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University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is a university situated in the city of Southampton, on the south coast of England. The university is a member of the Russell Group and of the Worldwide Universities Network

In the most recent RAE assessment (2001), it has the only engineering faculty in the country to receive the highest rating (5*) across all disciplines. According to The Times Higher Education Supplement, the University has the second largest research income among British universities for the physical sciences and mathematics, and the third largest research income for engineering and technology. The University places great emphasis on inter-disciplinary cooperation and on collaboration with industry. This is most evident in the University's Business division

History

The University of Southampton has its origin as the Hartley Institution which was formed in 1862 from a benefaction by Henry Robertson Hartley (1777–1850). Hartley was the son of a local wine merchant. On his death he left £103,000 to the Southampton Corporation on condition that it was invested "in such manner as might best promote the study and advancement of the sciences of Natural History, Astronomy, Antiquities, Classical and Oriental Literature in the town, such as by forming a Public Library, Botanic Gardens, Observatory, and collections of objects with the above sciences."

The city officials housed Hartley's books in a building in Southampton's High Street, in the city centre. The Hartley Institution was born out of this, and became a university college in 1902. In 1919 it was renamed Hartley University College, and subsequently University College Southampton. Before 1952, the college's degrees were awarded by the University of London.

Having outgrown the High Street premises, the college was set to move to greenfield land near Highfield's Back Lane (now University Road). Although the new main building was formally opened on 20 June 1914, the outbreak of the First World War occurred before any lectures could take place there. The buildings were handed over by the college authorities for use as a military hospital. In order to cope with the volume of casualties, wooden huts were erected at the rear of the building. The college continued to use these after the war, eventually replacing the makeshift extension with brick buildings. With the continuing expansion, an academic bookshop was built on the site of Church Farm and the Students' Union complex and refectory were built on the site of Sir Sidney Kimber's brickyard.

In 1952, the Queen granted the University of Southampton a Royal Charter to award degrees in its own right. This conferred full university status and made Southampton independent of the University of London. It was thus one of the last of the "civic" universities to receive a Royal Charter. It grew rapidly and gained a reputation for a strong academic approach. It expanded rapidly during the 1960s, when a number of new plate glass universities were created; such as the University of East Anglia, University of Lancaster, University of Warwick, University of York and a number of others.

In February 2008, the university rebranded itself, which included redesigning the website and changing the logo.

The University's main buildings are situated on a large site on the Campus in Highfield, but the University has other campuses elsewhere around the city: at Boldrewood (biomedical sciences), Southampton General Hospital and on the waterfront at the National Oceanography Centre.

It also has a campus in the nearby city of Winchester which is the home of the University's School of Art, known as the Winchester School of Art. The Avenue Campus houses most of the Humanities subjects taught at the University, including History, English, Film, Philosophy and Modern Languages. The Centre for Language Study is based at Avenue Campus. Archaeology is also located there in a series of purpose-designed buildings (the most modern archaeology facilities of any British university). Music is still taught on the Highfield Campus, near the Turner Sims Concert Hall.

The University of Southampton and the MIT recently announced the launch of a long-term research collaboration, the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), that aims to produce the fundamental scientific advances necessary to guide the future design and use of the World Wide Web. The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), is headed by Professor Tim Berners-Lee.

Organisation

List of Faculties, Schools and Centres

  • Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics
    • School of Chemistry
    • School of Civil Engineering and the Environment (includes the centre for Environmental Sciences)
    • School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS)
    • School of Engineering Sciences (includes Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Ship Science)
    • School of Geography
    • School of Mathematics
    • School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES)
    • School of Physics and Astronomy
    • Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR)
    • Optoelectronics Research Centre
    • Transportation Research Group (TRG)
    • National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (home of the School of Ocean and Earth Science) (NOCS)
    • Southampton E-Science Centre
  • Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
    • School of Biological Sciences
    • School of Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences
    • School of Medicine
    • School of Nursing and Midwifery
    • School of Psychology
    • Health Care Innovation Unit
  • Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute
  • ESRC National Centre for Research Methods


School of Electronics and Computer Science

The School of Electronics and Computer Science, generally abbreviated "ECS", is regarded by the IET as having the "biggest and strongest academic unit in the country in Electrical and Electronic Engineering." and has been at the forefront of the Open Access movement. Its research has achieved the top 5* rating in the last two Research Assessment Exercises, and in 2003 it was awarded the prestigious ‘best 5*’ rating by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Chaired by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the school is regarded as one of the best in the UK for both computer science and electronics,scoring 5th and 1st for the subjects respectively in the Guardian Unlimited University Guide 2008 and 5th and 2nd respectively by both the Times Online Good University Guide and the Good University Guide .

