Leicester's alliance policy

January 3, 1997

ENGLISH: DE MONTFORT 1992 rating: 1 1996 rating: 3b

After the last research assessment exercise, Leicester's De Montfort University received the largest amount of research funding of any new university.

This was because it decided to enter large numbers of research staff rather than concentrate on a smaller band at the top of the pile. It has used the same inclusive approach in spending the cash. When its English department was given a 1 in the last RAE, it was decided that pooling resources was the answer.

The department collaborates closely with the rest of the humanities school, carrying out cross-discipline research programmes. The school has concentrated on attracting young researchers by offering sabbaticals to older staff and developing support networks for younger members.

It has ploughed money into a new postgraduate centre and postgraduates now form 10 per cent of the school's total student body. But it has also appointed a number of senior researchers to help provide a solid foundation for this work.

In English, Peter Davison has come from Kent University, Julia Briggs from Oxford and Ken Gelder is on a two-year secondment from Melbourne, Australia.

This recruitment drive seems to have paid off with English awarded a 3b in this research round. Mike Brown, pro vice chancellor, said it was a pleasing rise for the department.

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