50 years

August 1975 - July 1976

Vice-Chancellor Sir Denys Wilkinson

Pro-Vice-Chancellor MW Thompson (standing in for two terms)

  • Sir Sydney Caffyn (Chair of Council) dies Sept 1975. He was involved with Sussex from the beginning and endowed the chapel at the Meeting House
  • Asa Briggs is no longer VC having left Sussex to be made Emeritus Professor then Provost of Worcester College, Oxford
  • Sussex is near the top of the research grants table in science. Sussex is heavily reliant on research grant income, which is badly affected by currency devaluation
  • Increasing inflation continues to play havoc with University budgets
  • University staff are particularly hit by Government pay policies
  • The Government wants to increase tuition fees fourfold to £650 pa, which will affect the relationship with Local Authorities who pay these fees, and badly affect self-funders and PG students
  • The Sussex Centre for Medical Research is assimilated into the University, its building is to be extended and research in biochemistry is to be developed
  • The final phase of East Slope is finished, giving Sussex a total of 1,800 accommodation spaces. A new venture for a housing association scheme is planned
  • Two Sussex students take part in the Montreal Olympics: Adrian Parker, Penthathlon; and Brendan Foster, 10,000 metres. Brendan wins a bronze medal
  • A new structure for first-year undergraduate teaching in arts and social studies is introduced, with School courses and Option Prelim courses in the autumn term, followed by a spring term with the following choices: Introduction to Major course and Option course, or School Prelim course, or Second Introduction to Major course
  • Arts and social studies UG intake increases by 106 students to 830, including visiting and exchange students. Competition for places intensifies: applications rise by 21.2 per cent. PG intake increases by 34 to 419, but the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) reduce their quota awards from 52 to 45
  • New MAs are to be offered: Music in 1976 and Religious Studies in 1977
  • There is international recognition for some subject areas of the Graduate School
  • There is a publicity drive to improve the image of science at Sussex, as Sussex is perceived as a predominantly arts and social sciences university and therefore doesn't attract enough good potential science students, particularly to undergraduate physical sciences and maths programmes
  • Physics with Euro Studies is to be introduced in 1977
  • Sussex has one of the highest proportions of research income to UGC income in the UK, with £1.2m in research grants made to science subjects this year
  • Drought conditions in the summer of 1976 closes Isle of Thorns due to lack of water for sanitation
  • A new café/restaurant for the refectory is planned to open in 1976-77
  • Education teaching is unsettled, with teacher unemployment and cuts in initial training
  • The Mass Observation Archive is established as a charitable trust with Briggs, Pocock, Henry Novy and James Fulton as the first trustees. Between January and August 1976, 16 researchers visit the Mass Observation Archive and another 13 apply for access. In collaboration with Sussex University Press the archive hopes to publish some mass observation material. In January 1976 Tom Harrison, who donated the material, is killed in an accident in Bangkok

Student numbers

4185 students : 3,133 undergraduates, 93 visiting undergraduates, 441 postgraduates, five visiting postgraduates, 513 research students

Undergraduate places increase from 4,100 to 4,300 balanced in favour of arts and social sciences, reflecting the national picture


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