University Tower, University of Leeds
The University of Leeds (United Kingdom) is amongst the largest of British universities and the most popular by applicants, with 52,444 applicants in 2003 for 7,228 places (UCAS).
The main campus is located approximately one mile (1.6 km) north of the city of Leeds, in the county of West Yorkshire (in northern England). The campus is within easy walking distance from the city (albeit uphill) and from Headingley (a popular location to live for students). The main entrance to the campus for visitors by car is on Woodhouse Lane (A660), near the Parkinson Building (also known as University tower).
In addition to the main campus, there are also satellite locations at Wakefield and Bretton Hall College in West Bretton.
The various bodies that were to become the university were initially founded in the second half of the 19th century in response to the need to improve scientific education in the area, especially in the areas of cloth work and medicine. They also espoused a general principle found in the establishment of other academic bodies in northern cities at the time, namely to challenge the "exclusivity of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which served only the needs of the Anglican aristocracy and gentry." (Origins (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/about/origins.htm)). These bodies were initially to become part of the federal Victoria University, but following the enthusiasm of the other member institutions - in Manchester and Liverpool - to break away and form their own city Universities, Leeds did the same. In 1904, King Edward VII granted the University of Leeds a charter as an independent body.
In August 2001, the University merged with Bretton Hall College.
As of 2004, the university has an excellent reputation for teaching and provides a wide range of courses for students. During this academic year (2004-5) over 31,500 students are attached to 700 different first-degree programmes and 312 postgraduate degree programmes. A further 52,000 men and women are enrolled on short courses with the university. It enjoys an excellent reputation in many different subjects, with more students studying languages and physical sciences than at any other UK institution. It has also developed expertise in more distinctive and rare specialist areas such as colour chemistry, fire science and aviation technology with pilot studies.
Leeds is also a leading research institution, and a member of the Russell Group of Universities. It is committed to working with the private sector and invests heavily in realising the commercial potential of its academic developments. Leeds attracts the highest level of industrial funding of any university in the UK.
The current Chancellor is Lord Bragg of Wigton and the Vice Chancellor (as of 1 September 2004) is Professor Michael Arthur.
In December 2004, financial pressures forced the University's governing body (Council) to decide to close the Bretton campus (along with the University's other satellite site in Wakefield). Activities currently at Bretton will be moved to the main University campus in the summer of 2007 (allowing all current Bretton-based students to complete their studies there).
Leeds University Library is spread over six locations and holds, in total, 2.7 million books and over 9,400 printed and online periodics. The main research library is known as the Brotherton Library and the main student library is the Edward Boyle Library (both on the main campus).
There are 9,000 personal computers available across the campus along with 150 Sun computers and servers, 8 high performance Sun servers and 256 supercomputers.
The university has 496 hectares (1,230 acres) of land, with the main campus taking up 40 hectares (98 acres).
- Jack Straw, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary (graduated LLB in Law, 1967)
- Clare Short, former International Development Secretary (graduated BA in Political Science, 1969)
- Mark Byford, deputy Director-General of the BBC (graduated LLB in Law, 1979)
- Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail (English, 1970)
- Mark Wood, Chairman of ITN News (German, 1974)
- Professor V. Craig Jordan, OBE (responsible for pioneering research into breast cancer and the development of the cancer drug Tamoxifen, BSc and Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1969 and 1972)
- Mark Knopfler, guitarist and singer with Dire Straits (English, 1973)
- Dr Christopher Fay, CBE (chairman of the advisory committee on business and the environment, chairman of Expro International and a director with BAA and Anglo American, and chairman and chief executive of Shell UK from 1993–1998, graduated from Leeds with BSc and Ph.D. in civil engineering).
- Storm Jameson, writer
- University of Leeds website (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/)
- About the University (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/about/)
- University centenary website (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/centenary/)