Oxford Brookes University is based in Oxford, in the South East of England. It is a modern institution, having only been awarded its charter in 1992, but is already internationally recognised and esteemed for the quality of its teaching and research. The university has three campuses, Headington, Wheatley and Harcourt Hill. At any one time there are around 17000 students, studying foundation degrees, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Although Oxford Brookes was only inaugurated as a University in 1992, its roots can be traced back to the 1800s, when it began life as the Oxford School of Art. In 1970 the School of Science was integrated into the School of Art, and in 1891 it was renamed the Oxford City Technical School, incorporating the School of Art. In 1934 the two were merged, and John Henry Brookes, Vice Principal of the Technical School, became the first principal of the new institution. In 1956 it was renamed as the Oxford College of Technology; establishing its first halls of residence in 1960. The college moved to Headington in 1963 and became the Oxford Polytechnic in 1970. Following enactment of the Further and Higher Education Act in 1992, it became Oxford Brookes University, named after its founder.
Oxford Brookes performs consistently well in the prestigious Sunday Times University Guide, the UK’s most respected higher education league tables, and has been named ‘best modern (post-1992) university’ for the past ten years in a row. The University is respected globally as a centre of excellence in a number of disciplines, including technology and business.
The University is a staunch advocate of human rights and supporting developing countries. Brookes choice of Chancellors underpins this; Shami Chakrabarti, a director of the human rights organisation, Liberty, is the current Chancellor. Prior to her the Channel 4 news presenter and distinguished journalist Jon Snow held the position.
Learning and Teaching
Oxford Brookes is the only UK modern university to have 24 subjects rated ‘Excellent’ for teaching by the Quality Assurance Agency. The QAA www.qaa.ac.uk is an independent standards assurance agency that reviews the performance of UK universities. This teaching is underpinned by first class research, which informs the content and structure of the programmes that the university offers.
Brookes strives to offer students the best possible learning experience to all its students. The institution has just been chosen to pilot a new e-learning project to use emerging technologies and programme re-modelling to widen participation in education and lifelong learning. The university actively strives to develop flexible learning opportunities; nearly 10 percent of the student cohort study through distance learning, and the online MBA has attracted students from almost 20 countries.
Oxford Brookes ranks higher than many of its peers for graduate employability. As well as having academic accreditation, courses are accredited by professional bodies, including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), British Psychological Society (BPS), Institute of Hospitality and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Students studying education and PGCE also benefit from the institution’s close links with local schools and college. The latest OFSTED report ranked the management and quality assurance of the teaching programmes at Brookes as ‘outstanding’, which is the highest possible ranking.
The university has a dedicated careers centre, offering expert advice for students and alumni, and runs a series of careers fairs throughout the year.