University of Southampton
History and museums
The University of Southampton (abbreviated as Soton in post-nominal letters) is a public research university located in Southampton, England. The origins of the university date back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 following a legacy to the Corporation of Southampton by Henry Robinson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted a Royal Charter to give the University of Southampton full university status.
The university has seven teaching campuses. The main campus is located in the Highfield area of Southampton and is supplemented by four other campuses within the city: Avenue Campus housing the Faculty of Humanities, the National Oceanography Centre housing courses in Ocean and Earth Sciences, Southampton General Hospital offering courses in Medicine and Health Sciences, and Boldrewood Campus an engineering and maritime technology campus housing also the university's strategic ally Lloyd's Register. In addition, the university operates a School of Art based in nearby Winchester and an international branch in Malaysia offering courses in Engineering. Each campus is equipped with its own library facilities.
The University of Southampton currently has 16,150 undergraduate and 7,645 postgraduate students, making it the largest university by higher education students in the South East region. The University of Southampton Students' Union, provides support, representation and social activities for the students ranging from involvement in the Union's four media outlets to any of the 200 affiliated societies and 80 sports. The university owns and operates a sports ground at nearby Wide Lane for use by students and also operates a sports centre on the main campus.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework Southampton was ranked 8th for research intensity. Besides being recognised as one of the leading research universities in the UK, Southampton has also achieved consistently high scores for its teaching and learning activities. It additionally has one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities in Britain, and is regularly ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. As of 2015 Southampton is one of the few universities to achieve a top 20 UK position in the most established national and international rankings (along Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, UCL, LSE and Warwick). In the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report, Southampton is placed in the top 10 of British Universities. It is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities in Britain and a member of the European University Association, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and is an accredited institution of the Worldwide Universities Network.
The University of Southampton has its origin as the Hartley Institution which was formed in 1862 from a benefaction by Henry Robinson Hartley (1777–1850). Hartley had inherited a fortune from two generations of successful wine merchants. At his death in 1850, he left a bequest of £103,000 to the Southampton Corporation for the study and advancement of the sciences in his property on Southampton's High Street, in the city centre.
Hartley was an eccentric straggler, who had little liking of the new age docks and railways in Southampton. He did not desire to create a college for many (as formed at similar time in other English industrial towns and commercial ports) but a cultural centre for Southampton's intellectual elite. After lengthy legal challenges to the Bequest, and a public debate as to how best interpret the language of his Will, the Southampton Corporation choose to create the Institute (rather than a more widely accessible college, that some public figures had lobbied for).
On 15 October 1862, the Hartley Institute was opened by the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston in a major civic occasion which exceeded in splendor anything that anyone in the town could remember. After initial years of financial struggle, the Hartley Institute became the Hartley College in 1883. This move was followed by increasing numbers of students, teaching staff, an expansion of the facilities and registered lodgings for students.
In 1902, the Hartley College became the Hartley University college, a degree awarding branch of the University of London. This was after inspection of the teaching and finances by the University College Grants Committee, and donations from Council members (including William Darwin the then Treasurer). An increase in student numbers in the following years motivated fund raising efforts to move the college to greenfield land around Back Lane (now University Road) in the Highfield area of Southampton. On 20 June 1914, Viscount Haldane opened the new site of the renamed Southampton University College. However, the outbreak of the First World War six weeks later meant no lectures could take place there, as the buildings were handed over by the college authorities for use as a military hospital. To cope with the volume of casualties, wooden huts were erected at the rear of the building. These were donated to university by the War Office after the end of fighting, in time for the transfer from the high street premises in 1920. At this time, Highfield Hall, a former country house and overlooking Southampton Common, for which a lease had earlier been secured, commenced use as a halls of residence for female students. South Hill, on what is now the Glen Eyre Halls Complex was also acquired, along with South Stoneham House to house male students.
Further expansions through the 1920s and 1930s was made possible through private donors, such as the two daughters of Edward Turner Sims for the construction of the university library, and from the people of Southampton, enabling new buildings on both sides of University Road. During World War II the university suffered damage in the Southampton Blitz with bombs landing on the campus and its halls of residence. The college decided against evacuation, instead expanding its Engineering Department, School of Navigation and developing a new School of Radio Telegraphy. Halls of residence were also used to house Polish, French and American troops. After the war, departments such as Electronics grew under the influence of Erich Zepler and the Institute of Sound and Vibration was established.
