University of Hertfordshire

University of Hertfordshire

Coat of Arms of University of Hertfordshire
Motto Quaere scientiam tota vita
Motto in English
Seek Knowledge Throughout Life
Type Public
Established 1952
Endowment £2.62 m (2015)[1]
Chancellor The Marquess of Salisbury
Vice-Chancellor Quintin McKellar[2]
Students 24,880 (2014/15)[3]
Undergraduates 19,220 (2014/15)[3]
Postgraduates 5,660 (2014/15)[3]
Location Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Campus 199.79 hectares,[4] Urban
Colours      Hertfordshire Cyan
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities
University Alliance

The University of Hertfordshire is a public research university in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The university is based largely in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Its antecedent institution, Hatfield Technical College, was founded in 1952 and was identified as one of 25 Colleges of Technology in the United Kingdom in 1959.[6] In 1992, Hatfield Polytechnic was granted university status by the British government and subsequently renamed University of Hertfordshire. From the time it was awarded university status, Hertfordshire's enrolment has steadily increased. As of 2016, it has 25,130 students[7] and 2,700 staff, 812 of which are academic members of staff.[8] It has more than 5,200 international students and a global network of more than 160,000 alumni. Hertfordshire is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities and University Alliance. The university has an annual turnover of £234M.[9]

The University's academic activities are organised into 10 schools, within which there are around 50 academic departments and 24 research centres.[10] The university has a unique history in training aerospace engineers. The university offers courses in architecture, astronomy, business, computing, education, engineering, humanities, natural sciences, pharmacy and social sciences. Hertfordshire is recognised as internationally excellent and world leading for research in the field of History.[11]

The University of Hertfordshire is recognised as one Hertfordshire's largest employers with over 2,700 staff and a turnover of more than £235 million. With a student community of over 25,130 including more than 5,200 international students that together represent 100 countries, the university exhibits an international character. It also has a global network of over 165,000 alumni.[12] It has good transport links to the rest of the UK, with London only 24 minutes by train (20 miles), and the University's own bus company Uno providing student transport.[13]

The University of Hertfordshire is recognised for its excellent teaching and focus on employability of its graduates.[14][15] It takes a flexible approach to learning, teaching and research, offering e-learning and part-time study options, while maintaining high academic standards through QAA and multiple professional accreditations.[16] The creative and entrepreneurial environment is enhanced by close links with business and professions, providing great opportunities for work placements and travel.[17] Its business school is among the distinguished select group in the world who holds multiple accreditation from AMBA, EPAS, CMI,CIPD and CIM,[18] which reflects exceptional quality in business education. It is recognised by the Times Higher Education as one of the top 20 per cent of institutions in the world based on international outlook as well as among the top 100 universities under 50 in the world.[19]



Hatfield Technical College ca 1952

The original campus for the University was at Roe Green in Hatfield, where it was founded as a technical college. The Gape family of St Michael's Manor in St Albans owned the land at Roe Green from the late 17th century. In the 1920s they sold it to Hill, a farmer, who then sold it to Alan Butler, chairman of the de Havilland Aircraft Company who lived at Beech Farm nearby. In 1944 he donated 90 acres (36 hectares) of land at Roe Green to be used for educational purposes.[20]

In 1946 the Ministry of Education approved plans for a technical college and secondary technical school on the site. In 1948 building commenced. The first principal W.A.J Chapman started on 1 January 1949 and in spring 1952 the 33 full-time and 66 part-time teachers were appointed. Hatfield Technical College opened with 1,738 students in September 1952 and in December officially opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. It was the first large technical college to be established in England after the war.[21] Students attended the college on part-time or full-time courses.[22]

Hatfield Polytechnic ca 1969

In 1958 it was renamed Hatfield College of Technology and by 1960 offered four-year sandwich diplomas in technology. In 1961 it was designated a regional college in England and Wales by the Ministry of Education. The governors purchased a digital computer at a cost of £29,201 in 1962 so that a computer science degree could be set up. The Council for National Academic Awards was formed in 1965 and Hatfield College was recognised for 13 honours degree courses.[22]

