Brunel University

Brunel University

Infobox University
name = Brunel University
latin_name =

image_size = 150px
motto =
established = 1966
type = Public
endowment = £1.8 million cite web |url= |title=Financial Statements 2005-2006 |publisher=Brunel University |accessdate=2007-04-26]
staff = 2,162
chancellor = Lord Wakeham PC
vice_chancellor = Professor Chris Jenks
students = 15,510cite web|url=|title= Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07|accessdate= 2008-04-05|format= Microsoft Excel spreadsheet|publisher= Higher Education Statistics Agency]
undergrad = 10,350
postgrad = 5,160
doctoral =
other =
city = London
state =
country = England
coor = Coord|51|31|58|N|0|28|22|W|display=title,inline
campus = Suburban
free_label =
free =
colours =
mascot =
affiliations = Association of Commonwealth Universities European University Association
website =

Brunel University is a university situated in West London, England.


Brunel is one of a number of UK universities created in the 1960s following the Robbins Report on higher education (often called the plate glass universities).

Originally Acton Technical College, based in Acton on the outskirts of London, it was decided in 1957 that the college should split into two sections – Acton Technical College continued to cater to technicians and craftsmen, whereas Brunel College of Technology (named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the British engineer) was dedicated to the education of technologists.

In 1961 it was awarded the status of College of Advanced Technology, and it was decided that Brunel College should expand at another site in order to accommodate the extra buildings that would be needed. Uxbridge, Hillingdon was chosen to house the new buildings, and work hadn’t even started before the Ministry of Education had officially changed the College’s status. From April 1 1962 it was officially named Brunel College of Advanced Technology – it was only the 10th Advanced Technology College in the country, and the last to be awarded this title.

The first buildings were due to be finished in 1967. However, in 1963 it was decided that the College should become a technological university, and the Royal Charter was awarded on the June 9 1966 giving university status. Uxbridge was now a campus of Brunel University.

The University continued to use both campuses until 1971, when it left the Acton site, and for the next nine years used only the Uxbridge campus.

In 1980 the University merged with Shoreditch College of Education, located at Cooper's Hill, Runnymede since 1951. This became Brunel's second campus, although in later years it contained only halls of residence. In 1995 the University expanded again, integrating the West London Institute of Higher Education, and adding campuses in Osterley and Twickenham. This increased the number of courses that Brunel University was able to offer – traditionally its strengths had been engineering, science, technology and social sciences. With the addition of the West London Institute, departments such as arts, humanities, geography & earth science, health and sports science were added, and the size of the student body increased to over 12,000.

Then Brunel put together a £250 million Masterplan, [ [ Brunel Masterplan ] ] to sell of the sites at Runnymede, Osterley and Twickenham, using the revenue to renovate and update the buildings and facilities at Uxbridge. Works already carried out include the library extension, a state-of-the-art sports complex, renovated students' union facilities, a new Heath Sciences teaching centre, and many more halls of residence. Still to be completed are a new teaching block and exhibition space for the School of Engineering and Design and Business School, a halls of residence 'village' to replace the Isambard flats, and the chancellory building.

In recent years Brunel University has been the subject of controversy as its approach to higher education has been both market-driven and politically conservative. The decision to award an honorary degree to Margaret Thatcher in 1996, following the University of Oxford's refusal to do so, provoked an outcry by staff and students, and as a result the ceremony had to be held in the House of Lords instead of on campus. In the late 1990s, the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Materials Engineering were closed. In 2004, the then Vice-Chancellor Steven Schwartz, initiated the reorganisation of the university's faculties and departments into schools, and announced the closure of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences [ [ Geography and Earth Sciences ] ] . The present Vice-Chancellor, the sociologist Christopher Jenks [ [ Staff Profile - Professor Chris Jenks ] ] who took office in 2006, may be developing a less rankings-driven approach.

Halls of residence

The Halls of Residences on the Uxbridge campus are arranged into four complexes, Lancaster Complex, Bishop Complex, MFG (Mill, Fleming, Galbraith) and the older, non-ensuite roomed halls.

Many of the halls of residence around the Uxbridge campus are named after bridges that Isambard Kingdom Brunel either built or helped to design; other halls are named either directly after him, or after other notable engineers or scientists. For example:
*Clifton Halls (named for the Clifton Suspension Bridge)
*Saltash Halls (named for the Royal Albert Bridge that crosses the River Tamar at Saltash)
*Chepstow Halls (named for the bridge across the River Wye at Chepstow)
*Fleming Halls (named for Sir Alexander Fleming)
*Faraday Halls (named for Sir Michael Faraday)
*Galbraith Hall (named for W R Galbraith, who designed the Kew Railway Bridge)
*Mill Hall (named for John Stuart Mill)
*Isambard Close Flats

Other Halls of Residence include:
*Gordon Hall
*Bishop Hall
*St Margaret's Hall
*Maria Grey Hall
*Lancaster Hall
*Southwark Hall
*Borough Road Hall

Videos of all halls of residence can be found here [Brunel University Accommodation] []

All residences (on campus) have a network connection which provides limited and monitored access to the Internet. [] See for more information

League tables

Brunel has fallen in the league table rankings in recent years. In the past Brunel performed well in both The Guardian and The Times tables at least in part due to the university's good performance in the Teaching Quality Assessment (every subject received a score of 20/24 or better). However, the compilers of both league tables have moved away from using the TQA and now use National Student Survey (NSS) results to calculate the rankings. Brunel has performed poorly in the NSS, which measures student satisfaction, and this has had a knock-on effect on its placing in the league tables. The poor student satisfaction ratings in the NSS can be attributed to a combination of factors including: the recent closure of some academic Departments, a shift in emphasis from teaching quality to research, and to the campus's long-term status as a building site.

