University of Reading

The University of Reading is a university in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. The University was established in 1892 as University College, Reading and received its Royal Charter in 1926. It is based on several campuses in, and around, the town of Reading. The University has a long tradition of research, education and training at a local, national and international level. It offers traditional degrees and also less usual and other vocationally relevant ones. It was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 1998, 2005 and again in 2009. It is one of the ten most research-intensive universities in the UK, and finds itself within the top 2.5% of universities in the world.

The University owes its first origins to the Schools of Art and Science established in Reading in 1860 and 1870. In 1892 the College at Reading was founded as an extension college of Christ Church of the University of Oxford. The Schools of Art and Science were transferred to the new college by Reading Town Council in the same year. The new college received its first treasury grant in 1901. Three years later it was given a site, now the university's London Road Campus, by the Palmer family of Huntley & Palmers fame. The same family supported the opening of Wantage Hall in 1908, and of the Research Institute in Dairying in 1912. The college first applied for a Royal Charter in 1920 but was unsuccessful at that time. However a second petition, in 1925, was successful, and the charter was officially granted on March 17, 1926. With the charter, the college became the University of Reading, the only new university to be created in England between the two world wars. In 1947 the University purchased Whiteknights Park, which was to become its principal campus. In 1984 the University started a merger with Bulmershe College of Higher Education, which was completed in 1989. In October 2006, the Senior Management Board proposed the closure of its Physics Department to future undergraduate application. This was ascribed to financial reasons and lack of alternative ideas and caused considerable controversy, not least a debate in Parliament over the closure which prompted heated discussion of higher education issues in general. On October 10 the Senate voted to close the Department of Physics, a move confirmed by the Council on November 20. Other departments closed in recent years include Music, Sociology, Geology, and Mechanical Engineering. The university council decided in March 2009 to close the School of Health and Social Care, a school whose courses have consistently been oversubscribed. In January 2008, the University announced its merger with the Henley Management College to create the university's new Henley Business School, bringing together Henley College's expertise in MBAs with the University's existing Business School and ICMA Centre. The merger took formal effect on the 1st August 2008, with the new business school split across the university's existing Whiteknights Campus and its new Greenlands Campus that formerly housed Henley Management College. A restructuring of the university was announced in September 2009, which would bring together all the academic schools into three faculties, these being the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social sciences, and Henley Business School. The move was predicted to result in the loss of some jobs, especially in the film, theatre and television departmen, which will shortly be moving into a brand new £11.5 million building on Whiteknights Campus. In late 2009 it was announced that the London Road Campus was to undergo a £30 million renovation, preparatory to becoming the new home of the university's Institute of Education. This is planned for completion in the summer of 2011, and is being partially funded by the sale of the adjoining site of Mansfield Hall, a former hall of residence, for demolition and replacement by private sector student accommodation.

The University maintains over 1.6 square kilometres (395 acres) of grounds, in four distinct campuses:
  • Whiteknights Campus, at 1.3 square kilometres (321 acres) , is the largest and includes Whiteknights Lake, conservation meadows and woodlands as well as most of the University's departments. The campus takes its name from the nickname of the 13th century knight, John De Erleigh IV or the 'White Knight', and was landscaped in the 18th century by Marquis of Blandford. The main University library, in the middle of the campus, holds nearly a million books and subscribes to around 4,000 periodicals.
  • The smaller London Road Campus is the original University site and is closer to the town centre of Reading. The London Road site forms the base for the majority of the university's extramural and distance learning activities, and is home to the Centre for Continuing Education and the Professional Management Programmes as well as the Museum of English Rural Life. Moreover, it plays host to the University graduation ceremonies twice a year, in the Great Hall. London Road is currently undergoing extensive renovation to allow a number of departments to move from Bulmershe from 2011.
  • The Bulmershe Court Campus in Woodley is the site of the former Bulmershe Teaching College, which merged with The University of Reading in 1989. The campus is now the home of The Institute of Education and the Department of Film, Theatre and Television, alongside the Bulmershe site of Students’ Union, Breeze Bar, and Bulmershe Hall of Residences. It also has the largest hall of residence of the University. Furthermore, the campus hosts a range of the University's home sporting fixtures, including football, basketball and American Football. Bulmershe is currently due for closure in 2011 with departments moving to either London Road or Whiteknights Campuses.
  • The Greenlands Campus, on the banks of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire. Once the home of William Henry Smith, founder of WH Smith, and latterly the site of the Henley Management College, this campus became part of the university on the 1st August 2008, with the merger of that college with the university's Business School to form the Henley Business School. The school's MBA and corporate learning offerings will be based at Greenlands, with undergraduate and other postgraduate courses being based at Whiteknights.
The University also owns 8.5 square kilometres (2,100 acres) of farmland in the nearby villages of Arborfield, Sonning and Shinfield. These support a mixed farming system including dairy cows, ewes and beef animals, and host research centres of which the flagship is the Centre for Dairy Research. As part of the proposed Whiteknights Development Plan in Autumn 2007, the University proposed spending up to £250 million on its estates over 30 years, principally to focus academic activities onto the Whiteknights site. The University also intends to site some functions on the London Road site, with a complete withdrawal from Bulmershe Court proposed by 2012.

