There is remarkable change in the air for higher education in the UK, and Sussex faces these developments with a positive approach. We are not sitting back and reacting to change, but using our Strategic Plan – Making the Future 2009-2015 – to grow our way through the years ahead.
As we look ahead to our 50th anniversary in 2011-12 and the next 50 years of Sussex, it is clear that the ambitious plans for growth and development, contained in ‘Making the Future’, are already bearing fruit.
The remarkable rise in applications to Sussex – a growth of more than 60 per cent in undergraduate applications in two years, nearly four times the national average – demonstrates, I believe, that we were absolutely right to set our sights high.
This Annual Review reports on our strongest-ever position in the national rankings of UK universities – and our standing in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, published in autumn 2010, places us in the top 80 institutions worldwide.
And in 2010 we also recorded our best-ever National Student Survey results – with Sussex in the top 10 in the UK for the overall student experience and our teaching rated in the top three.
The successful roll-out of new employability initiatives such as Learning to lead shows how we can add real value to the student experience, and ensure that students choosing Sussex are getting the most out of their time studying here.
In order to further improve the student experience, we have invested in new buildings and refurbishments right across campus, including hundreds of new rooms in residential accommodation at Northfield, the new academic building, the Library refurbishment, and the creation of the Attenborough Centre – all designed to support a thriving institution.
Last, but not least, we will also this year be making the final arrangements to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University in 2011-12.
Public events such as the Sussex Conversations and the Alumni Welcome Weekend will be an important part of showcasing and celebrating the range of intellectual activity and engagement we offer at Sussex.
We look forward to welcoming back our alumni and former staff to help us celebrate this proud moment in the University's history.