About UoB

Currently with more than 7,000 staff and approximately 30,000 students, we were the first – and are now one of the largest civic universities in the UK. Our heritage as the original ‘redbrick’, is combined with one of the most compelling and ambitious agendas in higher education.  

Quite simply, at Birmingham we make things happen. Home to world-class researchers - whose work in everything from developing next generation engine technologies to harnessing quantum technology to solve everyday problems makes a real difference to people’s lives - we provide innovative solutions to big problems.

We think, recruit and compete worldwide. 
 
Being named the Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2013-14 recognised a transformative time in our history characterised by our bold, ambitious strategy and innovative approach to the challenges facing the sector.

The University is a pioneer in sector-leading initiatives, including our ‘Birmingham Fellows’ programme, which has so far seen over 70 of the world’s best early career academics join us; and the much-emulated unconditional offers strategy for exceptional students. 

We have a clear vision for the future, ambitious leadership, world-leading academic strengths and a secure financial base.

With an annual turnover of approaching £550 million, we use our financial strength to invest in the intellectual and physical future of the University.

Judicious planning has enabled us to embark on a £500 million capital development programme. Over the past three years, some £250 million has been invested in the Birmingham campus including a new library, a major sports centre, outstanding new student accommodation and a state-of-the-art student services hub.

We have been encouraging bold, independent thinking and providing exceptional academic programmes that stretch and challenge for more than a century, and the new University of Birmingham School will continue this tradition; providing an outstanding academic education for the city’s young people and serving as a centre of teacher education in the region. 
 
Birmingham is a leading member of the Russell Group and a founder member of the Universitas 21 global network of research universities (http://www.universitas21.com/) and our Vice-Chancellor is the current Chair of both groups.  

Exceptional Research

The University is one of the UK’s most successful institutions in terms of attracting research funding. We have a portfolio of 2645 live projects with an award value to the University of £656 million.

Our research record speaks for itself. More than 80 per cent of all research carried out at Birmingham is rated as internationally excellent or world-leading, according to the latest UK-wide research quality survey (REF 2014).

The results also showed that 87 per cent of our research activity submitted to REF has a global impact, confirming our position among the world’s top universities for research in a broad range of areas, from History and Education to Chemical Engineering and Psychology.

We also have strong industrial partnerships with more than 900 joint publications with industry.

Long established as a pioneer in the field of medicine, Birmingham scientists were the brains behind the first heart pacemaker, the use of aspirin and the synthesis of Vitamin C.

‘Great minds, in the right location’ sums up our unique combination of cutting-edge laboratory work, clinical expertise and first-class surgical facilities all housed on one vast life sciences campus. 

The Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM), builds on Birmingham’s excellent track record in clinical trials and is helping to progress the very latest scientific research findings from the University into enhanced treatments for patients across a range of major health issues including cancer and liver disease.

Bringing together the University, the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, it is increasing capacity and enabling more patients to be co-located alongside clinicians and researchers.

This vision is reflected in Birmingham’s ambitious project to create a 10 acre science park specifically for the life sciences adjacent to the University and Hospital to attract cutting edge health and pharmaceutical research firms into the city, driving economic growth alongside medical and scientific innovation.

These investments reinforce the University’s position today as a world leader in, for example, the development of new treatments for cancer, heart, and liver disease, as well as innovative transplant technologies and new drugs to combat antibiotic resistance. 

This strength in life sciences is reflected throughout our College of Life and Environmental Sciences which is home to one of the best stand-alone Psychology schools in the country as well as one of the top three centres for research into Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Science. 

Supported by a major gift from a philanthropist, the University is developing a unique institute for forest research which will investigate the effect of rapid climate change on tree canopy development and pathogens.

The University’s arts and humanities researchers are among the very best in the UK, highlighting our world-class research programme.

Philosophy, History, Classics, Theology and Religion, and West African Studies are amongst the top ranked departments in the country and recognised for bringing significant benefits to society. 

The Arts and Humanities, and University life in general, are enhanced by a rich set of cultural assets that include the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, which has direct working links with the Royal Shakespeare Company; the Ironbridge Institute in Shropshire, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts - our own art gallery that houses works by many of the greatest artists in the western tradition.

The Edgbaston campus also includes Winterbourne House and Garden, a unique Edwardian heritage attraction that is home to more than 6,000 plant species from around the world.

Our cultural profile was significantly enhanced with the opening of the Bramall Music Building in 2013. 

