2011 Conference Welcome to Royal Holloway

Welcome to the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference at Royal Holloway, University of London!

The Society

Now in its second century, the Royal Economic Society is one of the oldest economic associations in the world. Currently it has over 3,000 individual members, of whom 60 per cent live outside the United Kingdom.It is a professional association which promotes the encouragement of the study of economic science in academic life, government service, banking, industry and public affairs.

The University

Royal Holloway, University of London was founded by two Victorian visionaries, Elizabeth Jesser Reid and Thomas Holloway. Both played a crucial role in the development of equality in education through the creation of two colleges for women, Bedford College in central London in 1849, and Royal Holloway College in Surrey in 1879. Their foresight and philanthropy have ensured opportunities for many generations of students.

Thomas Holloway was a self-made multi-millionaire whose fortune had been made in patent medicines. He founded Royal Holloway College in 1879 after initiating a public debate inviting suggestions as to 'How best to spend a quarter of a million or more'. It was his wife Jane who suggested a college for women as the means by which Holloway's money might effect 'the greatest public good'. Royal Holloway College, largely inspired by the Chateau of Chambord in the Loire Valley, was opened by Queen Victoria in 1886. Built around two quadrangles, today it continues to impress as much by its size as by the exuberance of the roofline with its many towers and turrets. As solid as it is extravagant, it epitomises the wealth, optimism and spirit of philanthropy so characteristic of the Victorian age. It continues to provide a home for the Royal Holloway Collection - a Picture Gallery of Victorian art that was the final touch to Holloway's generous endowment.

In 1900, both Bedford and Royal Holloway were admitted as Schools of the University of London. The newly merged Royal Holloway and Bedford New College was inaugurated in 1986 by Her Majesty The Queen as a ceremony in the College Chapel. The merger provided more academic diversity and strength as well as greater financial security. It also preserved the pursuit of innovation and excellence which characterised the Founders of the two parent colleges.

The Department

The Department of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London is a leading research and teaching department. Although only founded in 1995, it has already established itself as one of the three major economics research and teaching departments in the London area. It has been able to combine the vitality and innovation of a new department with the traditional academic strengths of an established college and university.

Staff have been educated and held academic posts at leading universities throughout the world, including Oxford, the LSE, Yale, Chicago and Harvard. They bring together the differing perspectives of all these universities, and have established programmes combining the best elements of education from each.

The department is among the top departments in the UK for Research Excellence. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 80% of the Department's research submitted was ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent (rated 3* and 4*).

A recent analysis of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) shows that the Economics Department at Royal Holloway is the third best department in the UK for publications. The study by Jim Taylor and Ian Walker provides further insight into the research standing of UK economics departments. Previous rankings from the data already showed the Department in the top 10 in the UK.

(More at http://www.lums.lancs.ac.uk/publications/viewpdf/006236/)

The surroundings

The Runnymede area is famously known as the location for the signing of the Magna Carta. It was sealed by King John at Runnymede in June 1215 just down the hill from Royal Holloway. The location beside the River Thames is described in the charter as 'in the meadow that is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines.' Runnymede was chosen because it was a conveniently large meeting place close to Windsor Castle where the King and his entourage came from for the negotiations.

The College is located just a few minutes walk from Windsor Park and only 6 miles from Windsor Castle. Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years. The Castle covers an area of about 5 hectares (13 acres) and contains magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection, St George's Chapel (one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and the burial place of 10 monarchs), and Queen Mary's Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature.

Further Attractions in the surroundings:

Savill Garden http://www.theroyallandscape.co.uk/landscape/savillgarden/

Eton College http://www.etoncollege.com/VisitsToEton.aspx

Ascot Racecourses http://www.ascot.co.uk/royal/royal10.html

Kew Botanic Gardens http://www.kew.org/

Hampton Court Palace http://www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace/

Brooklands (Concorde) Museum http://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/

Legoland http://www.legoland.co.uk/

Thorpe Park http://www.thorpepark.com/

RHS Gardens, Wisley http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Wisley

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