Sir Norman Lindop became the Principal of the College of Technology in 1966. A year later L.E. Haines was made Chair of Governors, but died shortly afterwards and was replaced by F. Bramston Austin. In the same year Bayfordbury is acquired for the college.[23] The following year, L. E. Haines is appointed Chair of Governors, but dies shortly after appointment and is replaced by F. Bramston Austin. It was also in 1967 that Bayfordbury was acquired for the institution.[24]

20th century

Sir Geoffrey De Havilland with a model of his 'Comet' jet airliner

In 1969 Hatfield College of Technology became Hatfield Polytechnic, offering honours degree courses in technology. The next year an observatory was built on the Bayfordbury Campus. Wall Hall and Balls Park Teacher Training Colleges merged in 1976 to become Hertfordshire College of Higher Education. In the same year Hatfield Polytechnic took over Balls Park. By 1977 more than ten per cent of the 4000 came from more than forty different countries. The Students' Union Social Centre opened in 1977.[23]

In 1982 John Illston succeeded Sir Norman Lindop as the director. A sports hall was built on the Hatfield Campus in 1984 and the number of students in that year was more than 5000. The number of staff, in the same year, had increased to 824.[23]

Neil Buxton became its director in 1987. The following year, Sir Ron Dearing and Buxton signed an agreement that gave the polytechnic accreditation from the Council for National Academic Awards. Hatfield was one of only 21 polytechnics, colleges and Scottish Central institutions to be accredited at the time. Hatfield was also, in that year, one of eight polytechnics accredited for research degrees. In 1989 it was given corporate status.[23]

After John Major announced in 1991 that polytechnics were to be abolished, Hatfield Polytechnic announced its intention to apply for university status. In 1992 it became the University of Hertfordshire and Sir Brian Corby became the first Chancellor.[25] It was the first university to run a bus company by making Uno bus public. The Hertfordshire College of Health Care and Nursing Studies and the Barnet College of Nursing and Midwifery merged with the university in 1993.[23]

In 1994 the St Albans Cathedral was chosen to hold the university's graduation ceremonies. The same year saw the first publication of league tables and Hertfordshire was named as the top new university. In 1995 its law school moved to St Albans. Sir Ian MacLaurin was appointed chancellor in 1996 and in 1997 the Learning Resource Centre opened.[23]

21st century

In 2000, Olivia de Havilland, cousin of Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, visited the university to mark the inauguration of a project to build a new campus named after her cousin. The university's 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2002, by which time it had 21,695 students. In 2003 Tim Wilson succeeded Neil Buxton as vice-chancellor and the de Havilland campus opened.[23]

Hertfordshire Sports Village also opened in 2003.[26] In 2005 the university launched the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Postgraduate Medical School and School of Pharmacy to enhance medical education, training and research in the region.[27] In 2006 the University opened its School of Film, Music and Media. The university opened the MacLaurin building in 2007, named in honour of its former chancellor Lord MacLaurin followed by a new law building in 2011.[28] During this period, Hertfordshire became a lead academic sponsor of Elstree University Technical College, a university technical college which opened in September 2013.[29] Hertfordshire is also the academic sponsor of Watford University Technical College[30]

Main Building at de Havilland Campus

In 2008 the university was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education University of the Year Award. In 2009 and 2010 it was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award. In 2010, Tim Wilson announced his intention to retire as vice-chancellor after more than 19 years at the university.[23]

In 2011, Quintin McKellar replaced Tim Wilson as Vice-Chancellor of the University. Also on the same year, the Hatfield Beacon is restored and repositioned at the new Law School site. Meanwhile, in the following year, the Kaspar project received a £180,000 donation from an international grant making foundation, which was used to further the University's research into the use of robotics to support the social development of children with autism.[31]

In 2015, Hertfordshire has adopted a policy of naming its buildings after people or organisations with a significant local or regional impact. These include Kate Bellingham, British engineer and television presenter and Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler's Wells Theatre. All of the halls are being named after influential alumni who the University feels represent the attributes of Hertfordshire graduates. In these two cases, the halls were named in recognition of Bellingham and Spalding's attributes of, intellectual depth and adaptability and professionalism, employability and enterprise.[32] On the same year, University of Hertfordshire has been announced as one of the first recipients of the Race Equality Charter which is an initiative that recognises excellence in advancing racial equality in higher education. The charter was launched by the Equality Challenge Unit at the start of the 2015 academic year.[33] The other recipients were: De Montfort University, King's College London, Kingston University, Staffordshire University, University College London, University of Manchester and Royal Holloway, University of London.[33]

