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Education blooms at Regent's

Idyllic, independent and international - Regent's University London is an educational rose blossoming in the heart of London

Posted by Rianna Newman | August 27, 2017 | Estates

Location, location, location - or is it education, education, education? Both beauty and brains combine at Regent’s University London, the capital’s only independent university. Based in the heart of the beautiful Regent’s Park, the University offers world-class degree programmes to students from more than 140 countries worldwide.

Idyllic location

You would be unlikely to find another campus in London, if not in the UK, that is as central, self-contained and as beautiful as Regent’s University London. Some may argue it is one of the UK’s best-kept higher education secrets. 

Sitting alongside the 30,000 blooms in Queen Mary’s Rose Garden with the swans that swim serenely in the lake, Regent’s is an oasis of beauty in the middle of one of the busiest and most vibrant cities in the world. It is located on the Inner Circle of the royal Regent’s Park. 

The campus has a long and rich history, and was in fact opened by the rose garden’s namesake, HRH Queen Mary, in its former guise as a campus for Bedford College in 1849. Regent’s itself has been delivering international higher education on this site for more than 30 years, formerly as a college prior to being awarded university status in 2012.

The four main buildings of the Regent’s campus exemplify traditional British architecture of the 20th century. The original buildings, designed in Queen Anne style by architect Basil Champneys, have been modified over the years, particularly after suffering bomb damage in World War II. 

Some interesting relics on campus include the ornate Tate Library, donated by Lady Amy Tate in memory of her husband Henry, founder of London’s Tate Gallery. There is also the dome of an Astronomical Observatory, opened by the Astronomer Royal, an unusual sight for a university. 

As well as being in a park, the campus itself also boasts 11 acres of its own beautiful private gardens, featuring impressive biodiversity, bee-friendly plants and a ‘secret garden,’ tucked away behind high hedges. 

A private gate at the bottom of the gardens leads to the banks of the Regent’s Park lake, where you can cross the bridge and within a few minutes’ walk be at the door of 221b Baker Street, home of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, and Madame Tussauds. A short distance south of the main campus is the University’s specialist fashion design and theatre facilities on Marylebone High Street, a vibrant and adaptable studio space in a magnificent renovated chapel. 

It is as part of this elegant neighbourhood that Regent’s University London revels in its position as the capital’s only independent, not-for-profit higher education institution. 

International focus

It’s not just about the beautiful surroundings at Regent’s. The University offers world-class degree programmes to students from more than 140 countries, limiting student numbers to under 5,000 to create a close-knit community and keep class sizes small to provide a tailored education experience. 

Regent’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Aldwyn Cooper, explains: “Regent’s is small and intimate enough to feel like a home away from home. With just over 4,800 students on campus over the course of a year, staff and students get to know each other by name, and students benefit from plenty of one-to-one contact with their tutors. 

“We are committed to developing tomorrow’s global leaders. Our students come from a vast range of backgrounds, providing a cultural richness and unique opportunity to exchange perspectives and share experiences, enabling them to perform confidently anywhere in the world.”

Indeed, Regent’s is a microcosm of the world its student and staff body represents, and acts as a meeting place for people from across the globe, with internationalism represented in the student body as well as the educational style. Additionally, the University’s alumni network currently lists over 16,700 members, living and working in 160 countries. 

“Regent’s is a hive for innovative thinkers – students who want to learn in a supportive, personal environment, and who go on to enter the world of work as entrepreneurs and leaders who think and operate globally,” Professor Cooper said.

 “Intercultural exchange and international languages are also a crucial part of education at Regent’s. We enjoy close links with more than 180 partner institutions across the globe, and many students spend a portion of their studies abroad, gaining experience of other cultures, languages and work practices.”

Innovative and independent

Regent’s offers both UK and American-style degree programmes in a wide range of subject areas, including business and management; fashion and design; film, media and performance; liberal arts and humanities; politics and international relations, and psychotherapy and psychology.

Being independent and not-for-profit means that as a charity, the University’s surplus income is re-invested in the student experience to support their educational experience, rather than paid as dividends to shareholders.

Regent’s Faculty of Business & Management prides itself on industry-relevant degrees that blend formal academic training with direct learning experience of the international workplace. Students benefit from a strong global focus to their studies, exploring the many influences affecting the changing business environment worldwide.

Film, Media & Performance programmes at Regent’s offer a challenging and highly creative curriculum that synthesise academic learning with practical, hands-on experience. Students gain an international perspective through study abroad and complete a work placement to develop the practical expertise and contacts needed for the future.

Students studying fashion and design have access to well-equipped design studios and lecture rooms so they can apply their learning to real-world design challenges. Live projects, work experience and sponsorship by London fashion and design companies give them a head-start in developing real working skills.

Regent’s is also one of the UK’s leading training institutions for psychology, psychotherapy, counselling psychology and mediation. With options at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, students are provided with a wealth of insight into how human beings function, and the application of psychology to key social issues in fields including sport, health, education and the justice system.

Students are actively encouraged to undertake internships and work experience, and many graduates go on to build successful international careers in a range of industries, as well as becoming entrepreneurs, start-up founders, or returning to ensure the continuing success of family businesses. 

It would be hard to move on from this idyllic location and transformative educational experience, but the institution is proud to see a higher than average number of its graduates move into graduate-level jobs, with starting salaries also considerably higher than other UK universities. 

 

A sustainable future

A key challenge for the University’s estates and facilities team today is managing the site within the limits imposed by the historical environment, while adapting buildings to meet modern standards and student expectations. 

The University is investing in a major carbon data project to track and improve energy use in the campus buildings over the next several years. The outlay is expected to be repaid seven-fold as better understanding and smarter systems help to reduce costs and capital spend. The more consistent approach to energy management will help to save 1.9 million kwhs and 3092 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of planting 3,000 trees.

Regent’s policy of sustainable investment, which both respects the historic environment and reduces energy use while improving the student experience, led to the achievement of ISO standard 14001 in 2012, and ISO 50001 in 2015. 

The latter award was particularly welcome, recognising the work put in by the Estates & Facilities team to attain the standard and our commitment to environmental performance in delivering Regent’s services. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Regent’s Park was designed in 1811 by John Nash, the favoured architect of the Prince Regent, later George IV
 
In 2012 Regent’s College gained its own taught-degree awarding powers and the following year the institution was awarded university status, becoming Regent’s University London in 2012
 
The University campus was originally built for Bedford College, which moved to the park from nearby Bedford Square. Founded in 1849 by Elizabeth Jesser Reid, the college was the first higher education institution for women in the UK

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