Although I knew a couple of people at Plymouth University who had got Linux onto their standard work-issue PCs ('PLYMDESK'), they'd done this without knowledge of the university's IT services. This had required some ingenuity, as these machines general don't boot from DVD or USB, and the BIOS is password protected. If you ask for the password, you're usually told you can't have it (I was).
So... I thought I'd see if I could get Linux onto my work machine with the full knowledge of IT services, through their official support systems. Long story short... I could! An IT guy came and changed the boot order so the machine would boot from the DVD drive. I then installed Ubuntu 16.04 (with dual boot to Windows 7) on the machine myself with no difficulties.
Plymouth University don't provide tech support for Linux as a desktop environment (only for Windows 7, plus OS X for a minority of use cases), so I'm on my own in that regard, but that's OK. It still feels like an important milestone for increased acceptance of open computing at the University.