The University of Plymouth is a public research university based predominantly in Plymouth, England, where the main campus is located, but the university has campuses and affiliated colleges across South West England. With 18,410 students, it is the 57th largest in the United Kingdom by total number of students (including the Open University). It has 2,915 staff. The university was originally founded as the Plymouth School of Navigation in 1862, before becoming a university college in 1920 and a polytechnic institute in 1970, with its constituent bodies being Plymouth Polytechnic, Rolle College in Exmouth, the Exeter College of Art and Design (which were, before April 1989, run by Devon County Council) and Seale-Hayne College (which before April 1989 was an independent charity). It was renamed Polytechnic South West in 1989, a move that was unpopular with students as the name lacked identity. It was the only polytechnic to be renamed and remained as "PSW" until gaining university status in 1992 along with the other polytechnics. The new university absorbed the Plymouth School of Maritime Studies.In 2006, part of the remains of the World War II Portland Square air-raid shelter were rediscovered on the Plymouth campus. On the night of 22 April 1941, during the Blitz, a bomb fell on the site killing over 70 civilians, including a mother and her six children. The bomb blast was so strong that human remains were found in the tops of trees. Only three people escaped alive, all children. The university's first vice-chancellor was John Bull. He was succeeded by Roland Levinsky until his death on 1 January 2007, when he walked into live electrical cables brought down during a storm. He was temporarily replaced by Mark Cleary (now vice-chancellor of the University of Bradford), and then by Steve Newstead. Wendy Purcell became VC on 1 December 2007. She was placed on leave on 2 July 2014 by the university's governors while an internal review was conducted. A month later the Higher Education Funding Council for England requested an independent external review of the university's governance. In August 2014, the university was instructed by HEFCE to undertake an external review of its governance after vice-chancellor Wendy Purcell was placed on leave. Judith Petts CBE was appointed the University of Plymouth's vice-chancellor and chief executive in February 2016. She joined Plymouth from the University of Southampton, where she had been pro-vice-chancellor research and enterprise and previously the inaugural dean of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (2010–2013). The university was selected by the Royal Statistical Society in October 2008 to be the home of its Centre for Statistical Education. It also runs courses in maritime business, marine engineering, marine biology, and Earth, ocean and environmental sciences.Our visionWe will be a broad-based, research-intensive university, open to all who can benefit from a University of Plymouth education, and delivering excellent interdisciplinary research, experiential education and civic engagement.The University will develop an Implementation Plan to support the strategy which will include phased activities over the ten year period with agreed key performance indicators. Through the annual process of business planning, the Faculties and Professional Services will be discussing how to align their activities to the 2030 goals. Teams will review their existing strategic priorities and identify those best aligned with this new Strategy. These will become their priority areas, which will be monitored by local performance indicators. Your input and support has been crucial to the development of Strategy 2030 and will continue to underpin our success. We will continue with regular updates through Staff Briefings, Vice-Chancellor video messages, open fora, discussions in the Senior Leadership Forum and through your faculty and services teams.When university status was gained in 1992, the university was based in on multiple sites. Under Vice-Chancellor Levinsky the university began a policy of centralising its campus activities in Plymouth. The Exmouth campus Rolle College housed the Faculty of Education and relocated to the new Rolle Building in August 2008. The decision was unpopular with students and the town of Exmouth itself. There were several protest marches and a campaign to keep the campus open. The Exeter campus [Earl Richards Road North] housed the Arts and Design faculty from 1989 to 2007. Purpose-built in the 1970s to re-locate Exeter College of Art and Design from the city centre, the college became amalgamated with Polytechnic South West in 1989 and permanently relocated its facilities to Plymouth in 2007. In 2011 planning permission was granted to demolish and redevelop the Earl Richards Road North site to provide 39 dwellings with parking and landscaping.Completed developments include Portland Square, a library extension, refurbished and new laboratory and teaching facilities in many of the campus buildings, halls of residence near the Business School and a new £16 million Peninsula Medical School headquarters at Derriford, in the north of the city. A Marine Building has been constructed behind the Babbage Building to house civil engineering, coastal engineering and marine sciences. An exception to the trend of centralising activities are the university's extensive activities in education for the health professions. In addition, many of its students are taught at further education colleges throughout Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, such as South Devon College. A building which opened in 2008 is shared between the Peninsula Medical School and the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences. The Roland Levinsky Building, designed by architects Henning Larsen with Building Design Partnership, is clad with copper sheets in a seamed-cladding technique, is nine storeys high and has 13,000 square metres (140,000 sq ft) of floor space. The Faculty of Arts, previously based in Exmouth and Exeter moved here in August 2007. The building contains two large lecture theatres, the Jill Craigie Cinema, used by the film students to display their films and for showing of films to the public; three performance rehearsal studios; digital media suites; and a public art gallery which displays work by local artists groups, students and famous artists. University-managed or approved accommodation in the first year of study is guaranteed for all applicants who choose Plymouth as their first choice institution. The university provides an approved accommodation database, which is available to all continuing students. There are six university-managed halls: Francis Drake, Gilwell, Mary Newman, Pilgrim, Radnor and Robbins. Special accommodation arrangements can be made for students with disabilities or medical conditions.A wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are taught at the main city campus in Plymouth. The university scores well in law, psychology, geographical sciences, computing (including digital media) and computer science, fine art and art history. Key developments include: the creation of a new business school; bringing together complementary subjects in a new combined faculty of Science and Engineering; and creating the largest marine science and engineering school in Europe. University of Plymouth Students' Union, usually abbreviated "UPSU" is a non-profit making organisation. Each year, students elect the officers who will represent them for the following year. The Union offers a range of services and stages a number of events throughout the year. As well as events, the Union is the base for most of the sports teams and societies at the university.
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