University of Buckingham


University of Buckingham

Infobox University
name = University of Buckingham
native_name =
latin_name =


image_size = 175px
motto = Flying on our own Wings
established = 1976
type = Private
endowment =
staff = 89
chancellor = Sir Martin Jacomb
vice_chancellor = Dr Terence Kealey
students = 840cite web|url= http://www.hesa.ac.uk/dox/dataTables/studentsAndQualifiers/download/institution0607.xls|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 = 610
postgrad = 230
doctoral =
profess =
city = Buckingham
country = England, UK
coor = Coord|51|59|45|N|0|59|31|W|display=title,inline
campus =
free_label =
free =
colours =
mascot =
nickname =
affiliations =
footnotes =
website = http://www.buckingham.ac.uk
logo =

The University of Buckingham is the only private university in the United Kingdom.

Buckingham was ranked first in three consecutive years (2006, 2007 and 2008) in some league-tables created from the results of the National Student Survey of student satisfaction in the UK. Its two campuses are both located in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire. The upper campus is devoted mainly to Law, while the other, the riverside campus (in the centre of town), focuses on Business, the Humanities, and Science. Its prominent academics include philosopher Roger Scruton, educationalist Alan Smithers, the former Chief Inspector of Schools Chris Woodhead, and distinguished cancer specialist Karol Sikora.

History

Some of Buckingham's founding academics migrated from the University of Oxford, [http://britishdegree.com/Buckingham.asp] disillusioned or wary of aspects of the late 1960s' ethos. On 27 May 1967, "The Times" published a letter from Dr J. W. Paulley, which said: "Is it now time to examine the possibility of creating at least one university in this country on the pattern of [the] great private foundations in the USA". Three London conferences followed which explored this idea.

Subsequently the university was incorporated as the University College of Buckingham in 1973, and received its Royal Charter from the Queen in 1983. Its development was influenced by the libertarian Institute of Economic Affairs, in particular, Harry Ferns and Ralph Harris, heads of the Institute. In keeping with its adherence to a libertarian philosophy, the university's foundation-stone was laid by Margaret Thatcher, who was also to be the university's Chancellor (nominal and ceremonial head) between 1993 and 1998. The University's first two Vice-Chancellors (academic and administrative heads) were Lord Beloff and Sir Alan Peacock, both of whom were distinguished academics and prominent libertarians.

Campus

The main campus of the university is located in the middle of the town of Buckingham, on a bend of the River Great Ouse. It comprises seventeenth-century, eighteenth-century, and nineteenth-century buildings, as well as modern purpose-built teaching blocks. The Tanlaw Mill, beside the river, acts as one of the students' social centres, with bars, gym, cafe, and other facilities. The university's Clore Laboratory is also located nearby. The Antony de Rothchild Building, overlooking the river on the other side, houses the Department of International Studies and Economics. The Chandos Building is another complex, comprising lecture theatres, language-learning and media suites, exam halls, and gallery spaces.

The university's second main campus site is up the hill, nearer to the edge of the town. Its central, imposing brick building was formally a convent.

Teaching

There are five Faculties in the university: Law, Humanities, Business, Science, and Medicine. In relation to teaching the university is best known for continuing the tradition of "tutorial" teachingFact|date=August 2008 [http://www.independent.co.uk/student/into-university/az-uni-colleges/buckingham-university-of-458882.html] which its founders brought over from the University of Oxford: while there are seminars and lectures, much teaching is done in small groups (of 4 to 8 students), with one member of staff. The staff-student ratio is 1:10, which is high among UK universities. The quality of the university's provision is maintained (as at other universities) by an External Examiner system (i.e., professors from other universities oversee and report on exams and marking), by an Academic Advisory Council, and also by conformity to the principles and ideals evolved by the QAA.

The university offers traditional degrees over a shorter time-frame. Students at Buckingham study for 8 terms over two years, rather than 9 terms over three, which (with extra teaching) fits a three-year degree into two years. From September 2008, tuition fees for full-time UK and EU undergraduate students will be £6,030 per year for these 2-year Bachelor's degree programmes. For non-EU students, fees will be equivalent to £10,125 p.a. (£2,250 per term, increasing to £3,375 per term). Because Buckingham's degrees take only two years to complete, the university views its courses as cost-effective compared to ordinary UK university courses, once living expenses and the income from an extra year's employment are factored in.Fact|date=August 2008

Research

The university's research strengths are in a number of disparate areas. In Law, family law and law relating to gender. In the Humanities, Dickens, with the Dickens Journals Online project, and also Biography and Life-writing. In Business, particularly entrepreneurship; and in Science, particularly diabetes, obesity, and metabolic research (at the Clore Laboratory) and face recognition systems (within Computer Sciences).

