Universities Week

The University of Chester is supporting the first Universities Week: What's the Big Idea? campaign, an initiative which aims to engage with the public about higher education's often unsung heroes and unheard success stories.

From June 14 to 20, the University, which has campuses in Chester and Warrington, will highlight the crucial role it plays at the heart of our society, underpinning the economy, and driving forward growth, prosperity and development.

The national campaign aims to challenge public misconceptions and highlight the essential role of the UK's universities, including their impact on local and national economies, culture, sport, health, the environment and much more.

The week is divided into daily themes which explore: Business and economic benefits; teaching and learning; the impact of university research; personal experiences from university; arts, culture and sport; universities in the community.

Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor, said: "It is scarcely believable that, in 1953, the total number of academic staff at the then Chester Diocesan Teacher Training College still amounted to no more than a dozen. There were no female students until 1961 -women now account for two-thirds of our current student complement of 15,000.

"We began in 1839 with 10 students in a small, and by all accounts gloomy, house in Nicholas Street, Chester. We now have two major campuses in Chester and Warrington, with a number of hospital-based campuses. All with the most up to date facilities to attract the students of the 21st-century and a body of first class staff to guide and enlighten them.

"This journey has been advanced with the support of the people of Chester and Warrington, in particular our elected councillors and officials, the local community, staff, students and their parents."

He added: "A university is not just about courses, ‘bricks and mortar' or even a rich history and traditions important though they are. It is about people - our energetic and committed staff and students. They make the University of Chester what it is and our success is only possible through their efforts.

"Universities Week helps us to celebrate their achievements and I hope that it will provide a fascinating insight into this complex institution.

"Throughout the years there have been a diverse range of activities in the University, with links to the communities that we serve being at the forefront of the University's concerns.


Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK, added: "Our universities are so much more than the teaching institutions for which they are often only recognised. For the first time we've brought all of the country's higher education achievements under one single banner, to highlight what else our universities have to offer on a local and national level.

"We have such a strong story to tell in the UK about our world-class universities and how they make such a major contribution to so many different areas of our lives.

"Quite apart from the transformative effect of higher education on students, our universities are an integral part of society - from the training of teachers, doctors and
sports professionals; to the development of future fuels, groundbreaking medicines, new technologies, or improved nutrition."

The University will be posting daily its specially created mini site daily and there will be regular Facebook and Twitter updates as the week progresses.

For more information visit www.chester.ac.uk/universities-week.