Organisation and administration

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire was established as an independent Higher Education Corporation in 1989 under the terms of the Education Reform Act (1989). The institution is an exempt charity.[34] The board of governors has responsibility for running the university, while the academic board is responsible for academic quality and standards, academic policies, research and scholarship. The vice-chancellor oversees its day-to-day running. The current chancellor is Robert Gascoyne-Cecil and the current vice-chancellor is Quintin McKellar.[35]

The university runs on a three-term calendar in which the academic year is divided into three terms: Autumn (September–December), Spring (January–April), and Summer(April–May).[36] Full-time undergraduate students take three to four courses every year for approximately eleven weeks before their quarterly academic breaks. The school year typically begins in late September and ends in mid-May.[36]

It is recognised as one of the Hertfordshire's largest employers with over 2,700 staff and a turnover of more than £235 million. With a student community of over 24,800 including more than 4,100 international students from over 100 different countries, the University has a global network of over 165,000 alumni.[37]

There is a strong focus on the employability of graduates and students are provided with the knowledge, practical skills and experience that employers look for, giving them the best chance of career success. The Enterprise team provides students and graduates with support and advice to help turn their business and not-for-profit ideas into established and successful ventures.[38]


The University offers over 800 undergraduate, postgraduate, CPD, online distance learning and short courses[39] in its 11 schools of study, within which there are around 50 academic departments and 24 research centres.[10]


Being a Higher Education Corporation created by the 1988 Education Reform Act as amended by the 1992 Act, the University of Hertfordshire is an exempt charity as defined under the various Charities Acts.[40]

The University of Hertfordshire has due regard to the Charity Commission's guidance on the reporting of public benefit, and particularly its supplementary guidance on the advancement of education, in accordance with the requirements of HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as the principal regulator of English higher education institutions under the Charities Act 2006.[40]

The University has entered an agreement with the Office of Fair Access (OFFA) to demonstrate that access to programmes of full-time undergraduate education should not be limited on grounds of individual financial circumstances.[40]

Affiliations and memberships

Hertfordshire is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities which is the representative body of 535 universities from 37 Commonwealth countries.[41] It is the world's first and oldest international university network, established in 1913. It is also a member of University Alliance, a network of British universities which was formed in 2006, adopting the name in 2007. University Alliance is a group of 'business engaged' universities that claim to drive innovation and enterprise growth[42] through research[43] and teaching.[44] Its MBA programme is affiliated with Association of MBAs, the only global MBA-specific Accreditation and Membership Organisation.


The University is primarily based on two campuses, College Lane and de Havilland. It owns a BioPark facility, a science park managed by Exemplas on behalf of the University. It also provides 6,000 square metres of laboratory and office space to life science and health technology businesses. As of 2014, there are currently 27 permanent and virtual tenants.[9]

Additionally, a pool and climbing wall are among its sports facilities. It has also the Weston auditorium, for arts events, two art galleries and owns one of the highly recognised teaching observatories in the United Kingdom.[45]

College Lane Campus

The main site of the university remains the College Lane campus, which houses the original Hatfield Technical College building. Notable among the buildings in this campus is the university's Learning Resource Centre, a combined library and computer centre.[46] There is also a substantial collection of halls of residence and student houses, and the University of Hertfordshire Students' Union is headquartered at College Lane campus. The College Lane campus is also the location of Hertfordshire International College, which is part of the Navitas group, providing a direct pathway for international students to the University.[47] The Hertfordshire Intensive Care & Emergency Simulation Centre is also located at College Lane. A brand new £40-m state of the art Science Building has recently opened at College Lane. This purpose built facility will primarily offer teaching laboratories, a range of research laboratories and a café.[48]

de Havilland Campus

The £120-million de Havilland campus opened in September 2003 and is situated within 15 minutes walk of College Lane, and is built on a former British Aerospace site. This campus also houses its own Learning Resource Centre, a combined library and computer centre.[26] Hertfordshire Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool, squash courts is also on this site. The large Weston Auditiorium is present on the de Havilland campus, adjacent to the Learn Resource Centre. The auditorium has a capacity of 450 and can host talks both by university lectures for students and for guest lecturers for guests and students, music and films events and dance events.[49] The campus also contains 11 halls of residence;[50] named after local towns and villages. Ashwell and Welwyn are examples of the buildings with the towns being present in Hertfordshire. The campus is mostly themed around law and business, having its business school located on the campus as well as its law school. A full scale, mocked up court room is present, being available for use for students studying a law degree.

