- University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The strength of our academic expertise combined with the breadth of disciplines we cover, provides a wealth of opportunities and has real impact on the world in cultural, economic and societal ways.
The University of Leeds strives to achieve academic excellence within an ethical framework informed by our values of integrity, equality and inclusion, community and professionalism.
Our values of professionalism, inclusiveness, integrity and community are at the heart of everything we do. We understand that what we do can have an impact on the wider community, which is why we take our social, economic and environmental responsibilities seriously.
We strive to ensure that everyone within the University is treated fairly, with dignity and respect; that the opportunities we provide are open to all; and that the University provides a safe, supportive and welcoming environment.
As an international research-led University, Leeds strives to go beyond our legal duties to create a positive environment for our diverse community of staff and students.
The University works hard to promote gender equality and support the career development of talented women working in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, engineering and technology. The University renewed its Athena SWAN Bronze award in November 2012, four STEM departments hold Athena SWAN awards and all relevant faculties and schools are working towards departmental bronze or silver awards.
Leeds is committed to recruiting the brightest and best students regardless of background and our Reach for Excellence and Access to Leeds (A2L) programmes are key parts of our Access Agreement and Education Engagement Strategy. We have also developed an access strategy to recognise the needs of potential mature students.
We have developed a sustainability strategy focused on four core themes:
- developing knowledge and capacity
- being a positive partner in society
- enhancing our resource management
- developing a collaborative organisation
Processes are in place to ensure that sustainability is embedded in our decision making with social, environmental and economic impacts considered in our procurement process and in all of our major developments and investments.
We encourage our students to engage with sustainability through extra-curricular activities, and on campus we have developed our award winning partnership-based sustainable garden, linking edible planting, wildflower areas and research pods to create a space which is open to staff, students and the local community.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- Arts (English; History; Humanities; Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies; Leeds Humanities Research Institute; Institute for Medieval Studies; School of Languages, Cultures and Societies;)
- Biological Sciences (Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology; Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology; Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology; Undergraduate School of Biological Sciences; Graduate School of Biological Sciences)
- Business (Accounting and Finance; Economics; International Business; Management; Marketing; Work and Employment Relations)
- Education, Social Sciences and Law (Education; Law; Politics and International Studies; Sociology and Social Policy; Graduate School)
- Engineering (Chemical and Process Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computing; Electronic and Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering)
- Environment (School of Earth and Environment; School of Geography; Institute for Transport Studies)
- Mathematics and Physical Sciences (Chemistry; School of Food Science and Nutrition; Mathematics; Physics and Astronomy)
- Medicine and Health (Leeds Dental Institute; School of Healthcare; School of Medicine; Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics; Leeds Institute of Health Sciences; Leeds Institute of Medical Education; Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine; Institute of Psychological Sciences)
- Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (Institute of Communications Studies; Design; School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies; Music; Performance and Cultural Industries; Graduate School)
The University of Leeds was founded in 1904, but its origins go back to the nineteenth century with the founding of the Leeds School of Medicine in 1831 and then the Yorkshire College of Science in 1874.
In 1831 a group of young men established the Leeds School of Medicine which meant that medical students no longer had to go to Scotland, London or overseas to study.
The Yorkshire College of Science was founded around 40 years later largely as a result of concerns by the wool and textile industries that the rapid development of new technologies in Europe posed a threat to the local cloth trade.
For the sons of local families, it was one of the first colleges for students of all faiths and backgrounds. The College supported the values of the recently established University College, London and Owens College in Manchester. These had been set up to challenge the exclusivity of Oxford and Cambridge universities, which were predominantly for the Anglican aristocracy and gentry.
By contrast, this new generation of learning institutions welcomed all religions, including Dissenters, Catholics, Jews and agnostics. In addition, they placed particular emphasis on meeting the technological demands of the fast-changing Victorian era. From the outset, the College, particularly, put its full weight behind scientific studies.
After a few years, classics, modern literature and history were added to the science subjects being offered and the Yorkshire College of Science became simply the Yorkshire College.
In 1884, the College combined with the School of Medicine and three years later the two Leeds-based institutions joined forces with Owens College Manchester, and University College Liverpool, to become the federal Victoria University.
It wasn’t long, however, before each of the cities started to consider the benefits of forming their own universities. After Manchester and Liverpool had taken the decision to establish universities, Leeds also took the leap and in 1904, King Edward VII granted the University its own Charter as an independent institution.
Within three or four years the number of students began to increase rapidly and changes to state education meant that students were arriving with a better educational foundation. The ten years to the outbreak of war in 1914 were ones of growth and consolidation. Most importantly, the new University started to develop a strong tradition of research.
Unlike Owens College Manchester, the Yorkshire College had always permitted women as students. However, they did not enrol in significant numbers until special facilities were provided at the Day Training College in 1896. The first women graduated from the University of Leeds in 1905.
At the time that the Yorkshire College received its Royal Charter, seven out of eight students came from Yorkshire. Now, the University of Leeds not only welcomes students from all over the United Kingdom, its reputation worldwide makes it a truly multi-cultural and international institution with students and staff from over 100 countries studying and working on campus.
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