The University of Birmingham has always had a central role in the life of the West Midlands. We were founded with the purpose of training the city’s – and the world’s – future business leaders, as well as undertaking research that improves lives, societies and industries. Our wealth of global expertise puts us at the forefront of technological, medical and social innovation today.
Some of our key research from 2012
The University has established new international partnerships in Brazil and China. In Guangzhou, China the University is working with the municipal government on a number of collaborative agreements and has three, first-phase biomedical research projects underway. In Brazil, the University is working in partnership with the University of Nottingham to strengthen its academic links across the country.
Immunity experts at the University have found biological evidence to suggest that bereavement lowers physical immunity, putting older people at risk of life-threatening infections. They have found that the emotional stress of bereavement is associated with a drop in the efficiency of white blood cells known as neutrophils, which combat infections such as pneumonia, a major cause of death in older adults.
Clinical anatomist, author and broadcaster Alice Roberts was was appointed the University's first Professor of Public Engagement in Science.
Scientists from the University led an international team to discover evidence for the existence of an ordinary black hole in the Centaurus A galaxy. This is the first time that a 'garden variety' black hole has been detected outside the immediate neighbourhood of our galaxy.
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have devised a unique screening instrument that provides a 'one-stop' brain function profile of patients who have suffered stroke or other neurological damage.
Comment areas from 2012
The University has been prominent in commenting on a number of the key news stories affecting the UK and beyond, the UK electoral system, new examination systems, the Olympic legacy, the Eurozone crisis and international nuclear security.
During the course of November, four high-profile votes have taken place: the US presidential election; the Police and Crime Commissioner elections; the vote on women bishops and the EU budget negotiations.
Michael Gove's recent statement on the status of GCSEs and the introduction of a new qualification – the English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBC) – have been greeted as another momentous change, but what do the reforms really mean and who is likely to win (and lose) as a result?
One of the key questions about the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is about a physical activity 'legacy'. Will the biggest sporting spectacle on earth 'inspire a generation' to become physically active and to participate in sport?
Angela Merkel's second term as chancellor, which began in 2009, has been a difficult one. On the home front, there has been much infighting inside her CDU-FDP (conservative-liberal) government, her FDP coalition partner is weak and unpopular, and her own party, the CDU, has lost ground in important regional elections. Merkel's main challenge, however, remains the ongoing crisis in the eurozone.
Why has a solution to the decade long nuclear stand-off with Iran proved so elusive? Based on ongoing research into the dynamics of nuclear rivalries, and the role of trust in international politics, we argue that the main obstacle to solving the crisis over Iran's nuclear program is that neither side believes that it is possible to reassure the other without this reducing their own security. Recent talks in Istanbul suggest that a new path to mutual security might be opening up, but there are still challenges ahead.