ECS was the first academic institution in the world to adopt a self-archiving mandate (2001) and since then much of its published research has been freely available on the Web It created the first and most widely used archiving software (EPrints) which is used worldwide by 213 known archives and continues to be evolved and supported from the School

In 2005, a large fire destroyed part of the Mountbatten Building, holding optical fibre research laboratories (the world-renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre, ORC) and the microchip fabrication laboratories. It is estimated that the costs for rebuilding the centre and replacing the equipment will be around £150 million, making this what is believed to be the world's most destructive university fire. The fire that consumed the Mountbatten Building on 30 October 2005 had devastating consequences not just for research in the School of Electronics and Computer Science but for many other partners and collaborators in the UK and around the world whose work was destroyed along with the Building.

Professional Campus planned for University’s Boldrewood site

The University of Southampton is planning to develop the UK’s first wholly integrated ‘professional campus’. The plans will see the transformation of the University’s Boldrewood campus. Lloyd’s Register (formerly of London), an independent risk management organisation, will move its London marine operations to the Boldrewood campus.

The practice of corporations and business schools sharing resources and facilities is well established in some countries but this will be the first ‘professional campus’ in the UK. The Lloyd's Register Group will maintain its building in the City of London as the corporate office and governance of the Group will remain based there.

League tables

UK
2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Times Good University Guide 16 14 12 15
Guardian University Guide 25 13 n/a 26 37
Sunday Times University Guide 12 16 16 17
Daily Telegraph 10

World
2008 2007 2006 2005
THES - QS World University Rankings 99 80 141 206
Academic Ranking of World Universities 152-200 151-202 151-200 153-203
University Metrics' Global University Rankings (G-Factor) 25

Campus life

Architecture

The earliest buildings on the main (Highfield) campus date back to the 1910s; however, the centre of the campus is dominated by two imposing 1930s buildings by the local architect Colonel R. F. Gutteridge - constructed in red brick - while the 1950s masterplan and the majority of the remaining buildings are by Sir Basil Spence in a light, Mies van der Rohe style. A new masterplan for the Highfield campus was drawn up in 1998 by renowned architect Rick Mather who has also contributed some of the newer buildings. The campus has expanded rapidly over the last decade, with many notable new buildings including one designed by Norman Foster. The campus retains an area of parkland in which are scattered 20th century sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, FE McWilliams, Justin Knowles, Nick Pope and John Edwards.

Students' Union

The University of Southampton Students' Union (SUSU), is sited in three buildings opposite the Hartley Library. One, the West Building, dates back to the 1940s in a red brick style, complementing the Hartley Library opposite; the main building was built in the 1960s in the Basil Spence masterplan. This was extended with new nightclub and cinema facilities in 2002. The newest building was built during the mid-1990s which includes the recently refurbished Union shop, on the ground floor, and hairdressers and travel agency, both on the first floor. In May 2002 (after numerous attempts going back several years), it chose to disaffiliate itself from the NUS, believed by SUSU to be too bureaucratic. The multiple award winning student radio station, Surge, broadcasts from new studios in the main Union building. The award winning website SUSU.org was created and run by students at the university. The student newspaper, originally Wessex News, is now published once every three weeks as Wessex Scene following a name change in 1996. Events are held in The Cube, the Union's nightclub, "The Bridge", the Union's cocktail bar, and in the Stag's Head, the Union bar. National touring bands play in the Garden Court in the West Building.

Halls of Residence

The University provides accommodation for all first year students who require it. Places in halls are also available for international and postgraduate students. Accommodation may be catered, self catered, have ensuite facilities, a sink in the room, or access to communal bathroom facilities. Each of the large sites has a Junior Common Room system that runs social activities and events throughout the term and supervises the running of the onsite bars.

The three main halls of residence are:

which includes:

*Chamberlain Hall
*Hartley Grove Courts
*Chancellors' Courts
*New Terrace
*Old Terrace
*South Hill Lodges
*Richard Newitt Courts
*Brunei House
*Beechmount House
*Gower building
*Small Halls, including Bencraft Court

which includes:

*Connaught Hall
*Montefiore 1,2,3 & 4
*South Stoneham House

which includes:

*Highfield Hall
*Bencraft Court
*Erasmus Park (serving the Winchester School of Art)
*Gateley Hall
*Romero Hall
*Shaftesbury Avenue Apartments
*St. Margaret's House
*Tasman Court

Notable academics

The University's Professor David N. Payne FRS CBE, currently Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), invented the erbium-doped fibre amplifier EDFA, without which fibre optic cables could not transmit over long distances without electrical regeneration of the signal. Professor Payne is also Chairman of SPI (Southampton Photonics, Inc.), a commercial company which is a spin-off of this research. Former head of the School (then Department) of Electronics and Computer Science, Professor Tony Hey CBE, is now Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft UK. Another Southampton Professor, Martin Fleischmann, Professor of Electrochemistry, came to notoriety in 1989 when, along with a research collaborator, he claimed to have produced cold fusion in a laboratory. Subsequent researchers were unable to substantiate his claims. In 2004, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, was appointed to the School of Electronics and Computer Science as Professor of Computer Science.

Notable alumni

In addition, Radio One DJ Scott Mills, though not an alumnus, began his career on Southampton University's radio station, Surge.

See also

References

News articles

External links

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