De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is a public university in the city of Leicester, England. It was established in accordance with the Further and Higher Education Act in 1992 as a degree awarding body. The name De Montfort University was taken from Simon de Montfort, a 13th-century Earl of Leicester credited with establishing the first Parliament of England in 1265. De Montfort University has approximately 27,000 full and part-time students, 3,240 staff and an annual turnover in the region of £168 million. The university is organised into four faculties: Art, Design, and Humanities (ADH); Business and Law (BAL); Health and Life Sciences (H&LS); and Computing, Engineering and Media (CEM). It is a Sustainable Development Hub, focusing on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, an initiative by the United Nations launched in 2018. The Department of Education awarded university a Gold rating in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework. It is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.The university's origins are in the Leicester School of Art, established in 1870 on a voluntary basis. The school expanded in response to the changing needs of late 19th-century industry; leading to the introduction of subjects such as engineering, building and machine drawing. By 1897, it was clear the buildings being used were no longer suitable. £25,000 was raised to build 'a very handsome school that would be enormous credit to the town and ... so that it would answer its purpose for the next 100 years'. The building in question is the Hawthorn Building, which today still houses the sciences; in the shape of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. At the time of the first phase its construction, there were 500 art students and 1,000 technical students. In 1903, a letter from His Majesty's Inspector praised the success of the technical subjects. Increasing demand for courses prompted an extension to the Hawthorn Building in 1909. In 1919, further properties were rented. The Duchess of Atholl laid the foundation stone of Hawthorn's new west wing in 1927; by which time the establishment was known under by the joint name of The Leicester Colleges of Art and Technology.In 1930, the college was recognised for the external degree course in Pharmacy of the University of London, and the Pharmaceutical Chemist Diploma of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. In 1934, the University of London recognised the college as suitable for preparing students for the External Degree in Engineering, and so the courses on offer developed apace. The prospectus for 1936–37 included details of various technically based schools, including the Schools of Architecture, Building and Building Crafts, and Engineering. The fourth phase of extensions to the Hawthorn Building was completed in 1938–39. The first accommodation was secured in 1946 when three houses were purchased by the university. More space was needed to meet the academic demand, and so in 1948, F. Bray, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Education, opened the converted Downings Warehouse. In 1966, the new Fletcher building was opened by The Queen Mother. In the same year, a white paper, "A Plan for Polytechnics and Other Colleges", was published, leading to the creation of the City of Leicester Polytechnic. Under the provision of the Education Reform Act 1988, Leicester Polytechnic became a Higher Education Corporation, with Dame Anne Mueller appointed Chancellor in June 1991. Leicester Polytechnic became De Montfort University in accordance with the Further and Higher Education Act in 1992, establishing it as a degree-awarding body in its own right. The name De Montfort University was taken from Simon de Montfort, a 13th-century Earl of Leicester credited with establishing the first Parliament of England in 1265. Honouring Simon de Montfort has been controversial as he expelled the Jews from Leicester; by taking his name the university's commitment to community values has been questioned.The Leicester campus is close to Leicester Castle and occupies what was once a religious precinct of the castle, built by the earls and dukes of Lancaster, known as the Newarke. It is bordered by the 15th-century Magazine Gateway or Newarke Gateway and the campus contains listed buildings, including Trinity House, rebuilt in 1901 and containing part of the original 14th-century Hospital of The Annunciation building. The Hawthorn Building contains the ruins of the 1353 Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the Newarke, where the body of King Richard III is said, according to early sources, to have been displayed before his burial at Greyfriars. The ruins form the centrepiece of the De Montfort University Heritage Centre, opened in March 2015. As well as the ruins, the Centre also celebrates the history of the university and contemporary student work.The campus has seen several recent developments as part of a ten-year £200 million initiative by the university, such as the £35 million Hugh Aston Building; constructed to move students from the Faculty of Business and Law closer to the centre of the university's infrastructure. In 2016, the Vijay Patel Building was opened. The Vijay Patel Building is home to art and design courses and is the centrepiece of the £136 million Campus Transformation Project which aims to "provide DMU with one of the finest city centre campuses in the country". The building is named after Dr Vijay Patel, who, alongside his wife, made the single largest donation by individuals in the university's history.The four Library sites on campus consist of the main Kimberlin Library and three ancillaries. Many Library functions are also available off campus at any time, including electronic resources such as academic databases, and online account management facilities such as book renewal. The Kimberlin Library is a four-storey building opened in 1977, extended in 1997 and extensively refurbished in 2007. The ground floor Learning Zone was opened as part of the 2007 refurbishment and provides space for group and individual work. Kimberlin Library has an overall seating capacity of around 1250. The upper floors of the library cater for more traditional Quiet and Silent study needs. Further investment in 2011 saw the opening of the library Archives and Special Collections rooms and a dedicated Research Postgraduate Study Room. There are also facilities including dedicated study rooms for students with disabilities and special needs.The Eric Wood Learning Zone is in the ground floor of the adjacent Eric Wood Building, was extended and developed into a second Learning Zone, providing 180 more study places. This was opened on 12 January 2009. The Law Library is situated in the Hugh Aston Building which opened in September 2009, Leicester Law School is one of only a few in the country to have a dedicated Law Library on site within the teaching building. One room within this library houses the separate Legal Practice Course library, to which only students on that course have access.
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