The global impact of research carried out at the Abertay University has been recognised in a list of the UK’s `100 best breakthroughs’ of the last century.
Abertay University’s inclusion on the list comes as a result of world-renowned work in computer games, which saw the institute launch the world’s first degrees in the discipline before going on to pioneer collaborative new teaching methods and a diverse range of research projects.
The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives.
It includes the discovery of penicillin, work tackling plastic pollution, ultrasound scans to check the health of unborn babies and the establishment of the Living Wage.
The list also highlights the less celebrated but vital breakthroughs that transform lives, including a specially-designed bra to help women undergoing radiotherapy; a toilet that flushes human waste without the need for water; the development of a new scrum technique to make rugby safer; a sports initiative that aims to use football to resolve conflict in divided communities; - and even work to protect the quality of the chocolate we eat.
The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.
It follows independent research undertaken by Britain Thinks which found that the public has little understanding of the benefits of universities beyond undergraduate teaching. The findings show that research is one of the key triggers to change opinion about universities but for many people, it is an abstract concept.
Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal of Abertay University said, “Universities make a vital contribution to our society, culturally, socially and economically. This list highlights the full breadth of that and the transformative impact it has.”
Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, added: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics.
“The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”
The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life was put together in partnership with universities across the UK. As part of the MadeAtUni campaign, every university in the country was invited to nominate the one thing from their institution which they believe has had the biggest impact on people, lives and communities. Over 100 universities submitted a nomination. The entries cover health, technology, environment, family, community and culture and sport.
You can find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign here www.madeatuni.org.uk.