The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. The idea for a university in Coventry was mooted shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War but it was a bold and imaginative partnership of the City and the County which brought the University into being on a 400-acre site jointly granted by the two authorities. Since then, the University has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1978 and has extended its land holdings by the purchase of adjoining farm land. The University initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. In October 2013, the student population was over 23,000 of which 9,775 are postgraduates. Around a third of the student body comes from overseas and over 120 countries are represented on the campus.The University has 29 academic departments and over 50 research centres and institutes, in three Faculties: Arts, Science, Engineering and Medicine and Social Sciences. The new Medical School took its first students on an innovative 4-year accelerated postgraduate programme in September 2000. In summer 2004 the first 64 students graduated from the school. In October 2010 the combined intake of the Warwick Medical School was 403, making it one of the largest in the country. Since 2007 the University has been empowered to award its own medical degrees. In 2007, under the Vice Chancellorship of Professor Sir Nigel Thrift, the University launched its new Strategy, Vision 2015. Incorporating a number of ideas generated by the University community itself, the Strategy laid out a number of ambitious goals in research, teaching and learning, internationalisation, UK stakeholders and income generation.To date, progress has been made against a number of strategic objectives, including the establishment of a Warwick Prize for Writing, IGGY, increase in the value of research awards and the number of highly cited academics at the University, the publication of the second Warwick Commission on International Financial Reform and the development of collaborations and partnerships with overseas universities including Boston University, UCLA, Monash and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Much progress has been made and the University has sought to reaffirm its commitment to its core ambitions while refocusing on how they will be achieved in the light of significant changes in the wider financial and political context. An updated Strategy was therefore published in September 2014.From its beginnings, the University has sought to be excellent in both teaching and research. It has now secured its place as one of the UK's leading research universities, confirmed by the results of the government's Research Assessment Exercises of 1986, 1989, 1992, 1996, 2001 and 2008. We performed strongly in the Government’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, in which we strengthened our position amongst the UK’s ten best research universities. Warwick has always taken the view that good research informs and strengthens the quality of education that it is able to offer its students. The original conception for the academic structure of the University was not to impose overall academic prescription but to make early appointments to the first professorships, selecting candidates with fresh and constructive ideas on how studies in their areas should be organised and developed. The planning of courses developed organically with a marked emphasis on inter-disciplinary cooperation. Business Studies and Engineering - both looking firmly towards the manufacturing heartlands of the West Midlands - were early developments. Warwick was a pioneer in seeking industrial-academic links, a key component of its strategy today just as it was in the original vision of the first Vice-Chancellor, Mr J B Butterworth (Lord Butterworth) and the Chairman of the Promotion Committee for the University, Lord Rootes.Popular with students from all backgroundsThe University has become increasingly popular with students (there are now nine applications for every available place) and in 2010 81% of the undergraduates admitted to Warwick has an A level score on entry of AAB or above. But it has been a mark of Warwick's strategy to encourage and facilitate admission from those less well-advantaged and from poorer backgrounds.From its beginnings, it has welcomed applications from mature students (who often have no formal qualifications but can show the potential necessary for higher education). In 1986, Warwick launched what has been a highly successful part-time degrees programme. In 1991 the University initiated an innovative shared 2+2 degree programme with a group of local FE Colleges which was specifically aimed at individuals with few if any formal qualifications and who were often in situations of considerable social and economic disadvantage. Warwick has involved itself in the new Foundation Degrees that were piloted in 2001.LeadershipThe University's first Chancellor was Lord Radcliffe, who continued in office until his death in April 1977. He was succeeded by Lord Scarman, who retired from office in 1989. Warwick's third Chancellor was Sir Shridath Ramphal, who presided over the University from 1989 - 2002. Sir Nicholas Scheele, was appointed as Warwick's fourth Chancellor in 2002 continuing in office until 2008. The University's previous Chancellor, Sir Richard Lambert, took up the position in August 2008. Sir Richard is the former Director-General of the CBI. In January 2017, Sir Richard Lambert was succeeded by our present Chancellor, Baroness Ashton.The University's founding Vice-Chancellor was Mr J.B. Butterworth (Lord Butterworth), who guided the University through its formative years and provided much of the vision for the University's future growth and success. His achievement was to establish Warwick firmly on the national stage, to set a basic strategy and culture for the University which still obtains today and to oversee the building of a university on what was a greenfield site. He was succeeded in September 1985 by Dr C.L. Brundin. As Vice-Chancellor from 1985 until 1992, Dr. Brundin presided over a period of expansion and success: student numbers doubled, postgraduates increased by >250% and Warwick established itself firmly in the top tier of UK research universities.Dr Brundin was succeeded in 1993 by Professor Sir Brian Follett, formerly Biological Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society. In 1994, Sir Brian launched the Warwick Research Fellowships, a £10m scheme, entirely financed by the University, which brought to Warwick a cohort of some of the brightest young researchers in the UK and abroad. His successful academic leadership resulted in the excellent results for the University in the Research Assessment Exercises of 1996 and 2001.Sir Brian also presided over an ambitious building programme that resulted in >£100m of new capital projects during his leadership. Sir Brian retired in 2001 and was succeeded by Professor David VandeLinde, formerly Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bath. His period as Vice-Chancellor was marked by an emphasis on building links and partnerships with the local community, an enhanced international strategy and welcoming of HRI researchers to the University as Warwick HRI.The Vice-Chancellor played a key role in assisting government to reduce the amount of bureaucracy faced by British universities. Professor VandeLinde was succeeded in 2006 by Professor Sir Nigel Thrift. Educated at Aberystwyth where he graduated with a BA Hons in Geography in 1971 Professor Thrift went on to gain his PhD in Geography from the University of Bristol in 1979 and his DSc from Bristol in 1992 as well as being granted an MA (Oxon) in January 2004. He is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Bristol and a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. He joined Warwick from the University of Oxford where he was made Head of the Division of Life and Environmental Sciences in 2003 before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2005.
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