The Expanding University

Well, I’m a bit busy today – despite the fact that it’s a weekend – so I’m just going to take the opportunity post here  a news item from my employer which has already been posted on the University of Sussex website. 


The School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) will have 63 academics at the start of the 2013-14 academic year – an increase of 58 per cent from February, when only 40 were in post.

The expansion follows a very successful few years for the School, during which the number of students starting degrees in Physics and Astronomy at Sussex has grown almost threefold.

The department has also climbed to 5th in The Times Good University Guide 2013 and Mathematics was ranked in the top 10 for academic support in the 2012 National Student Survey (NSS).

From September, Physics and Astronomy will have 40 academics, up from 25 in February. There are 12 new posts as well as three replacements, including the arrival in February of Professor Peter Coles, who replaced the late Professor David Axon as Head of School.

Mathematics is increasing from 15 academics to 23, with five of these arrivals being new positions. In particular, three new professors will join the Department this year.

Professor Coles says that overseeing this expansion has been his main focus since returning to Sussex. He says: “When I arrived, plans were already under way to get new people in and I knew this had to be my priority in my first few months as Head of MPS.

“We had an incredibly high calibre of applicants for all the posts and, in many cases, have been able to appoint more than one person. For one of the posts in Astronomy, the shortlist was so strong that we have actually appointed four excellent academics in that area. We couldn’t miss that opportunity.

“Our three  new chairs in Mathematics are joining us from Denmark, Greece and Italy, bolstering the School’s international outlook.

“We have been strategic in our appointments to encourage growth into new areas for us, such as probability and stochastic modelling on the Mathematics side, and materials-based experimental research on the Physics side. We anticipate further strategic expansion in these areas in the near future.

“These appointments also represent a step towards more interdisciplinarity and better crossover between the two departments within the School, and indeed with other schools such as Life Sciences, developing still further the University’s traditional strength in interdisciplinary research.

“And, most importantly of all, students in MPS will benefit from more study choices and smaller class sizes.”

One Response to “The Expanding University”

  1. […] ranking won’t be easy, but we’re certainly going to give it a go for next year, and our influx of new staff will certainly […]

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