It is fair to say that the University of Warwick was in the pipeline for a long time! Having been floated as an idea at the end of the Second World War, it took another 20 years to turn the dream into reality, with the city and county councils eventually teaming up to establish a 400-acre site that was perfect for educational use.
Government approval for the University of Warwick arrived in 1961, and four years later it received a Royal Charter. A relatively modest amount of graduate students had been admitted in 1964, but the university welcomed its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965.
It went on to absorb Coventry College of Education in 1979, buying the adjoining farm land in the process in order to expand, and a generous donation from the family of Jack Martin paid for the development of Warwick Arts Centre.
Warwick became one of the first education providers of its kind to introduce a business approach to higher education. This led to close links with businesses, and allowed the university to capitalise on the commercial value of the research being carried out. A study in 2012 by Virgin Media Business referred to the university as the most digitally-savvy UK provider.
The Leicester Warwick Medical School, a new medical facility shared by the University of Warwick and Leicester University, was unveiled in September 2000, three months before then-US President Bill Clinton chose Warwick as the venue for his final major foreign speech, on the recommendation of then-British Prime Minister, Tony Blair!
April 2004 saw Warwick merge with Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International, and two years later the new University Hospital Coventry opened its doors, including a university clinical science building. Warwick Medical School received independent degree-awarding status in 2007, shortly before the partnership with the University of Leicester came to an end.
The government announced in 2014 that the university would be home to the £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre, a partnership between industry and the Automotive Council, with a decade-long mission to make the university, and the UK, leaders in the field of research into the next generation of automotive development.
In 2017, Warwick was named as the university with the joint-second highest graduate employment rate amongst UK universities, with 97.7% either in further study or employment, three-and-a-half years after graduation. A survey by Times Higher Education placed the university in sixth position in the country for value-added university education in relation to costs. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018, it came 11th nationally and 91st globally.
Several high-profile figures are associated with the university. Stephen Merchant, co-writer of hit television series The Office, studied there, as did Tony Roche, co-producer of The Thick of It and Veep. Grammy and Emmy Award-winning singer Sting is also counted amongst the Warwick alumni, along with the likes of Sir John Cornforth, who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975, and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.