University of Leicester

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The University of Leicester is based in Leicester, England, with about 8,000 full-time students and over 10,000 distance-learning students, one of the largest distance learning populations of any UK university. The main campus is not far away from the city centre and is adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College.

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UniversityOfLeicester.jpeg
University of Leicester seen from Victoria Park

It was founded as Leicestershire and Rutland College in 1918. The site for the University was given by a local textile manufacturer, Thomas Fielding Johnson, in order to create a living memorial for those who lost their lives in World War I. This is reflected in the University motto 'Ut Vitam Habeant' - 'so that they may have life'. Students were first admitted in 1921. In 1927, after it became University College, Leicester, students sat the examinations for external degrees of the University of London.

In 1957 the college was granted its Royal Charter and has since then the status of a University with the right to award its own degrees.

It is notable for its research. Genetic fingerprinting was developed at Leicester, and it has built space probes, most notably the Mars lander Beagle 2, in collaboration with the Open University.

The University's Engineering Building was the first major building by important British architect James Stirling. It comprises workshops at ground level, and a tower containing offices and lecture theatres. It was completed in 1963 and is notable for the way in which its external form reflects its internal functions.

The University won the first ever series of University Challenge, in 1963.

Famous alumni

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