Cat no. 483

Universities in Britain: The University of East Anglia

Running time30:09 Colour Sound 1974 Norwich, Norfolk

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University education and differing methods of learning and teaching.



The opening sequence of the film shows shots of Cambridge university, including St. John's College, Trinity College and the Senate house. There are interior views of students reading ancient texts in an old library. The commentary discusses the slow development of English universities, contrasted with Scotland, up to the creation of the seven new universities during the early 1960s. This is recounted over general views of the University Of East Anglia campus. Throughout the film there are good campus views and some interior shots showing teaching rooms and student/ staff amenities. The commentary describes the campus buildings. The Vice-Chancellor, Frank Thistlethwaite describes the development of the new university movement and the foundation and growth of the University Of East Anglia from inception in 1959.

The first students were admitted in 1963. Within ten years, the University was catering for 3,000. He talks about the style of the University of East Anglia, explaining the system of Schools of Study, and contrasts this with civic universities and Oxbridge. He talks about the teaching styles promoted by the University and highlights the emphasis placed on small group teaching and continuous assessment. Later, he explains the degrees awarded by the university and how these academic degrees differ from the profession degrees awarded by continental universities. A chemistry lecture illustrates the points made. Professor Malcolm Fraser, chemistry, discusses teaching methods, re-inforcing the views of the Vice-Chancellor. Professor James McFarlane leads a seminar on Ibsen. The views of the undergraduates are heard, we also see a third year physics project in progress.

Students offer their views on the teaching methods, stressing the importance of private study over scenes from the library. The commentary explains that this is another difference between the English and continental styles of education. Professor Fraser explains the responsibilities of the University teaching staff, divided as they are between undergraduate teaching and research. He also explains the ratio between examinations and continuous assessment that can amount to 40% of a student's mark. A sequence on the audio-visual centre illustrates how AV methods are being used to supplement teaching.

The film shows the amenities on campus. Another difference between English and continental universities is the residential nature of the campus. The restaurants and kitchen facilities are shown and there is an interior view of a study bedroom. Shots of the Precinct show the shops and banks. There is a brief sequence on Norwich, showing the Cathedral and Castle as well as general town centre scenes. In the Audio Visual Centre, students film a performance for a programme in their campus television broadcasting (Nexus). Pete Cadwallader, the Students' Union President, describes the welfare, social and political functions of the Students' Union. A section on sport shows scenes from canoeing and a rugby match and a group of musicians and singers practise a polyphonic piece. Finally Frank Thistlethwaite assesses the impact of the new university movement.

Background Information:

BRT Schooltelevisie in Belgium made a series about the new universities in Britain concentrating on Norwich and Cambridge as examples. After transmission the UEA AV Centre adapted the film as an admission film for UEA.

Featured People:

Professor Frank Thistlethwaite, Vice Chancellor, University Of East Anglia; Professor Malcolm Fraser; Professor James McFarlane; Pete Cadwallader, Students' Union President

Featured Organisations:

The University of Cambridge; University of East Anglia

Featured Buildings:

St. John's College, Cambride; Trinity College, Cambridge; Senate House, University of East Anglia; Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle

BRT Schooltelevisie; Secundair Onderwijs

Belgishche Radio En Televisie for Belgian Television October 1974; BRT Schooluitzendingen

Jos Haentjens

Osy Fischler

Fernand Denijis

Production Secretary - Moniek Wuyts; Central Office of Information (acknowledgement); Frank Allbrighton (acknowledgment)

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