In the Research Assessment Exercise in 2001, five departments were awarded the top rate of 5* ”“ Archaeology, English, Italian, Meteorology and Psychology, and fifteen departments were awarded the rating of 5. In the wake of the 2008 RAE, the university saw a cut of £4m (19%) in its recurrent research funding, the largest cut among the 1994 Group of British universities. The Department of Meteorology was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2005. Reading was the first university to win a Queen's Award for Export Achievement, in 1989.

In the 2004”“05 academic year, the university had 4,024 staff and 15,326 students. Reading University Students' Union is the affiliated student organisation which represents the students' interests. The Students' Union publishes Spark*, a bi-weekly newspaper aimed at the student population of the University, which was weekly until October 2006 (it is now published fortnightly during term-time) and runs the student radio station Junction11. The latest addition to its media contingency is the student run television station RU:ON. The university also has a number of Junior Common Rooms that are nominally independent from the Students' Union and the University. The Students' Union building on Whiteknights Campus contains an 1800 capacity venue called 3sixty, two bars, a number of retail outlets, and The Hub. The Hub is the Union's new volunteer, advice, student activity centre, cost around £1.8m and was officially opened in March 2007 by Bill Rammell MP, Minister for Higher Education.

University halls and accommodation
Student accommodation is provided in a number of halls of residence offering a mix of partially catered (19 meals per week) and self-catering accommodation, along with other self-catering accommodation. Following a major review the University is now preceding with the integrated Halls and Catering Strategy, that will see several halls replaced as well as new ones created with social, catering & welfare facilities provided in hub areas. Most of the halls of residence lie close to the northern campus periphery and in residential areas close by. Halls are managed in groups which are Lakeside ( Bridges, Bulmershe & Wessex), Northcourt (Sibly, Sherfield, Student Village (managed by UPP) and St. Patrick's), Park (Greenow, McCombie, MacKinder, Stenton, Windsor and Dunsden Crescent), Redlands (Hillside, Martindale, St. George's, Wells and Wantage) and Estates Management (35 Upper Redlands Road, Mansfield and St. David's). The former St. Andrews Hall closed in 2001, and is now the home of the Museum of English Rural Life. St. George's Hall and The Reading Student Village are leased back to the University from UPP. The cost of leasing back the Student Village to the University, according to the University accounts, was £1.5 million for 2003”“04 and £1.3 million in 2002”“03.

The University of Reading has 60 societies open to and run by its students. The University also has its very own Scottish Highland Bagpipe & Drum Band, Reading University Pipe Band, who teach the Great Highland Bagpipes and also serve students and staff as the University of Reading's Scottish Society.

Student media
Students run a full complement of student media, which includes;
  • TV station: RU:ON
  • Radio station: Junction11
  • Newspaper: Spark*

Museums, libraries and botanical gardens
Reading University maintains four museums, two campus libraries and a range of inter-departmental libraries, and a botanical garden. The largest and best known of these museum is the Museum of English Rural Life, which has recently relocated from a location on Whiteknights Campus to a site nearer the town centre on the London Road Campus. The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, the Cole Museum of Zoology, the University of Reading Herbarium and the Harris Garden are all on the Whiteknights Campus. The Whiteknights Main Library holds catalogue of over 1.2 million books, as well as a range of electronic resources, videos and archives. All in 14,000 square metres of public space on five floors of resources, a maintenance floor, entrance plaza and the Knowledge Exchange. The secondary library on the University's Bulmershe Campus supports teaching courses and provides resources in education, health & social care, music, and film & drama. There is also a library in the University's Meteorology department.

Working with business
Reading hosts a number of private sector businesses on its campuses, either occupying dedicated buildings or in managed space at the Science & Technology Centre or Enterprise Hub.

