In pursuing our goals as an institution, it is important to reflect upon the recent achievements which inform not only our current thinking, but our future vision. The events of 2007 reveal a clear picture of a confident and dynamic University, which performs a pivotal role in transforming lives and landscapes.
In 2007, we welcomed students of all ages and backgrounds to the University, who continue to benefit from our vibrant learning environment. We saw the introduction of innovative courses including degrees in IT Security and Inclusive Design, which covers equality issues in design as well as fulfilling disability requirements. This expanding portfolio provides our students with even greater opportunities than ever before.
Our accomplishments were widely acknowledged in the form of national accolades. Ofsted inspectors rated our secondary school teacher training as ‘Grade 1: Outstanding’. We continue to be one of the top institutions in the country for primary school teacher training. Last year also saw the University win two prestigious Lord Stafford Awards, recognising our pioneering work with businesses. We are firmly established as one of the best universities in the UK for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, where graduates are placed in businesses to improve company productivity.
The University is integral to the economic regeneration of the region. Our graduates make a valuable contribution, either joining existing organisations or establishing new enterprises of their own. The regeneration of Wolverhampton city poses exciting opportunities for us all, and the University will continue to be an active supporter of these plans. Our sustained programme of building continues to provide superb new spaces in which teaching and learning can flourish. A £13.5m teaching and administration building was opened by the Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown at City Campus in September 2007, enriching the University’s landscape further.
These achievements would not be possible without the dedication and expertise shown by our high quality staff. First rate teaching and the provision of excellent support ensures that our students receive an educational experience which is challenging and enabling. I am immensely proud of our impressive record in creating exceptional educational opportunity, our positive presence within the region, and the preparation we give our students for their future careers. The year ahead already promises to be as successful as the last. I look forward to embracing our new challenges with equal confidence and clarity of vision.
Professor Caroline Gipps, Vice-Chancellor