Bayfordbury Campus

A third 50-hectare site in Bayfordbury houses the university's astronomical and atmospheric physics remote sensing observatory,[51] Regional Science Learning Centre,[52] field stations for biology and geography programmes.[53]

Meridian House

Home to some Schools within the Health and Human Faculty, this building is located on the edge of Hatfield town centre, off College Lane campus.[54] Meridian House is the location of eight clinical skills laboratories for nursing and midwifery programmes of the University. Skills facilities and ambulances for paramedic training are also situated at Meridian House, aside from counselling programme and staff offices.[55]


University symbols

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans is the location of the University's annual award ceremonies.

Academic dress

The University of Hertfordshire prescribes academic dress for its members. In accordance with tradition, Hertfordshire's academic dress consists of a gown, a cap and a hood. The black gown and square cap familiar to all readers of the Beano had evolved into their present form in England by the end of the Reformation. The hood, which is now the distinctive mark of a university-level qualification, is a medieval in origin, and was originally functional.[56]

Ceremonial mace

The ceremonial mace was produced in 1999 by craftsman Martyn Pugh, a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, member of the British Jewellers Association and a Founder Member of the Association of British Designer Silversmiths.[57] Its design supposedly symbolises the University's origins, expertise and associations. Its shape is inspired by the shape of an aeroplane wing symbolising the university's origin in the aviation industry. The head of the mace is engraved with zodiac symbols representing the university's contribution to astronomy and also contains the DNA double helix representing the biological sciences and microprocessor chips representing information and communications technology.[58]

Coat of arms

The University's coat of arms was granted in 1992. The shield is charged with an oak tree taken from the coat of arms of the former Hatfield Rural District, the constellation Perseus (containing the binary star Algol) and a representation of the letter "H" recalling the emblem of the former Hatfield Polytechnic. The crest, a Phoenix rising from an astral crown, represents the University's evolution from a technical college training apprentices for the aviation industry. The two harts supporting the shield represent the county of Hertfordshire, with the covered cups referring to A.S. Butler, who donated the land upon which the original campus was built. A scroll bears the motto Seek Knowledge Throughout Life.[59]

University logo

The standard University logo comprises the University name and the UH symbol in a horizontal panel.[60] There is an exclusion zone equivalent to the height of the H in the logo above, below and to the right of the logo. The University have created an endorsed version of the logo to be used where legibility is an issue with the standard logo. It comprises just the University name in a horizontal panel.[5] Although the University brands its logo in various colours, the standard colour is Hertfordshire Cyan.[60]


Academic reputation

More than 50 per cent of Hertfordshire's academic staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, recognising their commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning. The University's School of Pharmacy has been awarded full Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain accreditation. The University of Hertfordshire is recognised as one of the top twenty universities in the world to study animation.[61] According to Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2012–13 93.2 per cent of its full-time, first degree UK graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating.[48] Four of the University's schools achieved scores of 98 per cent: physics; astronomy and mathematics; health and social work; law and education. The survey, conducted by the UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), revealed in its UK Performance Indicators for Employment 2013/14 that the University of Hertfordshire has climbed 30 places in the past year and is now ranked 35th out of 152 universities in the UK. Over the past two years it has risen an impressive 75 places in the rankings. Hertfordshire is also ranked in the top two universities in the east of England region for employability, second only to Cambridge.[62] In 2015, it has been revealed by the Times Higher Education that the University of Hertfordshire ranks 49th among the best British universities chosen by major employers.[63]

Current rankings

(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2017, national)
The Guardian[69]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[70]
(2017, national)

University of Hertfordshire ranks 501–600 among world universities by Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015. In another university ranking published by Times Higher Education (THE 100 Under 50 universities 2015), a global ranking of the top 100 world universities under 50 years old, University of Hertfordshire was placed 71st.[71] In another league table released by Times Higher Education in January 2015, Hertfordshire ranks 84th in the top 100 most international universities in the world.[72] The rankings are based on excellence across teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.[73]

In the Guardian University Guide 2016 the university ranks 94 out of 116 UK universities.[73] The university is currently ranked 76th out of 127, by the Sunday Times University Guide, for modern university rankings.