The Guardian Good University Guide 2007/8 ranks Brunel 50th overall out of 122 institutions in the UK - a drop of 18 places from the 2006/7 rankings.

The Times Higher 2007/8 places Brunel 51st overall in The Times league table.

The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) world university rankings 2007 placed Brunel University at 292 in the world. [ [ QS Top Universities: Top 400 universities in the THES - QS World University Rankings 2007 ] ]

In the last RAE (2001) the university achieved scores of 5 (on a scale of 1-5*) in various areas including Mathematics, Engineering, Sociology & Law and scores of 4 in many other areas (including Psychology, Biological Sciences, Anthropology, Economics, Politics, Business, Art and Design). [ [ HERO - Higher Education & Research Opportunities in the UK: RAE 2001 : Results ] ]

Formula Student

Brunel was one of the first UK universities to enter the Formula Student [] engineering competition. It is an annual event in which universities from around the world compete in static and dynamic events using formula style racing cars designed and manufactured by students.

The Brunel Racing [ [ Brunel Racing - Formula Student 2006/07 ] ] team is composed of undergraduate and postgraduate students, each being allocated an area of the car to develop. The students on MEng Mechanical Engineering courses act as team leaders and manage BEng students throughout the year to ensure a successful completion of a new car each year.

Brunel Racing were UK Class 1 Formula Student Champions in 2002, and were the leading UK team at Formula ATA 2005, the Italian Formula Student event. In 2006 Formula Student Event, Brunel Racing were also the highest finishing UK competitor using E85 (fuel comprising of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol.)

The university also runs a second racing team, comprising exclusively of post-graduate students from the MSc Automotive and Motorsports Engineering course, called Brunel Masters Motorsports. [ [ Brunel Masters Motorsport ] ] The 20 students on this course are from 10 different countries, with various cultural backgrounds and a with a wide range of industry experience.

The BMM team were the UK Class 2 Formula Student Champions in their first year, 2005.

Brunel's Formula Student teams have won prizes at the annual competition every year since they first entered in 1999.

Notable alumni



* David Crutcher ("Mechanical Engineering 1962"), Canadian politician
* Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
* John Leech ("History and Politics)", politician, MP for Manchester Withington
* John McDonnell, politician, MP for Hayes and Harlington
* Ralph Miliband, political theorist
* Reza Moridi, Canadian politician
* Anastasios Papaligouras ("Masters in Comparative European Law"), Greek politician
* Pekka Sauri ("PhD 1990"), Finnish psychologist and politician, writer and cartoonist
* John Tomlinson ("Health Services Management"), Labour politician and life peer
* Shailesh Vara ("Law"), politician, MP for North West Cambridgeshire


* Tony Adams ("Sports Science"), former Arsenal and England footballer
* Allyn Condon, Athlete
* Mike Coughlan ("Mechanical Engineering 1981"), Chief Designer for the McLaren Formula One team
* James Cracknell ("MSc 1999"), rowing champion and Olympic gold medallist
* Ben Gollings, rugby player
* Roger Hammond ("Materials Science"), Cyclist
* Audley Harrison ("Sport Sciences 1999"), boxer, Olympic gold medallist
* Richard Hill ("Geography and Sports Science"), rugby player
* Catherine Murphy, athlete
* Abi Oyepitan ("Politics and Sociology"), athlete
* Kelly Sotherton, athlete
* Iwan Thomas, ("Geography and Sports Science"), athlete
* Danny Holmes, ("Sports Science"), Sports Psychologist and Football Coach
* Thomas Arnold, ("Sports Science"), Biomechanical Analysist and nutritional consultant
* Tom Clark, (" Sports Science"), Olympic Weightlifter and Marathon Walker
* Abi Ekoku, former GB Lions Rugby League Manager, British discus champion and Bradford Bulls, London Broncos and Halifax winger
* Tom Shanklin, Lions tourist and Wales Rugby Union International
* Elizabeth Hall ("Physiotherapy"), international athlete


* Nick Abbot ("Psychology"), radio presenter
* Hajaz Akram, actor
* Mark Bagley, comic book artist
* Carl Barat ("Drama"), Libertine & musician with the band Dirty Pretty Things
* Jo Brand ("Social Sciences and Nursing"), comedian
* Neil Clark, journalist
* Lee Mack, comedian
* Oreke Mosheshe ("Management and Law"), actor, TV presenter and model
* Archie Panjabi ("Management Studies 1996"), actor
* Bindya Solanki ("Drama"), actor
* John Watts, musician with the band Fischer-Z


Manar Ahmed

External links

* [ Brunel University website]

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