The University of Chichester may have a smaller student population than most universities on the South Coast, but that is an essential part of its unique character.
With an average of 5000 students across its Chichester and Bognor Regis campuses, the strong sense of community, inclusion and belonging is an essential component of what makes the University so special to its students.
Chichester was named best for student retention by the most recent Sunday Times Good University Guide. It also had some of the highest teaching scores in the 2017 National Students Survey (NSS). Undergraduates rated Chichester as among the UK’s best for overall student satisfaction.
Graduate Pauline Stephenson, who now works full time at the University, explains this sense of a ‘university family’. ‘We may not be as big as other universities but we have a wonderfully diverse student population which creates an energetic and lively community. The environment supports you from the moment you arrive. I remember a sense of being part of a ‘family’, when I was a new student and that has stayed with me.’
Pauline was former leader of the University’s African and Caribbean student society. Her growing interest student in welfare and wellbeing continued when she became vice-president for the students’ union. Today she works at the University in Student Support and believes that students benefit most when they live and work together closely.
“The wider the mix and variety of backgrounds in our two campuses, the more students can immerse themselves in new and different experiences. Everyone lives and works in a campus environment with interesting learning spaces and that encourages interaction between students and their lecturers.”
Sport is one of Chichester’s great strengths – both for research and teaching. Its academics and students have studied and tested the footwork of Cristiano Ronaldo as part of a Sky Sports documentary to discover what makes the two-time Ballon d’Or winner one of the greatest players of all time.
It is part of world-leading research undertaken at the University which will make a difference in society, but also motivate and inspire the ambitions of its students, more than half of whom are the first in their family to venture into higher education.
The University has a variety of sports courses including its three-year adventure education degree, where students practice kayaking in Brittany and rock climbing in Fontainebleau.
Its Business School, situated on the Bognor Regis campus, is one of the most modern in the country and has recently undergone a £30million investment.
Second year student-turned-entrepreneur Danesh Amin balances a full-time education at Chichester with his multimillion-pound sweet enterprise Brocks Chocs. He says: “Studying at Chichester has given me a real understanding of how to run a business, and it’s useful that I have my tutors on hand if I ever need advice or support. I am obviously responsible for my own staff but I never feel pressured to choose between business and University. My education at Chichester has been very beneficial to the company and has opened my eyes to new possibilities.”
Cultural exhibitions, theatrical performances and literature expositions are among hundreds of specialist artistic events featured at the University of Chichester each year. The institution hosts an eclectic mix of showcases each week from visiting musicians, dancers and performers, alongside displays of work from its own 5,000-strong student community.
The Otter Gallery on the Chichester campus offers a superb space for Fine Art students and visiting artists to display their work, and in 2016 hosted the acclaimed [re]locate installation about the racially-motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Following a £2m investment in sports facilities a 100-metre athletics track and domed sports centre for tennis and netball have been at the Chichester campus. Inter-campus transport links both sites within 30 minutes.
Chichester has much to offer students with its Roman heritage, cobbled streets and beautiful green spaces, rustic pubs, chic bars and eating places – although many students chose to stay on campus for the evening in the spacious students’ union bars.
The University has begun to build a £50million Engineering and Digital Technology Park at its Bognor Regis Campus focusing on scientific, mathematical, and media courses and cutting-edge research. It is supported by Rolls Royce Motor Cars as well as Sony and Toshiba which will offer hands-on engineering workshops, fabrication laboratory and specialist 3D printers.