The University of Exeter (usually abbreviated as Exon. for post-nominals) is a university in the South West of England. Most of its activities are located in the city of Exeter, Devon, where it is the principal higher education institution. It is a member of the 1994 Group, a network of smaller research-intensive universities in the United Kingdom. British newspapers currently tend to rank Exeter among the top Universities in the UK (see "Academic reputation", below).
Exeter has three campuses: Streatham; St Luke's (both of which are in Exeter); and Tremough in Cornwall. The Tremough campus is maintained in conjunction with University College Falmouth under the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative.
|1829||John Taylor publishes his Prospectus for a School of Mines in Cornwall|
|1840||Foundation of Exeter Diocesan Training College|
|1855||Foundation of Exeter School of Art|
|1863||Foundation of Exeter School of Science|
|1868||Schools of Art and Science relocate to Albert Memorial Museum|
|1876||Foundation of Camborne Miners' Association laboratory|
|1888||Camborne laboratory established as Camborne Mining School|
|1893||Schools of Art and Science renamed to the Exeter Technical and University Extension College|
|1900||Exeter Technical and University Extension College renamed to Royal Albert Memorial College, Gandy Street|
|1922||Royal Albert Memorial College renamed as The University College of the South-West of England;|
Streatham Hall (now Reed Hall) gifted to the University College
|1930||Exeter Diocesan Training College renamed to St Luke's College, Exeter|
|1955||The University College received its Charter and became the University of Exeter|
|1962||Post-graduate Medical School founded|
|1966||St Luke's College became co-educational|
|1978||Merger of the University's School of Education and St Luke's College of Education into the University's new Department of Education|
|1991||Affiliation of the College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth|
|1993||Incorporation of Camborne School of Mines|
|1995||Affiliation of St Loyes School of Health Studies|
|1997||Establishment of Centre of Leadership Studies|
|2000||The Peninsula Medical School was established in conjunction with the University of Plymouth and the National Health Service. This is based at St Luke's and local hospitals.|
|2004||The University's new Cornwall Campus opens, moving all of its interests in Cornwall to a single campus. Closure of Chemistry and Music departments announced. Closure of Italian department considered but plans were eventually dropped. Closure of the Cognitive Science BSc. (Hons) degree programme and the re-structuring of the Biology department, now called the Biosciences department.|
|2006||Closure of the Crossmead Conference Centre, formerly Crossmead Hall of Residence.|
|2007||Exeter admits its first intake of dental students. The College of St Mark and St John stop awarding University of Exeter degrees as it becomes a university college.|
|1955–1972||Mary Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire|
|1972–1981||Viscount Amory of Tiverton KG, PC, GCMG, TD, DL|
|1982–1998||Sir Rex Richards MA, DPhil, DSc, FRS, FRSC, Hon DSc|
|1998–2005||Lord Alexander of Weedon, QC, FRSA, Hon. LLD|
|2006–||Floella Benjamin, OBE, DLitt (Hon)|
|1954–1966||Sir James Cook|
|1966–1972||Sir John Llewellyn|
|1973–1984||Professor Harry Kay|
|1984–1994||Sir David Harrison|
|1994–2002||Sir Geoffrey Holland|
|2002–||Professor Steve Smith|
Exeter was the winner of the University of the Year award in 2007, after finishing runner up three times running. In 2006, it was noted that, "Exeter's excellent record merits special recognition as runner-up this year. Students here are some of the most satisfied in the country, ranking it on the fringes of the top 10. High entry standards and low dropout rates further entrench its standing." Sunday Times, 10 September 2006.
In the 2005 National Student Survey, Exeter was ranked joint 10th nationally for overall satisfaction. The results put Exeter in the top 25 per cent of UK universities for learning resources (such as IT resources) and for course management and organisation.
In 2001, ninety-eight per cent of subject areas at Exeter were rated 4, 5 or 5* (of national or international standing) in the 2001 UK Research Assessment Exercise.
|Times Good University Guide||13th||17th||28th||31st|
|Guardian University Guide||joint 14th||34th||28th||46th|
|Sunday Times University Guide||14th||17th||18th||25th||24th|
|THES - QS World University Rankings||220th||224th||202nd|
|Academic Ranking of World Universities||303-401||305-402||301-400||401-500|
In the 2006 National Student Survey, Exeter was ranked joint 11th, and the School of Business and Economics was ranked 1st in the country for Business, Accounting & Finance and Management.
Most students work on the main campus, Streatham, which includes the Northcott Theatre. Sitting on a hillside one side of which looks down across Exeter city centre, the campus is renowned for its beautiful landscaping and excellent views. The Independent has described the campus environment as ‘sublime’. The campus also has several galleries, including the Bill Douglas Centre for the history of cinema and popular culture. There is also a Sculpture Walk, including pieces by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and a statue to commemorate the events at Tiananmen Square. There is a pub type bar called the Ram and a Bar called the ewe within a Nightclub called the Lemon Grove (or Lemmy), both run by the Students' Guild. The campus boasts a medical centre, a counselling service, a children’s day-care centre, and numerous catering outlets. Many halls of residence and some self-catering accommodation are located on this campus or in the near vicinity. In 2005 Streatham Campus's newest building, the Xfi centre, was completed to provide facilities mainly but not exclusively for postgraduate study into finance and investment.