This houses the Elgar Concert Hall, named after our first Professor of Music, Sir Edward Elgar, and is a striking venue that complements our global reputation in music, attracting some of the most talented musicians from across the world to study here. 
 
In the Physical Sciences we boast outstanding academic and research credentials, including in Chemical Engineering, in which we were recognised with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in the Jubilee year, and in Physics, where we have just received investment of £80 million to develop Quantum Technologies.

Our substantive links with industry include receiving a £60 million investment from Rolls-Royce and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for the world-leading High Temperature Research Centre, and a further £60m investment for the Energy Research Accelerator, of which £20m will be allocated for energy research at Birmingham and will be matched by industrial sources.

In the Social Sciences we have developed a broad range of initiatives, focused on enhancing, supporting and developing public sector services across the city and nationally.

The Public Service Academy (PSA) brings together the University’s teaching, research, consultancy and knowledge transfer expertise in public services.

Working with a range of key public service partners, including Birmingham City Council, our work is focused on key themes including cohesion, health and wellbeing and localisation.

Our Health Services Management Centre provides a combination of research, teaching, professional development and consultancy to health and social care agencies and has established a unique reputation as a 'critical friend' of the healthcare community.

The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading UK centre for the study of local public service management, policy and governance.

With more than 40 years of experience working within local government and the public sector, it shapes the very latest thinking for public servants. 
 
Our research helps to shape the national political agenda too.

The ground-breaking Birmingham Policy Commissions bring together key figures from the public, private and third sectors with our academics to generate new thinking on contemporary issues of global, national and civic concern.

Commissions to date have included reports on the shape and nature of local public services in a ‘big society’, the future of nuclear energy in the UK,  the security impact of drones, Mental Health, and Cold Energy. 

Outstanding Students

At Birmingham we encourage bold, independent thinking and provide exceptional academic programmes that stretch and challenge.

We understand that every student is an individual with a unique learning style and have invested in the latest learning facilities and technologies. 

As a result we attract students with the finest academic credentials and year on year applications for our undergraduate places are growing rapidly and more impressively than they are nationally or for comparable universities. 

This year we will welcome approximately 8,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

We are committed to delivering a first-class experience for our students in every aspect of their university life. 

This is also why the University is ranked in the top 20 of all domestic league tables.  

Global Outlook

Rated 82nd in the QS World University Rankings 2016-17, the University has a significant international presence.

The University was one of the founding partners of, and remains highly active in, the Universitas 21 global network of research intensive universities (www.universitas21.com).

Our global outlook has two main components. 

In research, the University has a focused approach with an emphasis on key country partnerships. 

In China we have developed a broad range of activities, including a signature collaboration with the Guangzhou Municipal Government, and well developed research collaborations in many parts of the country. 

In Brazil, the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham are working together in a unique collaboration to develop a network of strategic partnerships with Brazilian universities, as well as the oil and gas industry.

In North America, the University has a major collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign underpinned by a flourishing network of faculty-faculty relationships.

In Australia we have a growing partnership with the University of Melbourne and in India our partnerships continue to develop and have been strengthened by our Chancellor, Indian-born entrepreneur and Cross-Bench Peer Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea. 

In international education, we have 1250 international students being taught on Distance Learning programmes; many international students studying our MOOCs; and deliver University of Birmingham degree programmes in Singapore and China. 

We also have partnership agreements with many of the world’s leading universities involving a range of different educational collaborations including joint PhDs with the University of Melbourne, numerous ‘2+2’ degree programmes, and a developing suite of Master’s courses delivered in conjunction with partners around the world. 

The University currently has approximately 7000 international students. 

As a University with a global mindset, we have offices in New Delhi, Brussels, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

More information about our strategic global engagements and international research focus can be found on our website www.birmingham.ac.uk/International/global-engagement 

Future Investment

Our plans for the future are underpinned by long-established financial probity. 

We contribute £3.5 billion a year to our region’s economy in the UK.

Our surpluses and substantial philanthropic support are re-invested into the intellectual and physical fabric of the institution, enabling us to plan with confidence for the future and to continue to invest in the facilities and services that are required for high-quality research, and an outstanding student learning experience. 

 
Led by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood, the University is structured for swift decision-making, enabling us to capitalise on our academic range and financial strength as well as the opportunities that emerge in the fast-changing global HE environment.