The University grew out of the radical vision of our first Chancellor, Joseph Chamberlain. Founded in 1900, Birmingham represented a new model for higher education. This was England’s first civic university, where students from all religions and backgrounds were accepted on an equal basis.
Birmingham has continued to be a university unafraid to do things a little differently, and in response to the challenges of the day. It was a founder member of the National Union of Students and the first university in the country to –
be built on a campus model
establish a faculty of commerce
incorporate a medical school
offer degrees in dentistry
create a women’s hall of residence
have a purpose-built students’ union building
The University of Birmingham was established by Queen Victoria
via Royal Charter in 1900 and was the UK’s first civic or 'redbrick' university. The first phase of building work on the campus was completed in 1909 under the auspices of the esteemed architect
Sir Aston Webb. We celebrated the centenary of those buildings in July 2009.