The St Luke’s campus also has its own restaurant, cafeteria, bar, bookshop, bank, indoor swimming pool, two gymnasia including an advanced conditioning studio and grass tennis courts for summer use.
The future of St Luke's is currently under review, with a proposal to bring one of the Schools located there to the Streatham Campus to allow further expansion (see below).
The University of Exeter's Cornwall campus, Tremough now houses all the university's activity in Cornwall, previously scattered across the county. It is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall project, and is shared with University College Falmouth. University of Exeter departments on the site include the internationally renowned CSM (Camborne School of Mines), whose graduates who are sought after by earth-based industries ranging from mining to electricity. CSM merged with the university in 1993 and is now part of the School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Resources. Other departments at Tremough include Conservation Biology, English, Geography and the Institute of Cornish Studies, and additional departments are being added, such as History, the first year of which started in October 2007
Exeter's Guild is home to award winning media: a student radio station Xpressionfm, a newspaper Exeposé, a website X-Media Online and television station XTV. There is also a volunteering agency within the Students' Guild called Community Action, which runs its own projects with members of the local community that are run by volunteers and provides further volunteering opportunities through links with external partner organisations. There is a RAG (Raising and Giving) group which exists to raise money for five nominated charities, and collects in town centres around Britain every weekend. RAG events are run by students, under the co-ordination of a full-time member of staff. The main aim of these societies and activities groups is to provide opportunities for student development. The Guild of Students was renamed the Students' Guild in 2005.
There are over 100 affiliated student societies, ranging from the Theatre Company and Creative Writing to the LDYS, Conservative Future, and Socialist Students societies. There are a large number of sports clubs, although the Athletic Union (AU) is now a separate body from the Students' Guild but strong links remain. The Debating Society which predates establishment of the university, started life in 1927 as The Exeter Debating Society, with the inaugural speaker being Anthony Eden.
Students are represented by a sabbatical team consisting of a President, Deputy President (based at the St. Luke's Campus), Finance, Activities and Trading Officer (FATO, Formerly General Secretary), Education Officer, Welfare and Equal Opportunities Officer and the Athletic Union President. There are also other non sabbatical officers representing areas of the student population and student activities areas. These are elected by students in a series of elections throughout the academic year.
On 24 October 2006, the existing Christian Union was instructed by the Guild to change its name to the Evangelical Christian Union, following a referendum vote by some students at Exeter University. The name change was intended to clarify that the society's position was that of Evangelical Christianity, rather than of all forms of Christianity.
Despite this internal reorganization, the University again entered the 2001 RAE with substantially more disciplines than most comparable universities, and consequently with smaller units. Since 2000, the University has therefore undergone a further process of restructuring in order to focus on areas of strength. In 2004, it closed two departments (chemistry and music) that had been suffering low student demand for a long period, and had failed to achieve a 5-grade in any of the RAEs. At the same time, the University stopped offering single honours degrees in Italian, also a subject with poor RAE performance and low student demand. Although similar moves elsewhere had attracted little attention, a media storm blew up around this issue at Exeter, perhaps because of the high profile that the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve Smith, was taking in UK university politics at the time (for example, he had just been appointed as Chair of the 1994 Group). There was also protest within the institution. The closures eliminated 130 jobs, and the AUT questioned the University's financial figures.
On Thursday, 25 November 2004, about 2,000 students marched in protest over the decision,, making the local television news. Some even attempted to sell the University on eBay in protest. Sir Harold Kroto, a nobel laureate, returned his honorary degree from this institution in protest against this move. The university faced further protest in 2008 when more than 2,000 people signed a petition against plans to get an outside firm to run its profitable and outstanding-rated campus Family Centre.
Exeter has a large number of leading academics. Sir John Tooke, who was knighted in the 2007 Queen's New Years Honours list for services to medicine is the inaugural dean of the Peninsula Medical School. Professor Roy Sambles in the school of physics is a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Exeter has a large number of well-known alumni. Both Princess Anne's children Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips attended the University in the late 90s. J. K. Rowling the author of the Harry Potter books read French and Classics in the mid 80's. Robert Bolt playwright and two-time Oscar and BAFTA winning screenwriter (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, A Man For All Seasons) also attended Exeter. While Jonathon Band First Sea Lord of the United Kingdom, the most senior serving officer in the Royal Navy read Economics in the 70s. Fiona Shackleton, the high-profile divorce case lawyer, read law in the 1970s.
Felix Buxton, of Basement Jaxx, and the former Radio 1 DJ Emma B, also both attended Exeter in the early 1990s. His Excellency, Dr. Abdullah Gul, President of the Turkish Republic is also a notable graduate of Exeter University. Will Young attended the University and received a 2:2 in Politics.