I was extremely proud to join Warwick as Vice-Chancellor in 2006. As Lynda and I prepare to leave Warwick now - after 10 years - that pride remains: pride in what the University has achieved, and pride in having worked with the exceptional staff, students and friends of the University in this time.
We have won significant accolades over the last 10 years: to name just a few - our RAE and REF performances, ranking in the top 100 of every major university world ranking – our best ever result in the history of the major league tables, Professor Martin Hairer receiving the Fields Medal – described as the equivalent of the 'Nobel Prize for Mathematics', the Queen’s Anniversary Prize with WMG, Mathematics and Statistics, Athena SWAN status for all of our Science and Medicine departments. Our diverse student community has also shone: their stellar academic standard is reflected in increases across our entrance tariffs: 42% of departments required AAB or above in 2006 compared with over 90% of departments requiring AAB or above currently, and their extra-curricular activities such as Warwick Volunteers, Warwick in Africa and Warwick in India have been celebrated through our Outstanding Student Contribution Awards. We have invested close to £450M in our campus, including in major new halls of residence, teaching and research facilities, the Warwick Arts Centre, the Students’ Union, sports, learning facilities, conference facilities and much much more including the forthcoming NAIC building, Teaching and Learning Centre and Flat Space. Our turnover has increased by over 50% in order to enable us to fuel investment in the Warwick experience. We have seen four Vice-Chancellors appointed from the Warwick senior team, including Professor Stuart Croft, who I am pleased to see succeeding me to lead Warwick into its next 50 years.
Further afield, we have established a Strategic Alliance with Monash University which includes joint management, joint professorial positions and a platform for extensive student mobility, the Center for Urban Science and Progress in New York with NYU, Carnegie Mellon, Toronto and IIT Mumbai, the EPSRC Turing Big Data Centre at the British Library with Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and UCL, a superb London base in the Shard, and we are embarking on an exciting project to create a new University campus in California.
On a personal level, during our time at Warwick Lynda and I have seen our daughters become adults of whom we are extremely proud, we have gained a son-in-law, we have become grandparents (I’ve even gained my bus pass). With Fagan, we have walked miles of the beautiful cycle paths across the campus. Cryfield Old Farmhouse has been our home.
It has been an enormous pleasure to have been part of Warwick and to see the University become a truly world class institution. Lynda and I are hugely grateful for the support of all our friends and colleagues over our time with you and extend our heartfelt thanks and very best wishes to you all.
Professor Sir Nigel Thrift
Vice-Chancellor and President