25 things you might not
know about Exeter
- Undergraduate applications are up 23.8% for 2007 entry against
a national average of 6.4%. Only one other ‘old’ university
has done better. Applications for courses at the Cornwall Campus
near Falmouth are up 122%.
- The University is planning for a 30% growth in student numbers
by 2015, mainly in postgraduate and international students.
Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher Education have
been won by Exeter academics. Professors Andrew Hattersley and John
Tooke won Prizes for developing new treatments for diabetes and Professor
Neil Armstrong won a Prize for his research, which was the first
to reveal the dangers of children’s sedentary lifestyles.
Community Action (CA) boasts the highest number of student-led volunteering
projects in the country. More than 500 students are taking part in
student-led projects and 100-plus community partnerships. Students
devote 86,000 volunteering hours per year (the equivalent of 50 full-time
voluntary sector workers) to activities that directly benefit the
- The University came 18th in the most recent Sunday
Times League table. The newspaper has shortlisted Exeter a record
three times for University of the Year. According to university league
tables the University’s strengths include high entry tariffs,
strong student satisfaction, low drop out rates and a high proportion
of students achieving Firsts and 2:1s.
- The University has been ranked top 10 for student satisfaction
two years running - as assessed by the National Student Survey (NSS)
and ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement. The
School of Business and Economics was ranked highest in the UK for
its average scores in Business, Finance & Accounting and Management.
The NSS is a national survey of all final year students in UK universities.
income rose to £29.4 million last year. There were
some very significant new grants won during 2005/06, notably a further £4
million for Egenis (the ESCRC Centre for Genomics in Society). The
grant, from the Economic and Social Research Council, will enable
the Centre to continue its research into the impact of genomics.
has signed a partnership agreement with INTO University Partnerships
to create a £35 million study centre for 500 international
students. The joint venturewill provideworld class teaching
facilities and accommodationonthe Streatham Campus. International
students will come to Exeter for English language, foundation, pre-masters
and other courses that will prepare them to progress to undergraduate
and postgraduate degrees at the University. Quality assurance of
the joint venture will reside wholly with the University and the
first new students will join the University this summer.
- The University is leading the Great Western Research project, a £14
million research partnership involving all of the South West's Higher
Education institutions. GWR funds research projects which are linked
to the future development of the region.
- Exeter was one of the first universities
to announce ‘widening
participation’ scholarships and these were widely taken up
in 2006 – the first year they have been offered. The University
has also introduced merit scholarships for both undergraduates and
postgraduates for 2007 entry. These are designed to help the University
attract students of the highest quality. New postgraduate and international
scholarships will help stimulate demands in these markets.
- The University
has stepped up its support for student employability. A total of
7,100 students undertook employability training in 2006, often with
employers. The University increased its graduate level employment
indicator again last year – a rise of six points
in two years.
- Exeter has the most politically ‘switched on’ students
in the UK. 3,000 of them voted in the 2006 summer elections, giving
Exeter the top Student Union turnout in the UK. The Guild also boasts
a record 105 affiliated societies compared with 70 in 2005. Membership
of the Athletic Union reached 3,314, a significant rise on 2005.
The RAG appeal by the Guild raised £65,000 in 2006 and the
money was donated to ten local charities.
- University teams once again
performed strongly in BUSA (British Universities Sports Association)
competitions. 25 teams went through to the knock-out stages of the
competition - six quarter finals, two semi-finals and six finals.
Five of those six finals resulted in victory for Exeter with BUSA
champions - Women’s Volleyball,
Women’s Fencing, Men’s Hockey 1st team, Women’s
Rugby and the Golf 2nd team. Exeter came 12th overall in BUSA.
close and mutually profitable relationship has been built with the
Met Office since the organisation relocated to Exeter. The Met Office
now provides £500,000 towards the cost of three professors
who together form one of the most powerful research groups in the
UK in the field of climate change. Over £650,000 has been provided
by the Met Office for the provision of research and technical services
from the University.
- The University's earnings from businesses and other non-traditional
sources rose from £15.7 million to £19.6 million last
year. The total includes research income from commercial and non-commercial
organizations, funding for students on external placements, sponsorship,
and income from vocational programmes.