According to the National Student Survey the University of Hertfordshire has a score of 82 out of 100, for overall student satisfaction. This is below the national average of 85 out of 100.[74] In spite of this, Hertforshire continuously strive to improve students' experience through developing student engagement.[75] The University of Hertfordshire was awarded Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2010 by the Times Higher Education.[76] In September 2015, it has been revealed by Complete University Guide that University of Hertfordshire has the lowest recorded 'student-relevant' crimes in the East of England. It is the fourth year the university has had the lowest rate of recorded crime in the East of England.[77]


The last Quality Assurance Agency institutional audit for the University was in March 2009. The outcome was that 'confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards of the awards that it offers'.[6]

According to the complaint statistics, from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, the university issued 69 completion of procedures letters in relation to student complaints, in 2013. This is below the band medium of 81, possibly suggesting greater student satisfaction when compared to university's of a similar size.[78] The OIA received 22 complaints in 2013. This is above the band medium of 18.5, possibly suggesting that more students are dissatisfied with the outcome of internal complaints procedure's, compared to university's of a similar size.[78]

The university has also never been named in an OIA annual report for a shortfall in practice, or a failure to comply with a recommendation set by the Adjudicator.


The University has three research institutes: Health and Human Sciences Research Institute; Science and Technology Research Institute; Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute. Also an expanding research profile with key strengths in areas of nursing, psychology, history, philosophy, physics and computer science.[79] Over 650 research students at the University enjoy benefits such as the Doctoral College which helps with all key milestones of the research degree process for students and their supervisors. It also provides research training for students and staff[79] The University's research impact for history when compared to all UK universities was rated the best and its quality of history research topped all other University Alliance Group universities.[79] The University also did particularly well in Nursing which achieved 82% 3 and 4 star ratings and Philosophy which made a huge leap from 35% of its research being awarded 3 and 4 star ratings in 2008 to 66% in 2015.[79] Over 650 research students at the University enjoy benefits such as the Doctoral College which helps with all key milestones of the research degree process for students and their supervisors. It also provides research training for students and staff.[80] Hertfordshire archives it research through University of Hertfordshire Research Archive (UHRA), a showcase of the research produced by the University of Hertfordshire. Research in UHRA can be viewed and downloaded freely by researchers and students all over the world.[81]

HR Excellence in Research

In recognition of development activities related to research careers and the position of researchers at the University, the European Commission awarded University of Hertfordshire the right to use the HR Excellence in Research logo in spring 2010.[79][82] The logo demonstrates that the working conditions and career opportunities of research staff at University of Hertfordshire comply with recommendations given by the European Commission in The European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The Charter & Code aim to give equal rights and obligations to individual researchers throughout Europe, therefore improving mobility and working conditions as well as reinforcing research and development across Europe.[82] The award represents independent acknowledgement of the policies, working practices and processes in place to ensure researchers at Hertfordshire are equipped to start their research effectively, work in a supportive and stimulating environment, and access the training and development they need to be successful in their work and career.[82]

Research Excellence Framework

Over 55 per cent of the University's research has been rated 'world leading' and 'internationally excellent' in the UK Government's 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) announced last 18 December 2014. Fifty seven percent of the University's research submissions achieved a 4 or 3 star rating. This is an increase of 11% when compared to the results of assessment in 2008.[83] In 2014, it claimed the top impact for History for the results of REF, indicating that all of its submission in History is deemed 'outstanding'.[84]


The University of Hertfordshire houses art collection, the Bayfordbury Observatory, Crush Radio, Kaspar, Park and Ride among its facilities. In an interview with the Times Higher Education, Andrew May, the Director of Estates, Hospitality and Contract Services at the University of Hertfordshire has asserted that what the University aims to do was to use the estates strategy as the delivery vehicle for driving corporate and cultural change.[85] In 1992, it established University of Hertfordshire Press, whose first publication was a book celebrating the institution's change in status from polytechnic to university.

Art collection

Ben Nicholson, British painter of abstract compositions whose works is included on the University of Hertfordshire art collection.

