50 years

August 1984 - July 1985

Chancellor Lord Shawcross stands down July 1985 after taking over in 1965 following the death of Lord Monckton

  • Government Green Paper on strategic planning for HE into the 1990s is published in May 1985. Short both in length and content, it is 'a deep disappointment'
  • The VC's report states that universities are the ultimate guardians of our heritage of national and international culture, and squeezing out this guardianship in the name of economy, vocational relevance, rationalisation and so on will extinguish it forever
  • UGC letter of 9 May 1985 spells out the immediate future for universities: funding from research is explicitly being separated from funding for teaching. The VC hopes the new funding system will benefit a university like Sussex with its 'tremendous research record and potential'
  • The UGC asks all universities to submit plans based on the assumption of a two per cent decline per year in finances in real terms
  • Cuts could be as severe as they have been since the beginning of the 1980s despite previous reassurances that cuts would level off by 1984-85
  • The Jarratt Report, concerned with efficiency in universities, is published in March 1985. There are accusations that the report is attempting to impose an industrial style of management on a system of essentially different purposes. There will be the need to rethink management structures at Sussex, including the introduction of managers
  • Sussex has had 17 Fellows of the Royal Society; six times the national average, with half of British universities having none at all. Sussex has more Fellows of the British Academy than all the other post-1960 universities put together
  • Gardner centre is now run by an independent company with South East Arts support
  • Former student Virginia Wade is awarded an honorary degree
  • A reunion for some of the first students of Sussex is attended by 270 people
  • The University is entering its jubilee year


The Government Green Paper on strategic planning for HE into the 1990s demonstrates 'blind adherence to cutting public spending at the expense of the country's future social and economic health'

The purpose of HE is 'to provide an informed and critical citizenry, sensitive to values and their realisation, able to effect an intellectually acceptable statement of a problem and to recognise the acceptability of its solution – the disciplinary context is irrelevant'