The City on the Hill
A Life of the University of Exeter
By Jeremy Black
In 1955 the former University College of the South West was granted a royal charter and became the University of Exeter. Its development over the the subsequent six decades is the subject of this book. This is the history of an institution that is also a community, a focus of teaching and research set within a particular environment but also part of the wider world.
Jeremy Black has drawn on a range of sources, from archive material to personal recollections of staff and students, past and present, to record and analyse the story of the university as it engaged with the need to expand and evolve, while responding to constant financial and political pressures. The result is a comprehensive portrait of this unique 'city on the hill'.
HRH The Queen
Foreword by The Vice-Chancellor
Method and Sources
The 1950s: The New University
Into the 1960: Major Expansion
The Later 1960s: Social Change
The Early 1970s: The Brakes Go On
The Later 1970s: A Divided University
The Early 1980s: Crisis for an Old OrderThe Later 1980s: Difficult Tears, Again
The Early 1990s: Change Starting
The Later 1990s: New Strategies
The Early 2000s: Restructuring
From the Mid-2000s to the Present: The Big Bang
Into the Future: The 2014 REF
Writing an account of a living institution isn’t easy, but as a professional historian Jeremy Black has looked dispassionately at the archive material available and distilled it into a readable narrative that captures the struggles and achievements of this great university. He has brought the story to life by including the opinions and memories of many staff and students, and I particularly like the juxtaposition of rigorously researched factual material with the candid, sometimes outspoken, comments of those who lived through the period in question, something that will no doubt bring back memories for many who have studied or taught here. This exceptional book will itself surely become a definitive part of the University of Exeter’s story.
Sir Tony Robinson
Jeremy Black is a leading scholar in the field of British history and the author of more than one hundred books. He has held the Established Chair in history at the University of Exeter since 1996.