The University of Hertfordshire is a new university based largely in Hatfield, in the county of Hertfordshire, England, from which the university takes its name. University of Hertfordshire has more than 27,500 students, over 2500 staff, with a turnover of over £181m. It has over 5200 international students and a global network of over 160,000 alumni.
In 1951, the de Havilland Company gave land in Hatfield adjoining the A1 to Hertfordshire County Council for educational use in perpetuity. In 1952 the Council used this to build and operate Hatfield Technical College. The college rapidly became a centre of excellence in mechanical and aeronautical engineering, training engineers for Hatfield’s then dominant aerospace industry. In 1992, the institution received University status.
In the 2008 RAE, over 85 per cent of the submitted research was judged to be of international quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour. University of Hertfordshire was shortlisted for the University of the Year Award in 2008 and for the University of the Year Award in 2009.
University of Hertfordshirewas declared the ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year,’ 2010 by Times Higher Education. It is regarded as one of the UK’s greenest universities. University of Hertfordshire has been awarded a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Chair for Information and Computer Ethics; the fourteenth to be established in the UK. For seven consecutive years, members of staff have achieved lifelong Fellowship Awards as outstanding teachers, as part of the National Teaching Fellowship. University of Hertfordshire Collaborative Provision in April 2006 found that broad confidence can be placed in the university’s present and likely future management of the academic standards of its awards made through collaborative arrangements.
Throughout its history, the University has been strong in Aerospace engineering and computer science. More recently, it has built up its strengths in other areas such as pharmacology, history, business, geography and astrophysics. The university has a unique history in training Aerospace Engineers.
Of the 2010 league tables published so far the University of Hertfordshire was ranked 41st overall in The Complete University Guide, published by The Independent, which is a 4 place rise from the previous year 15th in the Engineering schools, which is a 9 place rise from the previous year and 60th by The Guardian, which is a 37 place rise from the previous year.
University of Hertfordshire is also the only British new university (former polytechnic) to be ranked in the top 503 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, being ranked equally with 100 other universities in the 402-503 range (after the first hundred the rankings are divided into large blocks to reflect the more approximate nature of the lower rankings).
Over the last 10 years the University has received a number of awards for research and outstanding achievements.
Queen’s Award for Industry – On 1 July 2004, the University of Hertfordshire was presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade in recognition of outstanding achievement. The University of Hertfordshire received a special message of congratulations from the Queen, and the Vice-Chancellor and International Office staff also attended a special reception at Buckingham Palace.
A Centre for Excellence – In 2004 the University of Hertfordshire was awarded £4.5M by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to establish a Centre for Excellence in blended learning. This award enables the university to establish its profile as a leading institution combining established ways of learning and teaching with the opportunities offered by technology to ensure students have the best possible learning experience.
Fair Trade University – In March 2005, University of Hertfordshire was officially certified as a Fair trade university.
National Teaching Fellowships – Seven members of staff have achieved lifelong Fellowship awards as outstanding teachers, as part of the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme introduced in 2000 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.
One of the engineering members of staff at the University of Hertfordshire, successfully entered the e-Tutor of the Year in an annual national competition, launched in 2002 by the Higher Education Academy and the Times Higher Education Supplement.
Entrepreneurial University of 2010 – The University was sixth recipient of the award.
The University of Hertfordshire won the prestigious Times Higher Education ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ award, 2010. It aims not only to encourage ground breaking activity in entrepreneurial activity amongst organisations, but also aims to foster business venture spirits on all levels.
HR Excellence in Research – The European Commission has awarded an honorary batch to University of Hertfordshire for providing outstanding opportunities to their research staff, making it one of the twenty three universities in United Kingdom, to get such an achievement.
Facilities and Resources
Libraries – The University of Hertfordshire has three libraries also known as Learning Resource Centres (also known as LRCs) each of which provide a variety of tools and facilities to assist students in their studies. There is a centre on each campus – Hatfield College Lane Campus LRC, Hatfield de Havilland Campus LRC and the St Albans Campus LRC. All three centres are open to students registered at the university and each student is encouraged to make use of all three areas according to their study requirements.
College Lane LRC – The Learning Resources Centre on the College Lane Campus is an award winning building and is one of the largest LRC’s in the UK. With more than 1500 study places and nearly 600 computer workstations including spaces for laptops with power sockets and internet connection points provided on certain tables on each floor, wireless internet access is also available for laptop users. The LRCs includes group study rooms, single study rooms, silent study rooms, café study area, video studios, specialist multimedia laboratory, and disability support and access to all University online services. The media preparation centre is also available in the College Lane LRC which provides facilities for printing, photocopying, colour photocopying, laminating, guillotining and binding. Laminating pouches and binding sets can be bought for a small fee (30p for a 100 page comb binding set) at the helpdesk. The helpdesk is open between certain hours to assist students with any problems they may have or for large format printing needs.
Books and printed journals for the following subjects are held at the College Lane Learning Resources Centre: Art, Biosciences, Computing, Careers & employment information, Computing, Design, Engineering, Health, Mathematics, Midwifery, Music, Nursing, Paramedic Sciences, Physical Sciences, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Radiography, Social Care, Social Sciences, Sports Science, and Technology.
The LRC has an automated lending service with all book/journal loans and returns which is done using computerised methods.
There is a café study area located below the ground level of the LRC serving coffee, tea and a variety of hot and cold drinks and snacks.
De Havilland LRC – The de Havilland LRC is slightly smaller than the one based on the College Lane campus. However it does still provide all the features for a successful learning environment with both group and single study rooms and 1100 study places with 650 computer workstations. Printing & photocopying, large format printing, colour photocopying are all also available but in a slightly smaller scale than the facilities on the other campus.
Learning Resource Centre, de Havilland – Lending services akin to those at the College Lane LRC are available, however the book & printed journal subject collection differs. The topics available at the de Havilland LRC are Accounting, Business, Economics, Education, Film & Theatre, History, Journalism, Languages, Linguistics, Literature, Management, Marketing, Philosophy, and Tourism. A request collection point is also available for books and journal articles on loan from major libraries and universities in the UK through the inter-library loan service.
A café study area is also available in the de Havilland LRC providing the same refreshments as its College Lane counterpart.