2014: a review of the year

2014 has been an exceptional year for the University of Birmingham, from pioneering trials of new cancer vaccines to installing Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea CBE as our new chancellor it has been an exciting year.

Read on to discover some of our key news highlights from 2014.

Campus developments

2014 saw work begin in earnest on our extensive programme of developments on campus and beyond. Work commenced on our new £55million sports centre joining the eleven other developments in progress, including a new library, University Training School, a student service hub and a new hall of residence. Further information on how our building developments are progressing can be seen on our campus developments pages.

New Chancellor

Lord-BilimoriaOn Thursday 17 July 2014 the University installed its new Chancellor Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea CBE, DL. The Indian-born founder of Cobra Beer followed a long line of distinguished University of Birmingham Chancellors who include the Right Honourable Joseph Chamberlain, the Right Honourable Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon and Sir Dominic Cadbury who stepped down in December 2013 following 11 years in the role. Lord Bilimoria became the first Indian born Chancellor of a Russell Group University in England.

Cancer vaccine trials

The trial of a vaccine which can treat some forms of cancer caused by a common herpes virus known as the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) was launched by Cancer Research UK's Drug Development Office (DDO) at the University of Birmingham. The vaccine, developed by Cancer Research UK, used technology developed by the University and it is hoped that the vaccine will allow the immune system to distinguish between cancer cells and healthy cells, arming the immune system to destroy tumours.

British Science Festival

The British Science Festival, which visits a different city each year, celebrates all things scientific and was hosted by the University of Birmingham in September 2014. Organised by the British Science Association, the event offered something for everyone, with activity for families and school-groups, adults looking for thought-provoking enternainment and stimulating debate, and professionals interested in the latest science research.

Rise in research rankings

The University rose an impressive nine points in the most recent world research rankings, placing it in 112th place among the top 500 global research universities. The NTU Ranking, ranked Birmingham ninth overall in the UK placing us ahead of Nottingham, Durham and Warwick. Released by the National Taiwan University, this ranking of the top 500 universities worldwide evaluates the performance of scientific papers. It is based entirely on statistics that reflect three major performance criteria; research productivity, research impact and research excellence.

Further news

If you're interested in some of the stories we've highlighted here and want to find out more about all of the exciting news that has come out of the University in the past year, you can do so at our News Centre.