The University of Hertfordshire holds over 450 artworks in its art collection. The ethos of the UH Art Collection is to present modern and contemporary art in places where people study, work and visit. This reflects the University of Hertfordshire's determination to provide not only an attractive education setting but also one which will inform, enlighten and enhance the life of its students, staff and the local community.[86] The UH Art Collection was established in 1952, as part of Hertfordshire Country Council's commitment to the post-war programme. The collection has a diverse portfolio including photography, textile, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media and works by Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Andy Goldsworthy, Alan Davie, and Diane MacLean.[86]

Bayfordbury Observatory

Situated approximately 6 miles (10 kilometres) from the main campus in Hatfield, Bayfordbury Observatory is one of the astronomical teaching observatories in the United Kingdom. The observatory has formed an integral part of the University of Hertfordshire's astronomy-related degree programmes since it opened in 1970 and is used by students from the first week of their degree through to their final year, when it can also be used for their final year projects.[87] The Bayfordbury observatory also houses a flight simulator, wind tunnels and a simulated intensive care unit,[88] and is regarded as one of the best teaching observatories in the UK.[89]

The seven optical telescopes at Bayfordbury campus allow students to observe detailed images of objects in space. They can be equipped with a variety of research-grade CCD cameras, high resolution spectrographs or high frame-rate video cameras. Moreover, the five newest telescopes are also able to be operated remotely, and students and staff can request observations via the internet and have images taken automatically when the weather allows. The 4.5-metre radio telescope and 3-dish 115-metre baseline interferometer allow a completely different view of the universe. These are connected to 21 cm line receivers, to detect the neutral hydrogen in the galaxy and extragalactic radio sources.[87]

Crush Radio

Crush Radio (formally known as Campus Radio Hatfield [CRH] CRUSH and more recently, Crush 1278) is the student radio station of the University of Hertfordshire.[90] Crush is run by students of the university along with amateurs from around the surrounding areas. Crush was the first campus radio, often called student radio, station in the UK. Crush was founded in 1960 under the name of CRH (Campus Radio Hatfield). After starting as a, so called, "pirate radio station" CRH was turned into a University Society of the University of Hertfordshire and was renamed Crush 1278 for it broadcast on 1278AM frequency. As Crush became more accessible, via the internet, the name was changed again to Crush Radio. In 2009 Crush as a society merged with the other media societies of the Students union and the University of Hertfordshire as one media society, though Crush still uses its own website and broadcasts over 1278AM frequency, however it stopped broadcasting on 1278AM after the move in September 2009, but restarted commencing February 2011. Crush Radio has been broadcasting since 1960. It broadcasts on AM frequency (1278) and also streams online.[91]


Kaspar, a social robot, has been designed by the University of Hertfordshire's Adaptive Systems Research Group (ASRG). The Kaspar project began in 2005, drawing upon previous researches to develop a social robot for engaging autistic children in a variety of play scenarios.The aim was to research whether interacting and communicating with Kaspar would help children with autism interact and communicate more easily with people. This is important because there is mounting evidence that early intervention for children with autism may change the child's development trajectory. Kaspar is a research tool with programmed responses adapted to be used by an autistic child in a safe, non-judgemental environment.[92] The Kaspar research has shown that robots may provide a safe and predictable tool for children with autism, that enables the children to learn social interaction and communication skills, addressing specific therapeutic and educational objectives (for example, being able to engage in direct eye-contact or shared eye-gaze), in an enjoyable play context.[93]

Park and Ride

Hertfordshire operates a regular shuttle bus service, Park and Ride, which connects 800 parking spaces at Angerland Common with its College Lane and de Havilland Campus facilities. The scheme started in 2006, when it is initially provided the 700-car facility at Angerland Common, off South Way, Hatfield, in a bid to get cars off surrounding roads.

Since 2006, University plans on opening a second venue, with 150 spaces, at the south side car park at Stanborough Lakes in Welwyn Garden City.[94]

Uno bus

Main article: Uno (bus company)
Uno buses at St Albans in July 2010

Uno (formerly UniversityBus) is a bus service operated by the University of Hertfordshire,[95] serving members of the general public, and also its own students and staff, at a discounted rate. In 1992, the University of Hertfordshire wanted to create and provide a bus service to and from the University. Uno, previously known as UniversityBus, was created to provide student transport to the University from local areas; improve east-west travel across the county of Hertfordshire;[96] and, to create new links between Hertfordshire and North London.

