Throughout our history, from giving working men technical skills when we formed as the Mechanics Institute in 1827, to developments with the College of Art, the incorporation of teacher training colleges and the joining with colleges of health, the University of Wolverhampton has a rich heritage and tradition of academic excellence and vocational higher education.
We are now a leading modern University and a major part of the regional and UK higher education sector; a key contributor to knowledge transfer, economic development, wealth creation and social justice.
In the last year we have developed a new strategic direction following a wide consultation with staff, students, partners and businesses. This was to ensure we focused our efforts on putting the student at the heart of everything we do in a bid to give them the best experience possible and become true partners in their education.
Our strategic direction sets out a vision in which we will continue to provide a broad range of educational opportunities focused on making a real difference to the lives of individuals, communities and businesses. We will work regionally, nationally and internationally to ensure that we are fully able to make a difference and have an impact in the coming years.
Central to that has been the emphasis we have placed on skills and employability and the need to ensure our students gain vital industry experience while they are with us, whether that be through placements, internships or help starting a venture of their own.
Universities, along with the rest of the public and private sector in the UK, find themselves in extremely challenging financial times. This is why it’s more important than ever that we place ourselves at the heart of efforts to stimulate and drive economic
regeneration in the region.
As a place of learning, creativity, enterprise and innovation, we are focal to raising aspirations, not only of students but of businesses. Through our business engagement and knowledge transfer work, we can respond to the needs of industry in
order to produce skilled and work-ready graduates who can help companies grow and develop.
Our commitment to lifelong learning and social mobility means we can help people across the spectrum of communities in the Black Country and beyond improve themselves and their prospects.
We are a global University and this year we celebrated the opening of our new branch campus in Mauritius.
Looking to the future, we will ensure our research continues to grow, informs our teaching and changes practices. To support this, the University has made a commitment to provide £6m of additional funding to support new research projects, with the aim of further improving the University’s research profile and making it sustainable for the long term, with the vision of increasing the world-class work it produces.
We have had some fantastic achievements during 2011/12 and that’s a tribute to all the staff at the University for making this a great place to work and study.
We are in a strong position as we move towards a significant milestone in our history – the 21st anniversary of University status.
Professor Geoff Layer
On behalf of the Board of Governors, I commend this report to you. It provides a valuable insight into the significant achievements of our students and staff.
Above all else, 2011/12 will be remembered for the 2012 Olympics, and much like the very successful Great Britain team, we as a University are striving to produce stars of the future in a variety of disciplines and fields and provide a legacy for future generations.
2011/12 will also be remembered for the continuing difficult economic climate, and that presents significant challenges for higher education along with all sectors.
We see ourselves at the heart of the Black Country and at the heart of efforts to help kick-start and maintain economic regeneration.
We should not lose sight of the fact that we can bring vibrancy, culture, creativity, skills, enterprise and opportunity to the region in order to help individuals, communities and industry to innovate, grow and flourish.
We are also proud of our links and work beyond the UK, and of the fact we are now very much a global University.
Working together with our numerous partners here in the UK and abroad, I am sure there is much that can be achieved in the coming years.
I am proud to be part of the University of Wolverhampton and I hope you can see the difference we make through our work and achievements.
Chair of the Board of Governors