On 29 April 1952, Queen Elizabeth II granted the University of Southampton a Royal Charter, the first to be given to a university during her reign, which enabled it to award degrees. Six faculties were created: Arts, Science, Engineering, Economics, Education and Law. The first University of Southampton degrees were awarded on 4 July 1953, following the appointment of the Duke of Wellington as Chancellor of the university. Student and staff number grew throughout the next couple of decades as a response to the Robbins Report. The campus also grew significantly, when in July 1961 the university was given the approval to acquire some 200 houses on or near the campus by the Borough Council. In addition, more faculties and departments were founded, including Medicine and Oceanography (despite the discouragement of Sir John Wolfenden, the chairman of the University Grants Committee). Student accommodation was expanded throughout the 1960s and 1970s with the acquisition of Chilworth manor and new buildings at the Glen Eyre and Montefiore complexes.
In 1987, a crisis developed when the University Grants Committee announced, as part of nationwide cutbacks, a series of reductions in the funding of the university. To eliminate the expected losses, the budgets and deficits subcommittee proposed reducing staff numbers. This proposal was met with demonstrations on campus and was later reworked (to reduce the redundancies and reallocate the reductions in faculties funding) after being rejected by the university Senate.
By the mid-1980s through to the 1990s, the university looked to expand with new buildings on the Highfield campus, developing the Chilworth Manor site into a science park and conference venue, opening the National Oceanography Centre at a dockside location and purchasing new land from the City Council for the Arts Faculty and sports fields (at Avenue Campus and Wide Lane, respectively).
Under the leadership of then Vice-Chancellor, Sir Howard Newby the university became more focused in encouraging and investment in more and better quality research. In the mid-1990s, the university gained two new campuses, as the Winchester School of Art and La Sainte Union College became part of the university. A new school for Nursing and Midwifery was also created and went on to provide training for NHS professionals in central-southern England. This involved a huge increase in student numbers and the establishment of sub-campuses in Basingstoke, Winchester, Portsmouth and Newport, Isle of Wight.
In the autumn of 1997, the university experienced Britain's worst outbreak of meningitis, with the death of three students. The university responded to the crisis by organising a mass vaccination programme, and later took the ground-breaking decision to offer all new students vaccinations.
The university celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 22 January 2002. By this time, Southampton had research income that represented over half of the total income, which remains one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities of British Universities. In recent years a number of new landmark buildings have been added as part of the estates development. New constructions on the main campus include the Jubilee Sports Hall in 2004, the EEE (ECS, Education and Entrance) building in 2007, the new Mountbatten building in 2008 housing the School of Electronics and Computer Science following a fire and the Life Sciences building in 2010. In addition, the Hartley Library and Student Services Centre were both extended and redesigned in 2005 and the Students' Union was also extended in 2002. Other constructions include the Archaeology building on Avenue Campus in 2006 and the Institute of Development Sciences building at Southampton General Hospital in 2007. The university is currently constructing a new research centre on a nearby campus which will be occupied by the University and part of Lloyd's Register.
The university joined The Science and Engineering South Consortium (SES-5) on 9 May 2013. the SES-5 was created to pool the collective insights and resources of the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and University College London to innovate and explore new ideas through collaboration whilst providing efficiencies of scale and shared utilisation of facilities. This is the most powerful cluster of research intensive universities in the UK and the new consortium is to become one of the world's leading hubs for science and engineering research.
The university has six educational campuses – four in Southampton, one in Winchester, and one international branch in Malaysia. The university also operates a science park nearby and are currently building a new institute on the site of a nearby campus. The university also owns sports facilities and halls of residences on a variety of other nearby sites.
The university's main campus is located in the residential area of Highfield. Opened on 20 June 1914, the site was initially used as a military hospital during World War I. The campus grew gradually, mainly consisting of detailed red brick buildings (such as the Hartley library and West building of the Students' Union) designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. In 1956, Sir Basil Spence was commissioned to prepare a masterplan of the campus for the foreseeable future. This included incorporating the University Road, that split the 59-acre (24 ha) campus in two and the quarry of Sir Sidney Kimber's brickyard that itself was split by a stream. Unable to remove the road and the private houses along it, Spence designed many of the buildings facing away from it, using contemporary designs working in concrete, glass and mosaic. During recent decades, new buildings were added that contravened the master plan of Spence, such as the Synthetic Chemistry Building and Mountbatten Building (the latter of which was destroyed by fire in 2005).
