Birmingham's Strategic Alliance with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Our most wide-ranging research links exist with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a globally-elite public research-intensive university. By working together the University of Birmingham and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are forming a broad and deep partnership through which a number of key research and teaching outcomes have already been achieved.

In March 2014 a strategic alliance agreement between Vice-Chancellor Professor David Eastwood and Illinois’ Chancellor Dr Phyllis Wise was signed at Urbana-Champaign. The BRIDGE (BiRmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery EnGagement and Education) alliance sets a future precedent to invest institutional resources in support of the partnership's expansion and sustenance.

Stephen Bridges, British Consul General in Chicago has praised the partnership: “I’d like to offer support and congratulations to the University of Birmingham on the signing of their strategic alliance with the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. It is illustrative of Birmingham’s commitment to developing partnerships of academic and strategic excellence in the Midwest of the USA.  This agreement is just the latest example of their exemplary work here in this academically rich part of the US. Their perseverance has netted a relationship with one of the world’s leading universities and we are confident it will result in successful results for both the University of Birmingham and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign”.

After just three years of engagement, the University of Birmingham and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have established over 25 successful faculty-to-faculty links in 14 key academic disciplines.  Research links between the two institutions include such disciplines as Economic and Physical Geography, Railway Engineering, Maths, Psychology, Environmental Genomics, History of Art, American & Canadian Studies, Cultural Heritage and Education.

Exciting educational opportunities have also been established for University of Birmingham and Illinois students through new exchange partnerships, and collaborative teaching arrangements that internationalise the classroom at home.