The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. It is situated on a large 700acre campus which straddles the boundary between the City of Coventry and the County of Warwickshire. The idea for a university in Coventry was mooted shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War but it was a bold and imaginative partnership of the City and the County which brought the University into being on a 400 acre site jointly granted by the wo authorities. Since then, the University has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1979 and has extended its land holdings by the purchase of adjoining farm land.
The University initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. In October 2003, the student population was over 15,500 of which a third are postgraduates. 20% of the student body comes from overseas and over 114 countries are represented on the campus. The University has 29 academic departments and over 40 research centres and institutes, in four Faculties: Arts, Medicine, Science and Social Studies. The new Medical School, a collaborative venture with the University of Leicester took its first students on an innovative 4-year accelerated postgraduate programme in September 2000. In summer 2004 the first 64 students graduated from the school. In October 2004 the combined intake of the joint Leicester Warwick Medical School was 403, making it one of the largest in the country.