A new masterplan for the Highfield campus was drawn up in 1998 by Rick Mather, who proposed that the University Road should become a tree-lined boulevard backed by white-rendered buildings. He also contributed some of the newer buildings such as the Zepler and Gower Buildings. In 1991, the Highfield Planning Group was formed within the university under the chairmanship of Tim Holt. This led to the development of new buildings such as the Jubilee Sports Hall, Student Services Building and the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. In addition, existing buildings, such as the Hartley Library, were extensively renovated and extended.
Avenue Campus is currently home to the Faculty of Humanities, with the exception of Music, and is located a short distance away from the main Highfield campus. The site previously housed the Southampton Tramsheds and Richard Taunton's College, of which the existing building still stands on the site. It was purchased by the university from Southampton City Council for £2 million in December 1993 so that the university may expand – planning regulations meant that excess land on the Highfield campus couldn't be built on and had to be reserved for future car parking spaces. The departments moved onto the campus in 1996. The campus consists of the original Tauntons building from the early 20th century but redeveloped with a glass-fronted courtyard and extension and a new Archaeology building built in 2006 costing £2.7 million.
The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (often abbreviated to NOCS) is located in Southampton Docks some three miles south of the main university campus. The campus is home of the university's Ocean and Earth Sciences department and is also a campus of the Natural Environment Research Council's research institute, the National Oceanography Centre. Five of the National Oceanography Centre's research divisions are based on the campus.
Planning of the campus began in 1989 and was completed in 1994 due to cuts and uncertainties whether a national research centre could be successfully integrated with a university. It was opened in 1996 by the Duke of Edinburgh. The campus was also the base for the NERC purpose-built research vessels RRS James Cook and until recently the RRS Discovery and the RRS Charles Darwin.
The university maintains a presence at Southampton General in partnership with the NHS trust operating the hospital. It is home to some operations of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Health Sciences, although these two faculties have bases on Highfield campus. As a teaching hospital, it is used by a range of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, research academics and clinicians.
The university's involvement began in 1971, when it became the first to house a new school of medicine alongside the universities of Nottingham and Leicester, and currently extends to several operations and specific research centres.
The Winchester School of Art, located in central Winchester, houses the university's arts and textiles courses that are part of the Faculty of Business and Law. The school itself was established in the 1960s and was integrated into the University of Southampton in 1996. The campus contains the original school buildings from the 1960s in addition to structures built when the merger occurred and in 1998 when the Textile Conservation Centre moved to the site from Hampton Court Palace. The centre remained with the school until its closure in 2009. The campus also contains a small union building run by the university's Students' Union.
The university opened its first international campus, based in Nusajaya, Malaysia in October 2012. The campus operates courses in the engineering sectors at present and students are able to continue their studies by travelling to the UK. The Malaysian campus includes state of the art equipment and facilities.
Boldrewood campus, located a short distance from the Highfield campus and currently under redevelopment, will house the university's new Maritime Centre of Excellence. This new 'professional campus' will house the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute and Lloyd's Register's Group Technology Centre.
The campus was formerly the Biomedical Sciences campus of the university and acted, until 2010, as a non-hospital base for the School of Medicine and home to a research facility for the Biological Sciences. These departments were then relocated to either Southampton General Hospital,the new Life Sciences building at Highfield, or the University of Southampton science park.
The University of Southampton Science Park contains approximately 50 businesses that either wish to work with the university or were established by the university itself and which use the surroundings of the park to grow. Originally established in 1983 as Chilworth Science Park, named after the manor house that is now a luxury hotel and conference centre, the park houses business incubator units to help these companies. The companies occupying the park range in expertise and fields including oil and gas exploration, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology and optoelectronics, with the businesses being particularly effective with three of the twelve successful spin-out companies created since 2000 being floated on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined market capitalisation value of £160 million. The park was renamed in 2006. Notable companies include Merck KGaA, PrimerDesign, Karus Therapeutics and Synairgen.
