Welcome from the Vice-Chancellor
It is my great pleasure to extend a very warm welcome to the University of Surrey and the web pages for the President and Vice-Chancellor’s Office. I hope that these pages will provide a good introduction to the University and the work we do in this Office.
Surrey, along with all UK Universities, is now operating in a very different environment since I came into post as President and Vice-Chancellor in 2005. As the effects of the UK Government’s reforms to university funding and student number controls take shape, we have been working hard to advance our reputation as an internationally competitive, research-led university with high quality teaching.
Surrey takes pride in its vibrant, enthusiastic and forward thinking community, where world-leading academics and talented students work closely together on our beautiful campus. Our degree programmes are designed to reflect the diverse needs of our students, the society we live in and the world of work, whilst retaining academic rigour. A high proportion of our students choose to follow Surrey’s pioneering Professional Training Year, allowing them up to a year in industry, business or other organisations to develop much sought after skills in addition to their academic achievements.
Our meteoric rise up the national League Tables, especially in the Guardian University Guide where we now rank 12th in the UK, coupled with the results of this year’s National Student Survey, where we climbed an impressive 32 places to 15th, is testament to our exceptional progress in delivering the best experience we possibly can for our students. We have invested in first-class academic, sports, arts, library and accommodation facilities to create both a stimulating and happy study and living environment. As a result, we are attracting more highly talented applicants than ever before and in spite of the challenge of the new fees regime, we met our recruitment targets this year; a measure of the calibre of what Surrey has to offer.
Our students can also take inspiration from Surrey’s ground-breaking research which continues to bring direct benefits to many spheres of life. We are collaborating with a number of the best universities across the globe to harness some of the world’s most advanced thinking in areas such as veterinary science, international politics, business, sleep research, biomedicine, mobile communications, photonics, automotive and space engineering. Last year, we were honoured to be awarded our third Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education, this time for our research into safe water and sanitation which is helping to safeguard many lives and communities worldwide.
As the UK prepares itself for further cuts in public spending, the Government has stressed the importance of enterprise in order to create financial growth. Since our beginnings at Battersea in London in 1891, the University has nurtured strong partnerships with industry and commerce engaging in a knowledge exchange activities and working with over 900 companies worldwide. Through our wholly owned Research Park we support many start-up ventures and SMEs, generating over a billion pounds of economic activity annually in the regional economy. Looking to the future, we have recently won significant government funding for our plans to create a new £35m research hub within the University’s campus to take global leadership in 5G mobile telecommunications, working with a consortium of internationally leading industry partners.
To be a world-class university means never standing still, and within the next three years, we are planning to establish a new Veterinary School to enhance our academic and research offering and cement our status as a leading national and international university. The state-of-the-art school, which will be one of only eight Veterinary Schools in the UK, will equip the veterinary leaders of the future with the diagnostic, surgical and business skills to succeed.
As we look to the future, Surrey is in a strong position to meet the challenges of a changing HE landscape and volatile economy. We will continue to fulfil our aim to contribute to the wider world with our research, scholarship, teaching and learning, and ensure we prosper as a thriving university of excellence.
Professor Sir Christopher Snowden FRS, FREng