50 years

August 1972 - July 1973

Chancellor Lord Shawcross

Pro-Chancellor Richard Attenborough

Vice-Chancellor Asa Briggs

  • The quinquennial budget is not as generous as hoped because of national spending constraints. Little support for the research centres but increased student numbers in Arts/Social Sciences, which means the tutor/student ratio increases slightly. Science numbers are pegged despite demand for more places
  • VC fears about the future of Sussex as an international, innovating university
  • Sussex in top 10 of British universities for science research but funding allocation does not reflect this
  • Innovations include offering a BSc in Chemistry by thesis, the only BSc in Polymers in the country, a new programme in Communications Studies aka Cognitive Studies based in computer science and experimental psychology, and new major in Linguistics
  • A future Medical School is first mentioned
  • The Centre for Multi-Racial Studies folds through lack of funding and the Institute for the Study of International Organisations in danger of closure after its Director leaves to become personal assistant to the Secretary-General of the UN
  • Student unrest is used as an excuse not to fund research properly
  • SPRU and IDS have international reputations for their respective work
  • Government White Paper, Education: A Framework for Expansion begins discussions of merger between the University and College of education
  • The Centre for Insurance Studies began as a potential degree subject area partnered by the British Insurance Association to encourage better knowledge of insurance matters in the academic context and better teaching of insurance and insurance-related subjects. This was soon dropped and a centre is set up instead to support research with established disciplines including economics, history, and sociology, into insurance-related topics both nationally and internationally
  • The Institute of Manpower Studies focuses on the fulfillment of people through effective employment, design of employment policy and practice at company and national level and also in communications
  • UG numbers are low in the sciences, reflecting a wider disenchantment with traditional science and a lack of good sixth-form science teachers
  • A Curriculum Working Party aimed at making the science offering more appealing and relevant to UGs suggests a number of ideas including: offering a Diploma in Higher Education; a programme in History and the Social Study of Science; and a major in Environmental Sciences
  • Research is still very important and over £1 million in research grants are awarded to the sciences
  • New buildings help to ease overcrowding in science programmes
  • It is hoped that finance will be found for a Medical Research Centre
  • SPRU aims to: advance knowledge of the complex social process involved in undertaking scientific research both as research and development and more pure scientific research; undertake collaborative research bringing together social and natural scientists; focus on the impact of research on wider society eg technology transfer to developing countries; and conduct research on historical evolution of professional organisations
  • There are major changes to the Arts Science scheme, with the dissertation now a compulsory part of formal assessment. Teaching loads are formally recognized and each Arts school now has to provide a science-based contextual rather than take part in this scheme
  • CCE meets some of the recommendations for adult education in the 1973 Russell Report and is considered to be 'ahead of the game'
  • CCE holds a lecture series attracting high-profile speakers eg Harrison Birtwhistle and David Ricardo, and a conference on 'Britain in Europe': 200 people attended to hear papers on joining the EEC
  • Plans are drawn up for a swimming pool and a multipurpose hall next to Falmer House, and there is a proposal to build East Slope accommodation for 300 students. Completion of East Slope is estimated for autumn 1974
  • Open University Summer Schools are introduced, with 300 students attending six one-week courses in three subject areas
  • The Gardner Arts Centre is reorganised to be more inclusive of the University and community in the hope of more support from the newly formed South East Arts Association
  • Work begins on a special unit for severely disabled students who will enroll in 1974
  • Graduate employment is better than expected especially in the industrial sector
  • Computer-assisted placement service is established, which matches graduates to jobs
  • The post of deputy Vice-Chancellor is abolished and functions are transferred to Pro-Vice-Chancellor
  • The representation of students on Senate is increased from 13 to 20 members (out of 140 members of Senate)
  • A framework for consulting with unions is established, with AUT recognised as representing all faculty
  • Pay rises: faculty eight per cent, technical staff 9.5 per cent, estates 13 per cent, painters 32 per cent, all before the 'freeze'
  • The Students' Union conducts a rent strike at Holland House, eventually succeeding with many of their demands, boycotts the refectory, undertakes short occupations, and presents a petition to the Queen on grant reform which was unsuccessful. The Students' Union manifesto reflects a broad left platform
  • There is student agitation over Professor Huntington speaking on campus around free speech

Staff numbers

534: 55 professors, 78 readers, 269 lecturers, 132 research faculty