To connect the university's Southampton campuses, halls of residence, hospitals, and other important features of the city, the university operates the Unilink bus service for the benefit of the students, staff and the general public. Created in 1998, the service is currently operated by local bus company Bluestar using the Unilink name. The service consists of four routes. The most popular is the U1, which runs between Southampton Airport and the National Oceanography Centre via Wessex Lane Halls, Highfield campus, Portswood, Southampton City Centre and Southampton Central railway station. The other regular routes, the U2 and the U6, run between the City Centre and Bassett Green and Southampton General Hospital respectively while the final route, the U9, runs an infrequent service between Southampton General hospital and Townhill Park. Students who live in halls of residence receive an annual smart-card bus pass, allowing them to use all of the Unilink services without extra payment.
The fleet of buses was replaced in September 2013 with new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double-decker buses on most routes.
Responsibility for running the university is held formally by the Chancellor, currently Dame Helen Alexander, and led at the executive level by the Vice-Chancellor, currently Sir Christopher Snowden. The key bodies in the university governance structure are the Council, Court and Senate.
The Council is the governing body of the university. It is ultimately responsible for the overall planning and management of the university. The council is also responsible for ensuring that the funding made available to the university by the Higher Education Funding Council for England is used as prescribed. The council is composed of members from 5 different classes, namely (1) officers; (2) twelve members appointed by the council; (3) six members appointed by the Senate; (4) one member of the non-teaching staff; (5) the President of the Students' Union.
The University Court provides a forum for consultation with the local and regional community, to help promote public awareness of the university and to attract and maintain goodwill. The court is composed of some 190 members, representatives of the university, which includes members of Council, Deans of the Faculties, Heads of Academic Schools, members of staff, students and graduates; representatives of local authorities and of schools and colleges in the region; members of the UK and European parliaments; and representatives of other local societies and bodies.
The Senate is the university's primary academic authority, with responsibilities which include the direction and regulation of education and examinations, the award of degrees, and the promotion of research. The Senate has approximately 150 members, including the Deputy Vice-Chancellors/Pro Vice-Chancellors, the Deans and Associate Deans of the Faculties, the Heads of the academic Schools and Research Centres, representatives from the academic staff in each School, representatives of the research staff and those administrative groups most closely associated with educational activities, and representatives of the Students' Union. The Senate is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor.
The university comprises eight faculties, each with a number of academic units. This current faculty structure came into effect in 2010, taking over from a structure consisting of three faculties and several separate schools as part of them. The current faculty structure is:
Southampton awards a wide range of academic degrees spanning academic degrees for bachelor's in a variety of degrees and master's degrees as well as junior doctorates and higher doctorates. The postnominals awarded are the degree abbreviations used commonly among British universities. The university is part of the Engineering Doctorate scheme, for the award of Eng. D. degrees.
Professional qualifications are also awarded, such as Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Short courses and professional development courses are run by many of the university's Academic Schools and Research Centres.
The university works closely with members of the Armed Forces. It provides professional military educators in the British Army to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). The University also works with the Royal Navy to provide training and qualifications towards Chartered Engineer status.
The University of Southampton has been rated as one of the world's top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education Table, while the 2015/2016 QS World University Rankings ranked Southampton 81st overall in the world (and up to 2015 in the top 100 worldwide for nine consecutive years).
As of 2014 the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities places Southampton 32nd worldwide and 5th in the UK, the Center for World University Rankings ranks Southampton 11th in the UK., and Scimago institutions rankings puts Southampton 11th for research output and 13th for scientific talent pool. Also, Southampton is one of the few British universities who succeed a top 20 position in all of the most established international and national rankings (see table on the right).
Southampton is the only UK university in which every engineering department has received the top 5* rating for research. It is cited as being the UK's leading university for engineering. The Guardian ranked the university at number 1 in the UK for Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Naval Architecture, Electronic and Electrical Engineering in 2011.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessing the research output of 154 British Universities and Institutes, Southampton was ranked 18th for GPA (15th among Russell Universities), 11th for research power (11th among Russell Universities), and 8th for research intensity (7th among Russell Group Universities).
