Surrounded by carefully designed gardens, vibrant green playing fields and a picturesque lake, the campus grounds provide a truly dynamic and enriched experience for all our students, staff and visitors. It really is an ideal space to work, live and play. Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Surrey countryside, the University campus is a beautiful, leafy environment, with carefully designed gardens, vibrant green playing fields and a picturesque lake. The landscaping is a unique and much-loved feature of the University. Before the University arrived, Stag Hill was an open stretch of meadowland, almost treeless except around the perimeter. Today the campus has over 300 different types of trees and over 1000 different species of flowers. Together they provide beautiful and engaging scenery all year round. University outstanding tree collection plays a significant role in creating the luscious green effect of the campus, boasting varieties from all over the world. From Gold-tip Oriental Spruce to Texan Walnut and Hungarian Oak, there are over 1500 different trees spread around the grounds. Trees have been planted to celebrate birth, graduation, marriage, retirement and special events or visits; and as a memorial. One of oldest trees can be found on the boundaries of the University and is over 100 years old.
With beautiful and peaceful surroundings, the lake is an extremely popular lunchtime spot in the spring and summer months. The area provides a place away from work and study and enables people to relax within the University. When the sun is out you will often see students, staff and visitors relaxing on the banks of the lake, taking time out to chat with friends, read a book, or simply feed the ducks left-over sandwich crusts. Venture away from the banks of the lake and you will spot local birds nesting in the nearby trees. At present there are 42 nest boxes positioned around the campus to encourage the birds to nest. In addition foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs and badgers are all frequent visitors to the grounds of the nearby Manor Park and Hazel Farm Courts of Residence.
The university is a member of the 1994 Group. The university conducts extensive research on small satellites and has a high numbers of staff who are members of learned societies. The Research Assessment Exercise 2001 awarded nine departments at the university 5 or 5* ratings. The university has recently expanded into China by launching the Surrey International Institute with Dongbei University of Finance and Economics.
The university marked its Silver Jubilee in 1991, an event celebrated by the publishing of Surrey – the Rise of a Modern University by Roy Douglas and by a Service of Thanksgiving in Guildford Cathedral attended by Her Majesty The Queen in March 1992.
Former students of the university (or its predecessor, Battersea Polytechnic) include the designer of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis and the founder of the restaurant chain, Robert Earl. The vice chancellor of York St John University, Dianne Willcocks and the chancellor of Edge Hill University, Tanya Byron both studied at the university. Other alumni include MP Sir George Young, Dame Linda Dobbs, and David Varney, former chairman of HM Revenue and Customs. The television and radio broadcasters, Jeremy Kyle and Toby Anstis are also alumni of the university. The author Graham Jones (English author) is also a graduate of the University of Surrey. Composer and conductor Odaline de la Martinez, who became the first woman to conduct at a BBC Proms concert, received her MMus in composition in 1977. The musician Starsmith graduated from the university in 2009.