Education research takes place at the Centre for Education and Employment Research within the department of education. This is under the directorship of Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson, and investigates "the current state of education for policymakers, practitioners and others who make education happen". Their reports feature regularly in the national press. The Dickens Journals Online project aims to make available free, for schools, universities and others, a complete online edition of Charles Dickens's weekly magazines, a rich slice of nineteenth-century literature, opinion, information, and history.

The "Denning Law Journal" [http://www.denninglawjournal.com] is edited from within the law faculty by Professor Susan Edwards and is published by the University of Buckingham Press. [http://www.ubpl.co.uk]

Reputation and ranking

The university was ranked first in 2006 and 2007 in the main league-tables created from the results of the National Student Survey of student satisfaction in the UK. [http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/news/newsarchive2008/nss-08.html] Fact|date=August 2008 The university also operates one of the best staff-student ratios in the country, approximately 1 staff member to 8.5 students. [http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/facts/statistics/] The university's School of Law has been recognised with a top 20 place out of 90 institutions ranked in "The Guardian" league tables.Fact|date=August 2008 The Department of Education is home to some of the most prominent educationalists in Britain, including Professor Chris Woodhead (former head of Ofsted), Professor Anthony O'Hear (director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy), and Professor Alan Smithers. Its Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) – which specialises in the independent sector – is accredited with Qualified Teacher Status which means that it also qualifies graduates to teach in the state sector. The distinguished cancer specialist Karol Sikora [http://www.karolsikora.com/] is Dean of the School of Medicine.

The university was – in the spirit of North-American Ivy League Universities – created as a liberal arts college,Fact|date=August 2008 and the major humanities subjects such as History and Politics are offered with Economics as a degree in International Studies. Economics, however, is available as a stand-alone degree, as is English Literature and combined degrees relating to Journalism. The Professor of Economics, and Dean of Humanities, Professor Martin Ricketts, is the chair of the Institute of Economic Affairs Academic Advisory Council, thus cementing the links between the two libertarian bodies.

The university's largest school is Law, followed by Humanities, Business studies, Science and Medicine. Some science departments such as Biology are heavily focused on research and offer only research degrees; others such as Psychology and Computer Sciences and information sciences offer a full range of degrees.

The university has close links with colleges abroad including the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, an independent college in Bosnia. The university has also established a postgraduate medical school under the leadership of Professor Karol Sikora.

Prominent alumni include: Bader Ben Hirsi, Susanne Klatten, Brandon Lewis, and Olagunsoye Oyinlola. In the BBC Radio 4 panel game "The Museum of Curiosity", host John Lloyd claims to be, "The Professor of Ignorance at the University of Buckingham". Author V. M. Xavier presented special cultural performances at student functions in the 1980's.Fact|date=August 2008

External degrees

The University awards undergraduate and graduate (Masters/MBA) degrees to students who have studied at the European School of Economics.

Chancellorship

The current Chancellor is Sir Martin Jacomb, Chairman of Canary Wharf Group PLC, and Share PLC (in Aylesbury), and the director of other companies including Oxford Playhouse Trust. He was Chairman of Prudential PLC from 1995 to 2000 and last year retired from the boards of Rio Tinto Group and Marks & Spencer. Former Chancellors of the university have been Margaret Thatcher who retired in 1999, and Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone.

The current Vice-Chancellor is Dr Terence Kealey who has held the post since April 2001. He is a well-known academic specialising in Clinical Biochemistry.

University of Buckingham Press

The University of Buckingham Press publishes in the areas of law, education and business through its journal articles, books, reports and other material. In 2006 the press relaunched The Denning Law Journal [http://www.denninglawjournal.com] and it is now available in print and its whole archive is online. [http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ubpl/dlj]

The press also publishes 2 other journals; The Journal of Prediction Markets, [http://www.predictionmarketjournal.com] and The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics. [http://www.jgbe.com]

The press has a co-publishing arrangement with The Policy Exchange [http://www.policyexchange.org.uk] for its Foundations series. It also publishes a number of other books all of which are available online from its website. [http://www.ubpl.co.uk]

References

External links

* [http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/ University of Buckingham website]


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