Science & Technology Centre
The University of Reading Science & Technology Centre is situated on the eastern side of Whiteknights Campus. The Science & Technology Centre supports and accommodates technology companies from start-up through to larger SMEs. The following notable companies are based at, or have been based at, the Science & Technology Centre:
  • Assuria Ltd
  • Reading Scientific Services Ltd

Reading Enterprise Hub
Reading Enterprise Hub is a business incubator opened in 2003. The hub was jointly sponsored by the university and SEEDA, and sought to attract startup high tech companies, particularly those with interests in environmental technology, information technology, life sciences, and materials science. The hub was originally situated in World War 2 era temporary office buildings on the university's Whiteknights campus. During the summer of 2008 the hub was demolished, along with the neighbouring former agriculture buildings, and the remaining tenants relocated to a building on the London Road campus. As of April 2010, a new Reading Enterprise Centre is being constructed on the hub's original site.

Dedicated buildings
Besides its use of the Science & Technology Centre, Reading Scientific Services also occupies the Reading Science Centre, situated on the western side of Whiteknights campus.


Governing bodies and roles
The university is nominally led by a Chancellor, who is the titular head of the university, and is normally a well-known public figure. The day to day chief executive role is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor, a full time academic post. The senior management board of the university is headed by the Vice-Chancellor, assisted by a Deputy-Vice-Chancellor, three Pro-Vice-Chancellors, four Deans and five Heads of Directorate. It is responsible for the day-to-day management of the University and meets fortnightly throughout most of the year. The senior management board reports to the university's Senate, the main academic administrative body. The senate has around 100 members and meets at least four times a year and advises on areas such as student entry, assessment and awards. Membership includes Deans, Heads and elected representatives of Schools, as well as professional staff and students. The Senate in turn reports to the Council, which is the supreme governing body of the university, setting strategic direction, ensuring compliance with statutory requirements and approving constitutional changes. The Council meets four times a year, and comprises a broad representation of lay members drawn from commercial, community and professional organisations.

Officers of the University
Principals of University College, Reading
  • Sir Halford John Mackinder (1892”“1903)
  • Dr William Macbride Childs (1903”“1926)
Chancellors of the University of Reading
  • J. H. Benyon (1926”“1935)
  • Sir Austen Chamberlain (1935”“1937)
  • Sir Samuel Hoare, Viscount Templewood (1937”“1959)
  • Lord Bridges (1959”“1969)
  • Sir Roger Makins, Lord Sherfield (1970”“1992)
  • Lord Carrington (1992”“2007)
  • Sir John Madejski (2007”“)
Vice-Chancellors of the University of Reading
  • Dr William Macbride Childs (1926”“1929)
  • Sir Franklin Sibly (1929”“1946)
  • Sir Frank Stenton (1946”“1950)
  • Sir John Wolfenden, Baron Wolfenden (1950”“1963)
  • Sir Harry Raymond Pitt (1964”“1978)
  • Prof. Ewan Page (1979”“1993)
  • Prof. Sir Roger Williams (1993”“2002)
  • Prof. Gordon Marshall (2003”“2011)

In recent years the university has been beset by controversy, with closing departments and job losses among staff. The university will lose 7.7% of its HEFCE funding in fiscal year 2010-2011.

Notable academics
  • Stanislav Andreski - was a professor of Sociology at the University of Reading
  • Malcolm Barber - Emeritus Professor of History, University of Reading
  • Howard Colquhoun - Professor of Materials Chemistry, University of Reading
  • Neil Crosby - Professor of Real Estate, University of Reading
  • Jonathan Dancy - Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading
  • Michael Drew - Professor of Chemistry, University of Reading
  • Antony Flew - Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading
  • Sir Terry Frost - Professor of Fine Art, University of Reading
  • Michael Fulford - Professor of Archaeology and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading
  • Colin S. Gray - Professor of International Relations and Strategic Studies, University of Reading
  • Edward Guggenheim - was a thermodynamicist and professor of chemistry at the University of Reading
  • Andrew Gurr - was a professor of English at the University of Reading until his retirement and is a leading authority on Shakespeare
  • Beatrice Heuser - Professor of International Relations, University of Reading
  • Gustav Holst - was a professor of Music at University College, Reading
  • Harold Hopkins - was a professor of Applied Physical Optics at the University of Reading
  • Sir Brian Hoskins - Professor of Climatology, University of Reading and Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London
  • Crispin St. J. A. Nash-Williams - was a professor of Mathematics at the University of Reading
  • Richard Rado - was a professor of Mathematics at the University of Reading
  • Keith Shine - Professor of Climatology, University of Reading
  • Sir Frank Stenton - was a professor of History at the University of Reading
  • Andrew Wallace-Hadrill - Director of the British School at Rome and professor of Classics, University of Reading
  • Kevin Warwick - Professor of Cybernetics, University of Reading