- The University, its staff
and students are worth £246 million
a year to the regional economy. Overall the University generates £334
million a year for UK plc. In addition to the 2,700 staff employed
by the University, a further 1,418 jobs are maintained in the region
and 2,218 in the UK as a whole. The University generates £32
million a year in export earnings.
- The University is preparing a
bid for a third phase of European funding for its Cornwall Campus
near Falmouth. An interdisciplinary research institute centred on
the Environment and Sustainable Society is proposed. Meanwhile, work
is underway on new facilities for Phase 2 of the campus. This will
facilitate the teaching of new degrees in Cornish and Celtic Studies,
Geography, History, Law and Politics which will take their first
students in September 2007.
- Professor John Tooke, Dean of the Peninsula
College of Medicine and Dentistry, received a knighthood in the Queen’s New
Year Honours. At a national level he is Chairman of the Council of
Heads of Medical Schools. The College recently won £28 million
worth of funding to establish the first new dental school in the
UK for 40 years.
- VIP visitors to the University last year included Her Majesty the
Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh; Master of the
Rolls Sir Anthony Clarke; Sir Keith O’Nions, Director General
of Research Councils UK; the poet Benjamin Zephaniah; the fertility
expert Lord Winston; Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC;
the Education Secretary Alan Johnson and Higher Education Minister
Bill Rammell; Boris Johnson, Shadow Minister for Higher Education;
business guru Charles Handy; the
actress Jane Lapotaire; the Ruler of Sharjah; and TV presenter and
former tennis star Sue Barker.
- The University is home to one of the
largest film history libraries in the UK. The Bill Douglas Centre
for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture showcases magic lanterns,
peepshows, mutoscopes (or ‘What
the butler saw’) as well as hundreds of books, posters and
merchandising telling the story of cinema from Charlie Chaplin’s
little tramp to Daniel Craig’s dashing 007. This outstanding
museum is unrivalled in any UK university. It is central to research
and teaching about film and Victorian studies on campus and is a
tourist attraction for visitors to the region.
- Engineers from the University
of Exeter are developing blast curtains made from a ‘smart’ material
that could minimize injuries inflicted by a terrorist attack. The
team hopes to use special ‘auxetic’ materials
to create ‘blast curtains’ that could catch glass fragments
and debris blown through windows by an explosion. When auxetic materials
stretch they show a unique property – they get fatter rather
than thinner. This means that under tension a large number of pores
open up across the surface of the material allowing the shock wave
through but leaving it intact to catch glass and other debris.
- The City
traders of the future can now get their hands on the very latest
technology at the University thanks to the generosity of financial
information specialists Reuters. The Tiverton-based Reuters Data
Operations, which supplies up-to-the-minute data to businesses around
the world, has donated its latest on-line business information packages
to the University's Centre for Finance and Investment (XFI). The
packages will be used by students and staff for training and research.
It is a valuable addition to the University's trading room, which
enables access to international financial markets.
- The University
is in touch with 55,000 alumni in 150 countries. Prominent alumni
include the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, Harry Potter
author JK Rowling, Pop Idol Winner Will Young and Peter Phillips,
son of the Princess Royal. We also have DJs, weather presenters,
High Court judges, Admirals, Bishops, an Arab Shaikh, journalists,
MPs, managing directors, international sportsmen and women, academics,
and a former Mastermind champion. You name it and an Exeter graduate
has probably done it.
- Physicists are studying an obscure species
of beetle which could teach us how to produce brilliant white ultra-thin
materials. New research published in leading journal Science reveals
the Cyphochilus beetle has evolved its brilliant whiteness using
a unique surface structure. At one 200th of a milimetre thick, its
scales are ten times thinner than a human hair. Industrial mineral
coatings, such as those used on high quality paper, plastics and
in some paints, would need to be twice as thick to be as white. It
is hoped to replicate the beetle's shell structure.
- Biologists have
succeeded in ‘disabling’ the world’s
biggest killer of rice crops. They have identified the gene that
enables the rice blast fungus to hijack its prey. This could be a
critical in developing new pesticides. In 2005 the same team helped
to complete the sequence of the rice blast fungus genome, which has
aided the current research.