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Autumn of 2013 will see a brand new Chemistry Department added to the university.
Comfortably seated in the top ten in the country according to The Complete University Guide, Lancaster already has a reputation for offering a top class education. However, it is in fact the only university in the top ten, except the London School of Economics, not currently offering an undergraduate degree in chemistry.
“It can only improve the faculty and enable the University to move from strength to strength”
Despite this fact, the Department of Science and Technology has multiple merits to speak of.
Recently, Professor Nick Hewitt of the Environment Centre was invited to Buckingham Palace in recognition of his input in the scientific community. The department is also constantly challenging research ideas, as Mary Smyth, Dean of Science and Technology, puts it: “we carry out excellent research, our teaching is research led,” and that the new challenging Chemistry department “will enhance our ability to address major scientific problems.”
The University made a tactical choice in 1999 to drop Chemistry due to a downturn in popularity as an A-Level subject and career. Nowadays, it seems the tone is somewhat different as the number of students taking A-Level Chemistry has risen from 36,110 in 2003 to 48,000 in 2011.
Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) Vice President (Academic) Alex Carlin supports the move, saying it will do much for the students at Lancaster, and recognises it as an important cross-disciplinary subject.
“Chemistry will address calls from research councils for cross disciplinary projects, bring in industry research funds, attract strong science students in a range of areas and offer international relationships in teaching and research” he said, going on to comment that “it can only improve the faculty and enable the University to move from strength to strength.”
The move was also “welcomed” by the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr. Robert Parker. As said in the recent press release “we believe that school-leavers and those advising them now recognise the opportunities in chemistry, which can provide a lucrative career,” adding that “this news from Lancaster University will be greeted enthusiastically by everybody at the RSC.”