From Mud and Marxism to the Elite of Academia; TIME MACHINE: A Look Back at Events and Places That Shape the Way We Live Now

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THE University of Warwick rose from farmland straddling the Coventry- Warwickshire border near Gibbet Hill 40 years ago. In its early days it was unfashionable with its modern campus regarded as "out in the sticks." Today it is rated as one of the country's top institutions attracting the cream of UK and overseas students. Education Reporter LUCY LYNCH charts its transformation. WHEN the University of Warwick was granted a royal charter just over 40 years ago it was little more than a building site.

Now the university in Gibbet Hill Road, Gibbet Hill, Coventry, is one of the country's top-rated universities for teaching and research.

Tomorrow, it is staging an open day when people from Coventry and Warwickshire are invited to the campus to celebrate the 40th anniversary. Current and former staff and students are also invited to meet up and reminisce about some of the more eventful moments in the university's history.

Some may remember the first academic event to take place at the university - a one-day symposium on electromagnetic flow in September 1965, attended by engineers and health workers.

The earliest students who joined the university in October 1965 will remember long muddy walks between the library, lecture theatres and academic departments while an intensive building programme took place.

There were no halls of residence for the early students who all lived in lodgings in Coventry, Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick.

And there was an emphasis on making links between different subjects which was innovative at the time.

All students had to study a course called enquiry and criticism which was taught by professors from all departments on a rota. And right from the start, maths students studied maths as needed for subjects such as engineering and physics as well as pure maths.

Students who were at the university in 1970 will remember the periods of student unrest - most famously the "sit-in" over claims that the university kept secret files on students and staff. …