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Universities Week joins in with Olympic celebrations – University of Reading

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Universities Week joins in with Olympic celebrations

Release Date 24 April 2012

Universities Week 2012

The contribution that our universities make to society is a key focus for this year's national Universities Week, during which the University of Reading will be hosting a number of events for the local community.

The week aims to highlight how universities benefit everyone, whether or not they have gone to university themselves, and this year's campaign, which begins on 30 April, will look at the way UK universities contribute to the Olympic movement, the sports industry and society as a whole. 

Public lecture: Olympics modern and ancient

During Universities Week and with less than 100 days to go until London 2012, the University of Reading is taking a step back in time to explore the history of the Games in its latest public lecture on Wednesday 2 May. Professor Barbara Goff will explore how the Olympics have developed over the years, and will question whether the modern Games bear any resemblance to their ancient forerunners.

Harris Garden Open Event

The University is giving the public an opportunity to explore the five-hectare Harris Garden, situated on the Whiteknights campus, on Sunday 29 April. Families will be able to relax and enjoy refreshments on the lawn, pose gardening questions to one of our expert horticulturalists or uncover some of the secrets of the garden's wildlife.

Stand-up Economics

The University is also pleased to welcome leading environmental economist from the University of Washington and self-styled 'stand-up economist', Dr Yoram Bauman as part of his 2012 'Gold Standard' world tour, for an evening of economics-related comedy on Monday 30 April.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: "Once again, we are delighted to be taking part in Universities Week. We are extremely proud of the value that the University of Reading adds to the culture and economy of the Thames Valley and beyond. The University trains the region's teachers and mental health professionals, runs museums, maintains green space, and provides public events for the community. The excellent sports facilities that have helped several of our current students and alumni reach Olympic standard in their field are also open to the local community to enjoy."

Universities Week will culminate with the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) VISA Outdoor Athletics Championships (OAC), a London 2012 test event as part of the London Prepares Series. Many of the University's students are competing in the Championships, which is being held in the Olympic stadium in East London. ­­­The University's women's rowing eight is also the current favourites to win the BUCS regatta, which is taking place in Nottingham at the end of the Week.

For details of the University's events visit


For University of Reading media enquiries please contact Becki Rassell, Communications Officer - 0118 378 8408 or  

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Notes to editors:

To find out more about Universities Week visit or join in with debate on Twitter #UniWeek

Universities Week 2012 is a partnership by Universities UK, the representative organisation for the UK's universities, and BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport), the national governing body for higher education sport in the UK. It is supported by universities across the UK and a wide range of organisations including Podium, the National Union of Students, Research Councils UK, the Universities Marketing Forum, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and many more. 

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