Despite politicians’ best efforts to reduce immigration, Britain has already entered an era of superdiversity that is here to stay. The UK’s population is more complex than ever before. One in eight people now living in England and Wales were born overseas.

In a bid to help come to terms with and understand this shift in population the University of Birmingham is set to launch the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) on Thursday 13th June.

It is the first institution in the UK, and one of the first globally, to focus on superdiversity.

Dr Jenny Phillimore, Director of IRiS, says: “Politicians talk about migration and immigration but these discussions overlook the fact that society is changing at a greater speed and scale than ever before. Diversity is being replaced by superdiversity.

“More people, from a greater number of countries are living in the UK than ever before. Research into this emerging trend is of critical importance to understanding the challenges and opportunities for our society and economy.”

New research undertaken at IriS will attempt to explore how the process of superdiversity is set to continue; examine the impact of superdiversity on individual, local and national identities; and ascertain what lies ahead for the UK and developed world.

The institute brings together more than 60 academics from four colleges and 15 different schools including social policy, politics, theology, education, psychology, geography and sports sciences. It will bring perspectives from all these different areas together to undertake high quality research to inform policy making and public debate about the demographic, social, political and cultural changes brought by international migration and globalization.


For more information or to interview Dr Jenny Phillimore, please contact Deborah Walker, PR Manager for Policy and Social Affairs, University of Birmingham, 0121 414 9041 or mobile 07776 465138 or email Out of hours contact 077889 921165 or email