High quality research and teaching

  • Research by THE and Opinion Panel published in February 2011 rated Leicester third best in England (after Oxford and Cambridge) for the quality of lecturing staff.
  • Leicester’s Quality Related research funding (QR) is the 19th highest of Britain’s 120 universities.
  • Leicester has one of the highest proportions of staff who are research active in the UK, with approximately 93% of staff submitted for the national 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Of these, Leicester has 87% of research activity deemed by the RAE to be producing internationally significant research.
  • Leicester is home to the department with greatest concentration of world class research of any department of any discipline in the UK – in our School of Museum Studies.

The transformation of the University of Leicester is a testament to the dedication of the staff, students and other members of the University during a period when Professor Burgess has led it to new heights of success.

Together with staff across all areas, the Vice-Chancellor has worked in partnership to define a clear vision for the University and turn its fortunes around – Leicester is now characterised by what it has achieved rather than by its potential.

Cardiovascular Research CentreA £1 billion Development Framework Plan has seen new facilities being developed on campus as well as new resource that will benefit the region. In 2013, the state of the art £12.6 million Cardiovascular Research Centre (pictured) built by the University opened at Glenfield Hospital, and work is underway on a £42m new Centre for Medicine that will provide facilities to train the doctors of tomorrow – many of whom will remain to treat patients locally.

As Vice-Chancellor of a University with 4,000 staff, more than 20,000 students and a turnover in 2012/13 of £281 million per annum, Professor Sir Bob Burgess is aware of the enormous economic influence and benefit the University has on the City and County. The University’s turnover has a secondary knock-on effect of £350m into the regional economy while students’ spending contributes a further £140m directly and indirectly. In total the University contributes well over £700m of activity annually to the economy and indirectly supports the employment of 3,000 people. As head of a powerhouse bristling with hi-tech innovation and cutting edge solutions for business challenges, Professor Burgess is well-placed to sit on the Board of the Leicester and Leicestershire Economic Partnership.

Professor Sir Robert BurgessReflecting on his stewardship at the University of Leicester, Professor Sir Bob Burgess said: “I would not have been able to achieve the results I have at Leicester without the full support of all my colleagues whose hard work and dedication is testament to their commitment to the institution.

“On a personal level, among my greatest achievements have been being awarded a Knighthood for services to higher education locally and nationally in 2010, Leicester winning the title University of the Year in 2008-09 and Sunday Times University of the Year runner-up this year, and winning the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Midlands Business Awards.

“The University winning another Queen’s Anniversary Prize is a major triumph. I am very proud of what talented members of staff at the University of Leicester have achieved and are continuing to contribute. Unlocking the potential of world-class research by our committed staff in order to bring about transformative improvements in society has been the real key to our success.

“I have always been keen to open up the University to the outside world and engage with different communities and in taking a partnership approach to tackling the challenges that the City and County face. In turn the support of the community and various organisations has been fantastic.

“In this context, our annual International Sculpture Show in the Botanic Gardens is a splendid achievement as it opens up the University to a wide range of visitors. As we enter a new era of higher education, the need for an open and accessible approach coupled with dynamic and decisive leadership has never been more important.”

The University is now in a position of strength to shape its own destiny around its four core values:

An inclusive and accessible culture: The University competes with the best whilst opening up the competition for everyone. Of Britain’s top 20 universities only one – Leicester – exceeds its government benchmarks for inclusivity for students from the maintained sector and lower socio-economic groups.

A personal, supportive experience: The University won the Times Higher Award for Outstanding Student Support. This award is indicative of the support the University aims to provide all those who use its services.

A commitment to high quality, innovation and rigorous academic standards: Leicester is setting the pace in world-changing research and bringing new perspectives to established ideas, without compromising on quality while maintaining its high rankings. The quality of teaching is extremely high and, amongst mainstream universities, Leicester’s students are among the most satisfied in England.

A belief that teaching and research are synergistic: Staff at Leicester believe that teaching is inspirational when delivered by passionate scholars engaged in world changing research - and that the University’s research is stronger when delivered in an academic community that includes postgraduate and undergraduate students

The Times Higher summed up the Leicester ethos when they declared the University “elite without being elitist”.

Professor Burgess saidI firmly believe that Leicester is an outstanding University that has huge potential to improve its already excellent position even further. The Times Higher describes Leicester as ‘elite without being elitist’. We are very proud to be elite and have a strong track record to support this claim. But we are at least, if not more proud of not being elitist. This combination of the highest standards of quality, with an inclusive and accessible culture is Leicester’s hallmark and stands well as we aspire to even greater achievements”.

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