Keele was the first new United Kingdom university of the twentieth century, established with degree giving powers in 1949 as the University College of North Staffordshire. University status, as the University of Keele, followed in 1962.
The University was founded to promote interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary scholarship and makes a distinctive contribution to higher education by emphasising the strength of a broad educational programme.
It is the UK's largest integrated campus university and occupies a 617 acre estate, with Grade II registration by English Heritage, the central feature of which is 19th century Keele Hall.
Located centrally within the UK, in Staffordshire, Keele is a major contributor to its local economy. With a turnover in excess of £50m, and a total staff of some 1,400, the University generates around £40m of business in the region.
Through its Strategic Plan the University is committed to its:-
Keele is a pre-1992 University which, like others of a similar type:
- treats education and research as of equal importance
- pursues high quality in educational programmes, both undergraduate and postgraduate
- supports research which is of national and international significance
- serves both regional and national needs
Within this spectrum of universities, Keele’s distinctive mission is to be recognised as
the UK’s leading example of an open, integrated intellectual community.
Keele’s distinctiveness stems from its history, characterises its present and shapes its future. Whilst continuing to be a respected University with features in common with many others, Keele aims to foster its distinctiveness through pursuit of its mission:
An intellectual community with distinctive features:
- places high value upon inter- and multi-disciplinarity, both in education and research
- translates that into a coherent philosophy for undergraduate education, which is broadly based rather than over specialised
- has a rapidly growing provision in medical and health disciplines
- produces graduates capable of deploying a range of intellectual skills and well suited to the twenty first century environment
- provides postgraduate programmes which reflect continuing professional needs
- is positively supportive of multi-disciplinarity in research
- fosters a questioning approach to intellectual endeavour, with respect for good ideas whoever produces them
- develops a strong sense of place and mutual commitment, stemming from the campus environment
- provides for a high proportion of students to be resident on its Keele campus, along with a significant proportion of staff
- derives maximum benefit to its activities from the environment offered by the distinctive and beautiful Keele campus
- capitalises on being a relatively small University to foster interchange between its diverse activities
- provides for academic, residential and commercial activities in a single campus environment where many facilities are shared
- links its expanding programmes in health and medicine with other University activities
- uses its assets to the benefit of local, regional and national communities
- works in partnership with private and public sector partners to deliver this
- is recognised as the leading academic conference venue
- reproduces its positive distinctive features when it supports activities elsewhere than the Keele campus
- collaborates with other educational institutions where there is mutual benefit
- is responsive to external influences and open to change
Keele's student population has grown robustly in recent years. Planned expansion has been complemented by buoyant application levels for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. It is the University's objective to grow to 10,000 students.
Currently the student profile comprises:-
- 5,600 full-time students
- 1,300 students engaged on part-time degrees or diplomas
- c.4,000 participants on a variety of part-time short and award bearing courses through Keele's continuing and professional education programmes
Of this number a significant and growing proportion of students are registered on postgraduate degree programmes; in 1999/2000 some c.35%.
Keele is a research-based university and in recent years has undertaken a keen focusing of its research profile, building on areas of recognised national and international strength. Key fields of activity include materials science, cell and molecular science, history and social sciences and Information Technology.
- 80% of academic staff were submitted to the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise
- over 40% of staff assessed belong to departments with the top two ratings: 5* and 5
- all faculties improved their 1996 RAE ratings
Keele's objectives in terms of external research funding, of increasing both gross income and the contribution to indirect costs, have had substantial success in recent years:-
- Gross income has risen from £2 million in the late 1980's to £8 million in 2000/2001, with an average annual growth rate of 9.5% per annum over the last 10 years.
Health and medically related teaching and research form a vital and expanding part of Keele's portfolio of activities. More than half of the academic departments are involved in courses in these areas, particularly at postgraduate level, whilst research income from UK Health & Hospital Authorities is now of the order of £1.8m per year.
Keele's School of Postgraduate Medicine was established in 1976 and has a recognised national reputation in postgraduate medical education. Cancer Studies and the Centre for Science & Technology in Medicine achieved a 5 rating in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.
The integration of the North Staffordshire School of Nursing & Midwifery, and the Oswestry School of Physiotherapy within the University's Faculty of Health in 1995 was of strategic importance for the development of professional education in these fields.
Keele's Department of Medicines Management is unique within the higher education environment with a distinctive postgraduate academic programme developed in response to trends in NHS management in the field.
Keele is proud to have been awarded, jointly with Manchester University, one of three new undergraduate medical schools in England. The first intake was in 2000.
Keele's campus estate is one of the exceptional features of the University, and is integral to the quality of experience enjoyed by students, staff and visitors alike.
A one hundred acre area of the estate, adjacent to Keele Hall, has designated conservation status confirmed by Newcastle Borough Council. Many architectural and landscape features dating from 19th century are of regional significance.
Keele has built on its pioneering campus role by maintaining the highest proportion, around 70%, of full-time students in campus residence of any university in the country. Some 600 study bedrooms have been built since 1992 in award winning residential centres. On campus housing is also provided for a large proportion of academic staff.
Envisaged growth in student numbers has implications for academic, residential and recreational space. Keele has finalised a comprehensive Estate Strategy to 2010 to satisfy the aims and objectives of its Corporate Plan and an exciting phase of development is currently underway.
Keele is established as one of the country's top academic conference venues, attracting in excess of 100,000 visitors and delegates throughout the year for residential and day conferences.
Keele Conference Park is directed by the University's Facilities Management division which has a total turnover of £10m, contributing 20% of Keele's annual income.
In 1999 and 2000 Keele Conference Park was voted the best Academic Conference Venue
In 1996 Keele Hospitality was presented with the Investors in People award making Keele the first university in the country to achieve both the ISO 9002 quality standard and Investors in People.
For further details please see the Keele Conference Park web site, or contact:
Keele Conference Park
Staffordshire ST5 5BG
Enquiry hotline: (01782) 583473
Keele is structured along the broad pattern of most pre-1992 universities.
Court and Council
The formal "supreme governing body" is the Court, designed to represent very wide interests in the local community. The court normally meets once a year and has over 200 members. Its powers are, in practice, limited to receiving reports, making Ordinances, discussing proposed amendments to Statutes for recommendation to the Privy Council in London, and appointing the University's lay officers (Pro-Chancellor etc) and Auditors.
The day to day government of the University is the responsibility of the Council (the executive governing body) which comprises 29 members, the substantial majority of whom are not employees of the University but are drawn from local authorities, industry and the community. A certain number of Academic staff and students are also members of the Council, which meets quarterly.
Council is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor and "governs, manages and regulates the finances, accounts, investments, property, business and all affairs whatsoever of the University." Only the Council may enter into contracts on behalf of the University as a body.
Senate meets quarterly, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, to direct academic policy in relation to teaching and research.
The Vice-Chancellor is the principal executive officer of the University. Vice-Chancellor's Committee, responsible for operational management, meets weekly and is comprised of the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy and Pro Vice-Chancellors, the heads of the service directorates and the deans of the academic faculties.
Keele has 13 academic Schools, and 7 Research Institutes grouped within 3 faculties of Health, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. Educational activity is managed by Schools and research and related enterprise activity managed by Research Institutes.
The Centre for Professional & Continuing Education co-ordinates academic activity on short courses and award bearing programmes.
Four service directorates are responsible for the administrative management and services of the University, although this structure is currently under review
Separate organisational charts show the management and academic structure of the university. Charts showing the structure of committees of the Council and the Senate are available also. (All the charts are PDF files which require the Acrobat Reader; if you do not have this click the button on the right to download it from the Adobe web site.)