A-Z of Universities: Warwick

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Age: 33

History: A Sixties university set up in the aftermath of the Robbins report, built on a green-field site. Scorned by the left - viz Warwick University by EP Thompson - for its close links with industry, is now lauded to the skies for its success in every sphere, especially for attracting money from industry and for overall excellence

Address: South-east Midlands, close to Coventry and Leamington Spa

Ambience: Modern campus, more than 720 acres of sculptures, man-made lakes, nature and Sixties and Seventies architecture in beige brick. Dreaming spires this is not. The university is currently undergoing massive pounds 26m redevelopment to make the facilities even spiffier

Vital statistics: Now one of Britain's top universities, a member of the unofficial Ivy League, highly rated for research and teaching with a thriving science park and innovation centre. Has wisely chosen to concentrate its efforts on business, science and engineering. Includes a swanky business school and sees itself as a research university. About 40 per cent of all students are postgrads

Added value: Hard-headed approach and links with industry have brought rewards. More than 60 per cent of its income comes from commercial activities. Very New Labour. Tony Blair approves. In the election campaign, he said: "Warwick is at the cutting edge of what has to happen for the future." Research is done with industry via the Warwick Manufacturing Group which has a turnover of pounds 45m and works with more than 500 companies world-wide

Easy to get into? Nope. For maths you need three As at A-level. For business studies, law and history AAB. For theatre studies and biological sciences, you need ABB

Glittering alumni: Val Gooding, chief executive, BUPA; Dr Kim Howells, Labour's consumer affairs minister; Rosemary Thorne, finance director, Sainsbury's; Estelle Morris, schools minister; Peter Salmon, controller, BBC1 TV; Tim Mason, marketing director, Tesco; Anne Fine, author; Sir Malcolm Bates, chairman, Pearl Group; Jenny Bond, BBC TV roy-al correspondent

Who's the boss: No-nonsense Sir Brian Follett, a biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society

Teaching: 21 out of a maximum of 24 for French, Italian; 23 for German, and communication and media studies; 24 for sociology with social policy and administration, and for drama, dance, cinematics

Research: Ranked eighth in the 1996 research assessment exercise. Achieved tip-top five in computer science, history and maths; and top-grade five in applied social studies, biological sciences, economics, film and television studies, French, sociology, statistics, theatre studies and the Warwick Business School

Financial health: In the black

Nightlife: Big extension to students' union has released more space for relaxation. New bar called South Central doubles as a deli counter during the day. Seven-day-a-week entertainment programme. The Cooler lives up to its name. Oasis visited before they were famous

Cheap to live in? University and private rents pounds 35-pounds 50 a week

Buzz phrase: Wack off (what you do to the dregs of your pint)

Next week: University of the West of England in Bristol