Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

University shows 1bn campus plan

Artist's impression of the development
Student numbers could rise by 50%

The University of Leicester has announced ambitious plans for a 1bn redevelopment of its campus on the south side of the city.

The building programme would be carried out over the next 20 years.

There are 10,000 full-time students currently at the university, but the new plans mean that number could rise by 5,000.

The development is expected to generate several hundred jobs over the next couple of decades.

Leicester University has risen to 12th in the league tables and university authorities hope the scheme will help to lift it into Britain's top 10.

No university can afford to be complacent about its ability to attract students
Director of estates Paul Goffin

Vice-chancellor Professor Bob Burgess said: "We intend to show that it is possible to be an elite institution without being elitist - something that no other high-ranking research-led university has achieved so far."

In addition, the project aims to boost the campus by offering 24-hour facilities, as well as redeveloping the student union and introducing public art activities.

Director of estates Paul Goffin said: "First impressions are extremely important.

"It has been said that prospective students form a firm opinion about a university within their first 15 minutes of arrival at an open day.

"No university can afford to be complacent about its ability to attract students."

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It is hoped it will become a top ten British University



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