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Excitement builds as Reading looks forward to new academic year – University of Reading

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Excitement builds as Reading looks forward to new academic year

Release Date 25 September 2009

The start of October is always an exciting time for the University of Reading. In the next week or so, students return to the campus and the place is suddenly alive with the buzz of excitement and expectation.

Each year, Reading helps educate several thousands of talented students, many of whom go on to achieve great things. The University is an attractive place to study for many reasons. Reading is recognised internationally for its work and is consistently ranked in the list of the world's top 200 universities. Reading also has international centres of excellence in areas such as agriculture and biological and physical sciences. It also leads the way in foodbioscience and climate change research.

Reading works closely with local business, promoting innovation and problem-solving as well as providing highly-educated graduates to the regional labour market. Approximately one-quarter of Reading students stay in the Thames Valley region after graduating.

The University has a large and successful role in the community, from the positive impact of students to its substantial economic value to the local area. According to a 2006 independent study, the University is worth approximately £600 millions annually to the Reading region.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading Professor Gordon Marshall said: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming our students back to campus. It is an exciting time for those returning to continue their studies and of course for our 3000 plus 1st year students. We wish them all well and hope they enjoy their time with us, and work hard to earn what is a much sought after University of Reading degree."

The new influx of students obviously affects those living in the University area and Reading works extremely hard to make their impact a positive one. In conjunction with the Students' Union, the University has introduced several initiatives to make students aware of their responsibility in the community.

Last week a University team, including student volunteers and local residents, delivered 'Up Our Street' packs to over 800 student households. These packs welcome students to the area, inform them about waste management, personal and household security and encourage considerate neighbourly behaviour.

Stuart Henderson, local resident and Vice-Chair of Redlands/University Neighbourhood Action Group was part of the delivery team. He said: "This initiative is very important. It helps students realise that they are part of the community and the responsibilities that brings, as well encouraging them to introduce themselves to their neighbours. Keeping your refuse to a minimum and being considerate about noise is important to all of us in the community."

Reading students make a real difference in schools through their volunteer work. Last year, over 200 University of Reading community-spirited students volunteered in 41 local schools. Every year these generous helpers maintain the University's longstanding and proud tradition of supporting the community.

In addition, the University offers many cultural, social and recreational opportunities for all ages through its wide range of activities and events, many of which are free. This includes the annual Public Lecture Series delivered in the Palmer Lecture Theatre on the University's Whiteknights campus. The series of six free talks sees University of Reading experts share their knowledge with the public in a series of evening lectures, which cover diverse and varied topics in an accessible and interesting way.

The first lecture is on Tuesday 6 October and will examine the impact of social networking and collaboration in consumer-to-consumer marketing. For more information please visit www.reading.ac.uk/publiclectureseries

Ends

For all media enquiries please contact James Barr, University of Reading Press Officer on 0118 378 7115 or by email on j.w.barr@reading.ac.uk

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