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Times Declares Warwick Top Midlands University and 5th Overall in UK

Originally published 17 May 2004

The Times Good University Guide for 2004/5 has once again declared The University of Warwick to be the top university in the Midlands. Warwick has also jumped up 3 places in the national table to be ranked 5th overall amongst all universities in the UK.

The Midlands universities in the top 50 are ranked as follows:

Warwick 5th

Loughborough 10th

Nottingham 14th

Birmingham 20th

Aston 22nd

Leicester 29th

Keele 31st

The Times said:

"Warwick marks its 40th anniversary this year with its reputation confirmed as Britain’s top provincial university. It has thrived during the Blair era, with the Prime Minister describing it as “at the cutting edge of what has to happen in the future”. The “what” is a self-confident, entrepreneurial swagger: technologically minded, forward-looking, commercial and increasingly self-funding. That spirit has taken it from a small collection of buildings plonked on a 720-acre site three miles south of Coventry in 1964 to a place among the top five universities in The Times rankings.

While other universities were over-reaching themselves by trying to teach all the major disciplines, Warwick ignored expensive subjects such as dentistry and veterinary science to concentrate on business, science and engineering. Overall, Warwick excels in both teaching and research. More than 70 per cent of its subjects are rated among the best taught in the country, while only Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London and the London School of Economics have a higher score in the latest research ratings, with all but one subject at Warwick rated internationally outstanding.

It has also been unfashionably interested in the Government’s two-year vocational foundation degrees, winning even more Blair plaudits by providing courses for classroom assistants and community workers.

Blair returned the favour by visiting the campus at the start of the 2001 election campaign for a question-and-answer session with industrialists, and by recommending that Bill Clinton visit the university on the last stop of his last overseas tour as President.

“It is one of Britain’s newest and finest research universities, singled out by Prime Minister Blair as a model of academic excellence and independence from the Government,” said a Clinton official.

The university was similarly in tune with government thinking when it set up its summer school for gifted and talented pupils two years ago, running 900 places for bright youngsters at five partner universities. Scouts have toured the country’s schools, looking for “neglected geniuses” — particularly from deprived backgrounds — who can be coached to bring the best out of them.

Warwick’s business school has also shown its flair for eye-catching innovation by starting a programme to train future football managers. Mark Hughes, the Wales manager, is among those to have taken part."