The university conducts research in most academic disciplines and is home to a number of notable research centres. Southampton has leading research centres in a number of disciplines, e.g. computer sciences, engineering or management sciences, and houses world-leading research institutions in fields as varied as oceanography and web science.
Within the university there are a number of research institutes and groups that aim to pool resources on a specific research area. Institutes or groups identified by the university of being of significant importance are marked in italics.
The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), is an acoustical research institute which is part of the University of Southampton. Founded in 1963, it has been awarded a 2006 Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
ISVR is divided into four distinct groups of research:
ISVR offers a number of Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree programmes in acoustical engineering, acoustics & music and audiology.
The School of Electronics and Computer Science created the first archiving software (EPrints) to publish its research freely available on the Web. This software is used throughout the university and as an archiving system for many different institutions around the world.
The University of Southampton Students' Union (SUSU), is sited in three buildings opposite the Hartley Library. One, the West Building, dates back to the 1940s in a red brick style, complementing the Hartley Library opposite; the main building was built in the 1960s in the Basil Spence masterplan. This was extended with new nightclub and cinema facilities in 2002. The newest building was built during the mid-1990s which includes the recently refurbished union shop, on the ground floor with a hairdressers and Unilink office on the first floor.
The student union is actually separate from the University of Southampton, and is its own business. It gets funds partially from the university to finance many of its activities. The multiple award winning student radio station, Surge, broadcasts from new studios in the main union building. The award winning website SUSU.org was created and run by students at the university. A brand new purpose built studio has been constructed for the TV station SUSUtv. The student newspaper is now published once every three weeks as Wessex Scene. The Edge, originally an insert of the Wessex Scene, is now an editorially independent entertainment magazine.
Events are held in The Cube, the union's nightclub. The Cube also doubles up as the on campus cinema run by Union Films. The Bridge, the union's cocktail bar, and in the Stag's Head, the union pub. National touring bands play in the Garden Court in the West Building.
The university provides accommodation for all first year students who require it and places in residences are further available for international and MSc students. Accommodation may be catered, self catered, have ensuite facilities, a sink in the room, or access to communal bathroom facilities. Each hall has a Junior Common Room (JCR) committee that is responsible for the running of social events and representing the residents to the students union and the university via the Students union JCR officer. Glen Eyre and Montefiore also have bars which are separately run by the students union and are staffed by current and ex residents.
The university's accommodation exists around two large complexes of halls and some other small halls located around the city, three of which are usually grouped into another collective entity. These are:
The university also has accommodation located in Balmoral House and Victoria Place, Portsmouth and in Basingstoke for the use of Nursing and Midwifery students studying on placement in these areas.
The university is in the process of replacing the former Chamberlain Hall.
The university has libraries located on each of the academic campuses and in total the collection holds over 1.5 million books and periodicals.
The university's primary library is the Hartley Library, located on Highfield campus and first built in 1935 and extended further in 1959 and 2005. The majority of the books and periodicals are held there as well as specialist collections of works such as Ford collection of Parliamentary papers and the European Documentation Centre. In addition, the main library houses the Special Collections and Archives centre, housing more than 6 million manuscripts and a large archive of rare books. Specific collections include the correspondence of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, acquired by the university in 1983, as well as the Broadlands Archive, including the Palmerston and Mountbatten papers. The library also contains 4,500 volumes of Claude Montefiore's library on Theology and Judaism, the Ford Parliamentary Papers, Frank Perkins' collection of books on agriculture, Sir Samual Gurney-Dixons's Dante collection and the James Parkes Library of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The library also includes six rare editions of the Divina Commedia; the first of these, the Brescia edition of 1487, is the library's earliest book.
In addition to the main Hartley Library, there are other libraries based at the university's other campuses primarily focused on the subjects studied at that location. As one of the smaller libraries and given its proximity to the Highfield campus, the Avenue Library only houses a collection of key Humanities resources. It does however also hold an extensive film library, many of an international nature. On a larger scale, the libraries at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton General Hospital, Winchester School of Art are more complete and house the majority of the resources and specialist collections on oceanography and earth sciences, healthcare and art and design respectively. The Malaysia campus holds a small collection of reference books but the majority of the resources needed for courses at the campus are available online. Separate from the Hartley Library is the E. J. Richards Engineering Library, which contains further materials for more in-depth study and is freely accessible to Engineering students and staff.