Notable alumni
  • Ash Amin - Professor of Geography, Durham University
  • L.J.F. Brimble, botanist and editor of Nature magazine
  • Ken Brown - Professor of History and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast
  • Sir Clifford Charles Butler - co-discoverer of hyperons and mesons, Professor of Physics at Imperial College London, Vice-chancellor of Loughborough University
  • Stephen E. Calvert - Emeritus Professor of Geology, University of British Columbia
  • Michael Cox - Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics
  • Sir Peter Crane ”“ Professor of Botany at Yale University
  • Andrew Dobson - Professor of Political Science, Keele University
  • Sean Holly - Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge
  • Jolyon Howorth - Professor of European politics, University of Bath and Visiting Professor of Political Science at Yale University
  • Michael Leifer - was a professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics
  • David Marks - Professor of Psychology, City University London
  • Dragan MaruÅ¡iĠ”“ Professor of Mathematics at the University of Ljubljana
  • Avi Shlaim - Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford
  • Bernard Smith - Professor of Geology, Queen's University Belfast
  • John Turner - Professor of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth
  • A. E. Wilder-Smith ”“ creationist and chemist
  • Anton Apriantono ”“ food technology scientist, serving as Indonesia's Minister of Agriculture since 2004
  • Edison James ”“ Prime Minister of Dominica 1995-2000, Leader of the Opposition, 1990”“1995 and 2000-2007.
  • Jan Kavan ”“ Czech diplomat and politician
  • Mike Penning ”“ Conservative Member of Parliament for the Hemel Hempstead parliamentary constituency.
  • Dimeji Bankole ”“ is a Nigerian politician and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria
  • Rob Wilson ”“ Conservative Member of Parliament for the Reading East parliamentary constituency
  • Hugh Robertson (politician) - Conservative Member of Parliament for Faversham and Mid Kent
  • Mark Prisk - Conservative Member of Parliament for Hertford and Stortford
  • Arthur Brown ”“ rock and roll singer
  • Jamie Cullum ”“ jazz pianist and singer
  • Hilary James ”“ singer, double bassist, guitarist, and mando-bassist
  • Liam Howe - music producer, musician, formed the band Sneaker pimps with David Westlake and Joe Wilson (musician) also alumni.
  • Simon Mayor ”“ mandolinist, fiddle player, guitarist, and composer
  • Andy MacKay - member of the band Roxy Music
  • Martin Noble ”“ musician, Noble in the band British Sea Power
  • Edmund Rubbra - composer
  • Twelfth Night - progressive rock band active 1978-1987, formed at Reading University by five alumni
  • Julian Wagstaff - composer
  • Scott Wilkinson ”“ musician and composer, Yan in the band British Sea Power.
  • Cath Bishop ”“ Rowing Olympic silver medallist.
  • James Cracknell ”“ rowing champion and double Olympic gold medallist.
  • Debbie Flood ”“ rowing champion, quadruple sculls silver medallist at the 2004 Olympics.
  • Gary Herbert ”“ rowing won Olympic gold with Greg and Jonny Searl in the coxed pair in Barcelona 1992 Olympics.
  • Molly Hide, captained English women's cricket team for seventeen years.
  • Will Hoy, British Touring Car Champion.
  • Anna Bebington - Olympic rower (who won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008)
  • Julian Barratt ”“ comedian from BBC's The Mighty Boosh
  • Keith Bosley ”“ former BBC broadcaster and prizewinning poet and translator
  • Richard Holmes ”“ noted military historian and television presenter
  • Kaddy Lee-Preston, TV weather pre
Affiliations 1994 Group Website UK University Rankings 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 Times Good University Guide 31 st= 25 th 31 st 39 th 30 th 29 th 30 th 27 th 31 st 31 st 24 th= 28 th 21 st 24 th= 19 th= 23 rd= 32 nd= Guardian University Guide 39 th 42 nd 44 th 27 th 21 st 29 th Sunday Times University Guide 32 nd 31 st 34 th 35 th 37 th 36 th 31 st 28 th 29 th 28 th 32 nd= Independent / Complete 38 th 29 th Daily Telegraph 29 th 40 th FT 24 th 27 th 34 th 30 th

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via