UniversityBus became Uno in 2005, a bus service not only for University staff and students but also the entire Hertfordshire community. The name 'Uno' stems from the University's desire for this bus service to become everyone's number one choice for travel. It provides student transport to the expanding university from local areas as well as improving east-west travel across Hertfordshire and has opened up new links from North London. Services have expanded rapidly as the University has closed outlying sites at Watford and Hertford and developed the new de Havilland Campus on the site of the former Hatfield Aerodrome. Other developments on this site, including business premises for companies such as Veolia, DHL and T-mobile have also provided passengers. Uno also operate urban bus networks in St Albans and Northampton, as well as a network of routes between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Flitwick for Cranfield University.[95]

During term time, Uno bus runs every 7–8 minutes. It is located off Junction 2 of the A1(M) on Southway (A1001), the parking area is only 5 minutes from the M25 and 10 minutes from the M1. One major complaint from its students is that one has to pay the exact amount of the fare since no change is given.[97]

Student life

Logo of Hertfordshire Students' Union

The main source of nightlife is the Forum, which offers live entertainment and club facilities for the region of Hertfordshire. With a total capacity of 2,000, the Forum houses three entertainment spaces, a restaurant, a café, multiple bars and onsite parking. The 'local pub' on campus, the revamped Ele house, holds seats, big screen TVs, and pool tables providing a convenient location to socialise.[80] Hertfordshire Students' Union (HSU) is the Students' Union of the University of Hertfordshire.[98] The Students' Union Social Centre was opened in 1977.[23] The Hatfield Technical College's management encouraged the establishment of a Student Representative Council (SRC) in 1982, to create a sense of unity and expand the social activities of its day students. The SRC was affiliated to the National Union of Students but initially restricted itself largely to social activities. After 1988 it began to campaign on issues such as improvements to the canteen, lifting the ban on religious or political activity within the then Hatfield Polytechnic, and for a formal students' union. The sectarian ban was finally lifted in 1992 and a Union granted in 1995. However, the canteen continued to be an issue throughout the 2000s. The Students' Union at the University of Hertfordshire represents all students in the university by organising campus activities and running different clubs and societies, from sports to entertainment.[48]

Public events

University of Hertfordshire has a rich history in public events, lectures, and seminars that dates back to its antecedent institution, Hatfield Technical College. Often, several notable figures, authors, researchers, inventors, and leaders would take to the stage of Weston Auditorium before an audience (made of staff, students, and the general public). With its technical facilities and 450 seating capacity, the auditorium stages performing arts events throughout the year, including film, music, theatre and dance.[99] The essence of the University of Hertfordshire's public events is to be a 'good neighbour' to those living and working in Hertfordshire. We aim to be seen as a valued resource for local people and organisations; to be at the heart of key local strategic partnerships; and to engage with and be valued by all parts of our community.[100] In September 2015, in a bid to share ideas with the public and gain new perspectives, academics from University of Hertfordshire have collaborated with Café Scientifique,[101] a grassroots public science initiative currently running in more than 40 towns across the United Kingdom and cities in other countries. At least twelve cafés outside the UK are organised by the British Council alone. Similar but independent events have also sprung up in many cities using variations of the "Café Scientifique" or "Science Café" monikers. The event was held at Red Lion, a pub at Hatfield.

Partner institutions

The university holds a number of formal links with top-ranking institutions from around the world to share teaching and research and facilitate staff and student exchanges.[102]

Aside from its international partners, the University has also strong regional agenda and a number of partner institutions in the region: Elstree University Technical College a new university technical college located in Borehamwood; The Watford UTC, a 14–19 University Technical College for the Watford area.[103] The UTC specialises in Event Management and Computer Sciences.

Notable alumni

Hertfordshire has more than 5,200 international students and a global network of more than 160,000 alumni. Prominent alumni of the university and its predecessor organisations include government ministers, ambassadors, judges, celebrities, business people, athletes who have been influential in the fields of science, literature, music, sport, architecture and the visual arts. A more extensive list is given below.

Arts, science and academia

Government, politics and society

Business and finance

Media and entertainment

Sports and athletics

See also


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External links

Coordinates: 51°45′12″N 0°14′38″W / 51.75333°N 0.24389°W / 51.75333; -0.24389

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