The university's main Highfield campus is home to three main arts venues supported and funded by the university and Arts Council England. The Nuffield Theatre opened in 1963 with construction funded by a grant from the Nuffield Foundation of £130,000 (£2,450,000 in 2013). The building was designed by Sir Basil Spence as part of his campus masterplan with additional direction provided by Sir Richard Southern. The theatre consists of a 480-seat auditorium, that also served as the principle lecture theatre at the time of construction, as well as additional lecture theatres and adjacent Kitchen bar.
The Turner Sims Concert Hall was added to the art provision in October 1974 following a £30,000 (£460,000 in 2012) donation from Margaret Grassam Sims in 1967. It was made to provide a venue specifically for music following difficulties in gaining space in the Nuffield Theatre and due to acoustical differences with the spaces. The new space has a single auditorium, designed by the university's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research with musical performances in mind, with a flat space at the bottom so it could be used for exams.
The final of the three Art Council supported venues on campus is the John Hansard Gallery. The gallery was opened on 22 September 1980 but is housed in a building that previously housed a tidal model of Southampton Water between 1957 and 1978. It took over responsibility from a photographic gallery, a gallery in the Nuffield Theatre and one located on Boldrewood campus. It houses various exhibitions in contemporary art and is due to move to new premises in Guildhall Square in c.2015.
These three centres are supplemented by the Special Collections Gallery, located on Level 4 of the Hartley Library and showing exhibitions from the university's archives and special collections, as well as gallery spaces located at the Winchester School of Art campus. In addition, the western half of Highfield campus contain several 20th-century sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Justin Knowles, Nick Pope and John Edwards.
There are two NHS practices on the campus: The University Health Service and Highfield Health. The larger of the two practices is University Health Service, with over 15,000 patients working from Building 48 between the Physics & Maths Buildings, whilst Highfield Health is the smaller practice serving around 3,000 patients from its location on 31 University Road.
The university's Sport and Wellbeing department runs the majority of the sports facilities on campus which are based predominately at two locations: the Jubilee Sports Centre and Wide Lane Sports Ground. The Jubilee Sports Centre, opened in 2004 at a cost of £8.5 million, is located on the Highfield Campus and contains a six-lane 25-metre swimming pool, 160 workstation gym and an eight-court sports hall. Wide Lane meanwhile is located nearby in Eastleigh and was refurbished at cost of £4.3 million in 2007. The 73-acre (30 ha) complex includes flood-lit synthetic turf and grass pitches, tennis courts, a pavilion and a 'Team Southampton' Gym. The university also runs facilities at the Avenue Campus, National Oceanography Centre, the Watersports Centre on the River Itchen and at Glen Eyre and Wessex Lane halls while there is another sports hall, squash courts, martial arts studio and bouldering wall located within the Students' Union.
The university competes in numerous sports in the BUCS South East Conference (after switching from the Western Conference in 2009). A number of elite athletes are supported by the SportsRec through sports bursaries and the UK Government's Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).
The University Athletic Union was formally established on 29 November 1929, by the University College council. Versions of the union had existed previously to which many clubs such as Cricket, Association Football, Rugby, Boxing, Gymnastics, Tennis and Boat clubs (all formed before the turn of the 20th century) were members.
The Southampton Mustangs Baseball Club was founded in 1997. In the early years, the club participated in mainly friendly games against other British university baseball teams, as no formal university league was in existence. Starting in 1998, the Mustangs started to host a university baseball tournament – inviting other teams including Oxford, Cambridge, Portsmouth, Royal Holloway, and Norwich. In 2004 the Mustangs entered into the national adult baseball leagues run by the British Baseball Federation (BBF). The club entered in the lowest division, but after a few years of consolidation, the Mustangs have worked their way up from the lower leagues in the BBF to play in the top-tier league of the British baseball, the British National Baseball League (NBL), in the 2010 season.
Throughout its history the university has had a number of successful teams in national student championships.
Academics working at the university include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Erich Zepler, who made leading contributions to radio receiver development, David Payne, who invented EDFA for use in fibre optics cables, Sir Barry Cunliffe, a pioneer of modern British archaeology, Ray Monk, the biographer of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Albie Sachs, former Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and Tim Holt, former President of the Royal Statistical Society and Office for National Statistics.