Since joining Sussex as Vice-Chancellor last summer, I have had the pleasure of meeting many hundreds of members of the global Sussex community, with a particular highlight being the alumni who gathered back on campus for our 60th anniversary reunion weekend in September.
From the many lively conversations I have had with former Sussex students from the 1960s to the 2020s, it is clear to me that there is a powerful interest in what is happening at the University now, and in how Sussex and our extended community are forging new paths and taking bold steps to change the world for the better, as has always been the University’s mission.
This year’s Falmer magazine celebrates some of Sussex’s extraordinary people who are doing just that, including the European Space Agency’s first female UK astronaut, Dr Rosemary Coogan, human rights champion and activist, Justice Albie Sachs, and our current entrepreneur in residence, Darren Tenkorang.
In the past year, the results of the latest review of research in the UK were published – the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). This found that 89% of research activity at Sussex was either ‘world-leading’ (40.6%) or ‘internationally excellent’ (48.4%). Furthermore, the proportion of research impact assessed to be ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ increased to 93% from 80.7% in 2014. These results confirm Sussex’s place as a major research-intensive university in terms of both overall quality and rigour of our research and its real-world impact.
Moreover, for the seventh consecutive year, the University of Sussex together with the Institute of Development Studies, has been ranked as the best in the world for Development Studies, in the QS World University Rankings by Subject.
In this issue of Falmer, some of our brilliant academics share their research on a wide range of topics – from averting an insect apocalypse, to exploring images from millions of years ago in deep space and creating innovative solutions for encouraging discussion about breast cancer.
And in the latest opinion pieces published in this issue, Sussex experts present their views on topical challenges – ranging from the politics of energy to the science of staying well and exploring how the law can support inclusion.
Sussex students from conflict-torn Ukraine and Afghanistan generously share their insights into the importance of education and the effects of war in their homelands, and express their heartfelt thanks to the alumni and friends who support students like them through the Sussex Fund.
To conclude, for now, I would like to add my thanks to you, our global community of alumni, friends, staff, and students who stay connected to Sussex, who generously support our students and our research, and who give time to mentor, advise and support other members of the Sussex community. You are our greatest ambassadors – true exemplars of the spirit of Sussex. I look forward to meeting many more of you over the coming year.
With my warmest wishes,
Professor Sasha Roseneil
President and Vice-Chancellor