. However, budget cuts have resulted in the project being put on indefinite hold.
  • Innovation City Leeds Plans for a £28 million 'Innovation City Leeds' building and bio-incubator which would help position the city as global hub for enterprise and innovation are subject to approval. If given the green light, work would be complete in late 2011.
  • Further developments of the campus which are in planning or design stages include the Energy Building, which will be a £15 million development with new build work expected to begin in late summer 2010, and due for completion by the end of 2011. The development is currently in the tender/design stage.


Reputation and rankings

Rankings
Leeds is a leading research institution, and a member of the Russell Group, a group of research-orientated universities similar to the Association of American Universities in North America. In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, the University was placed seventh nationally for the number of top-scoring researchers and eighth for 'research power' out of the 173 institutions taking part in the exercise. Just under 800 researchers at the university were given ratings of 5* or 5, meaning that 70 per cent of the university's researchers were working at the highest level on projects of international importance. The university received the highest 5* grade, denoting work at the forefront of international research, in six subjects. These consisted of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, English, Town and Country Planning (i.e. Transport), Food Science, and Italian. The University of Leeds was ranked in 8th place in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the best result in the Yorkshire and the Humber region and ranking behind only 3 universities not previously in the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and University of London systems (#4 - University of Manchester, #5 - University of Edinburgh and #7 - University of Nottingham). In 2010, Leeds was ranked as the 9th most targeted British university by graduate employers, a one place increase from 10th position in the previous 2009 rankings. In the 2007 THE-QS World University Rankings (From 2010 two separate rankings will be produced by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings), Leeds was placed 16th in the UK, 27th in Europe and 80th in the world. More recent rankings show despite a drop to 104th in the 2008 world rankings, the university re-entered the top 100 at 99th place in 2009. In 2010, the university consolidated its position inside the top 100, whilst also rising 14 places in the QS World University Rankings, moving into 85th place. The university is currently working through a strategic plan which by 2015 aims to see the University of Leeds rank inside the world's top 50 universities. In 2007, The Sunday Times released averages of all its tables over 10 years, ranking Leeds as 26th in the country from 1998 - 2007. The University has an excellent reputation for teaching and provides a wide range of courses for students. The Guardian University Guide 2008 rated it top in the country for Dentistry and Chemical Engineering, while a majority of its courses were ranked in the top ten or twenty. The University of Leeds Business School is regarded as one of the best in the UK. In its most recent ranking the school's MBA programme was placed 15th in Europe by The Economist . In the Financial Times' Global MBA ranking for 2008, the Leeds MBA was ranked 48th in the world. The university also won the biennially awarded Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2009 for services to engineering and technology. The honor being awarded to the university’s Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) which for over forty years has been a world leader in transport teaching and research.


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