September 1999

No 171

The new Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester has signalled the need for Leicester to innovate and consolidate in order to develop a leading edge in research and teaching.

Professor Robert Burgess succeeds Dr Kenneth Edwards as the fifth Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester on October 1.

The former Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick is a member of the Council of the Economic and Social Research Council and also Chair of the Council's Training Board. He is the Founding Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education.

He has already made his mark at Leicester - the University unveiled its new logo which comes into use on October 1 and complements the new corporate style which has been designed.

Professor Burgess said it was important that Leicester develops a very distinctive profile and a leading role in a range of fields for research and teaching. The University would need to adapt to meet the challenges ahead:

All UK universities are now faced with the challenge of providing high quality education and training at a time when the unit of resource is being reduced. In these circumstances, the University will need to think about ways it can provide a range of academic and commercial services in order to generate additional resources that can be used to enhance the academic activities that it wishes to promote. In addition, the University of Leicester needs to decide what new areas it wishes to develop. Are there new subject areas that it wishes to enter? Are there new degree programmes it wishes to start? In common with other educational institutions we need to think about the priorities that have to be developed; what activities will continue and what new activities will be introduced.

Professor Burgess said Leicester needed to:

  • Develop residential undergraduate education
  • Enhance postgraduate work through face-to-face tuition
  • Promote distance learning
  • Recruit more postgraduate students, especially at doctoral level
  • Provide greater opportunities for lifelong learning
  • He added:

    I would like staff and students to see me as approachable, open to ideas, willing to enter into discussion and debate, assisting individuals to develop and innovate so that we all contribute the very best we can to the future development of the University.


    Professor Burgess is the University of Leicester's fifth Vice-Chancellor. He is former Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick and he has also served on a range of external bodies, including over the years being President of the British Sociological Association, President of the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences and Founding Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education. He is currently a member of the Council of the Economic and Social Research Council and also Chair of the Council's Training Board.

    The simplified logo and a new corporate style is designed to strengthen the University's identity in an increasingly competitive sector. The amended logo, which is on this Press Release, is a simplification of the original crest focusing on the Coat of Arms as the symbol of heritage. It also reinforces the University's link with the region as it is based upon the coat of arms of the City of Leicester and carries the Rutland horseshoe. The University motto, Ut Vitam Habeant - that they may have life - is a permanent memorial to the past whilst looking forward to future generations.

    A University College was established in Leicester in 1921 and the independent University of Leicester was created by Royal Charter in 1957. The University is world-renowned for the discovery of the revolutionary technique of DNA genetic fingerprinting. Leicester houses the biggest University-based space research group in Europe and is a co-founder and principal participant in the National Space Science Centre, the Millennium Commission's 46 million Landmark Project. An extensive programme of continuing education and professional development is offered. There are over 120 undergraduate degree programmes and more than 140 postgraduate programmes. Leicester is among the largest providers of postgraduate distance-learning courses in the country, offering many vocationally relevant courses and, in particular, a wide range of Management courses. Over 5,000 students read for their degrees by this method. Research income last year stood at over 27 million.

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    Last updated: 30 September 1999 10:07
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