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<tr><th>Motto</th><td>Per Ardua Ad Alta
|Location|| Birmingham, United Kingdom
<tr><th>RAE top grade depts</th><td>45</td></tr>
The University of Birmingham is an English university in the city of Birmingham. It was founded in 1900 as a successor to Mason Science College, and is thus the earliest of the so-called "red brick" universities. A major research-led institution, it currently has nearly 17,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students.
About the university
Its main campus, in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, is arranged around the 100m-high Chamberlain clock tower (nicknamed Old Joe) commemorating Joseph Chamberlain, the University's first Chancellor. The Great Hall of the University is in the domed Aston Webb Building, which is named after one of its architects (the other was Ingress Bell).
The University's Selly Oak campus is a short distance to the south of the main campus. It was the home of a federation of nine higher education colleges, mainly focused on theology and education, which were integrated into the University for teaching purposes in 1999. Among these was Westhill College (later the University of Birmingham, Westhill) which merged with the University's School of Education in 2001. The University also operates on several other sites in the city.
Due to Birmingham's role as a centre of light engineering, the University traditionally had a special focus on science, engineering and commerce, as well as coal mining. It now teaches a full range of academic subjects and has five-star rating for teaching and research in several departments; additionally, it is widely regarded as making a prominent contribution to cancer studies. It is also considered as one of the best universities in the country for its sports teams.
History of the university
On 23 February 1875, Sir Josiah Mason, the Birmingham industrialist and philanthropist, who made his fortune in making key rings, pens, pen nibs and electroplating, founded Mason Science College. It was this institution that would eventually form the nucleus of the University of Birmingham.
In 1882 their Departments of Chemistry, Botany and Physiology were transferred to Mason Science College, soon followed by the Departments of Physics and Comparative Anatomy. The transfer of the Medical School to Mason Science College gave considerable impetus to the growing importance of that College, and in 1896, a move to incorporate it as a University College was made. As the result of the Mason University College Act 1897 it became incorporated as Mason University College on 1 January 1898, with the Right Honourable Joseph Chamberlain MP becoming the President of its Court of Governors.
It was largely due to Chamberlain's tireless enthusiasm that the University was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria on 24 March 1900. The Calthorpe family offered twenty-five acres (10 hectares) of land on the Bournbrook side of their estate in July. The Court of Governors received the Birmingham University Act 1900, which put the Royal Charter into effect, on 31 May. The transfer of Mason University College to the new University of Birmingham, with Chamberlain as its first Chancellor and Sir Oliver Lodge as the first Principal, was complete. The University Charter of 1900 also included provision for a Faculty of Commerce, as was appropriate for a university itself founded by industrialists and based in a city with enormous business wealth. Consequently, the faculty, the first of its kind in Britain, was founded by Sir William Ashley in 1901, who from 1902 until 1923 served as first Professor of Commerce and Dean of the Faculty.
Architecture of the University
The University occupies a site some 3 miles south-west of Birmingham city centre. The original buildings on the Edgbaston site were built at the turn of the twentieth century. The original semi-circle of red-brick domed buildings, form Chancellor's Court, at the centre of which stands the clock tower.
Affectionately known as 'Old Joe', as it is dedicated to the University's first chancellor Joseph Chamberlain, the design of the clock tower draws its inspiration from the that of the Torre del Mangia, the medieval clock tower forming part of the Town Hall in Siena, Italy.
Chancellors of the University
- 1st Rt Hon Joseph Chamberlain 1900-1914
- 2nd Rt Hon Robert Cecil 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood 1918-1944
- 3rd Rt Hon Sir Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon 1945-1973
- 4th Sir Peter Scott 1973-1983
- 5th Sir Alex Jarratt 1983-2002
- 6th Sir Dominic Cadbury 2002-present
Principal officers of the university
- The Chancellor of the University, the ceremonial figurehead, is Sir Dominic Cadbury.
- The Pro-Chancellor is Lord Hannay of Chiswick.
- The Vice-Chancellor and Principal is Professor Michael Sterling
Guild of Students
- Main article: University of Birmingham Guild of Students
- The Birmingham University Guild of Students was the first purpose-built Students' Union in the country when it was built in 1930, and was a founding member of the National Union of Students.
- The Guild of Students has a radio station called Burn FM which broadcasts twice a year on FM using Restricted Service Licences, and a weekly newspaper called Redbrick. There is now also an alternative student publication called The Radish
- The School of Dentistry, in Birmingham City Centre
- The Shakespeare Institute, in Stratford-upon-Avon
- The Ironbridge Institute, in Telford
- The Raymond Priestley Outdoor Pursuits Centre, near Coniston in the Lake District
Other items of interest
- is one of the top five most popular universities in the UK.
- ranks in the top 100 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education Supplement of October 2004.
- was the first civic university in England.
- was the first 'campus' university in England.
- is a member of the Russell Group of Universities and a founder member of Universitas 21.
- is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
- hosted Edward Elgar as Professor of Music from 1905 to 1908.
- produces more medical doctors than any other university in Britain.
- has the oldest business school in England, Birmingham Business School.
- had the first commoner in 240 years, Joseph Chamberlain, to hold the post of Chancellor of a British University, and the first such chancellor ever not to have been a member of the Established Church.
- has a Botanic Garden; a 24,000 square metre Edwardian Arts and Crafts style garden on the University's Edgbaston campus.
- was where the cavity magnetron was developed by John Randall and Harry Boot. This was vital to the Allied victory in World War Two
- was where the Frisch-Peierls memorandum, a 1940 document which demonstrated that the atomic bomb was more than simply theoretically possible, was written.
- is the only university in Britain with its own railway station. University (Birmingham) railway station, situated on the main campus, is on the Cross-City Line.
In 2005 the University began rebranding itself as a less conservative institution, changing the logo from the crest introduced in the 1980s. The new logo is, in fact, more in line with the crest as it appears on the University's original Royal Charter.
As it stands, the University now has two logos to represent a dual image. After a £320,000 research project into the image of the University, it was decided that the University was viewed as an older institution by companies and potential investors and as such an updated image was required to redefine the University as being modern and up-to-date. The marketing brand makes use of the letters U and B to bracket key words and achievements associated with the University. A new "word marque", using the Baskerville font in honour of the Birmingham printer John Baskerville, is used as the primary logo when trying to attract both prospective investors and students. The crest, repainted to more closely resemble that on the original University charter, appears on degree certificates and academic documents. Much of the signage around the University remains unchanged as of early 2006, still bearing the 1980s crest. The rebranding was not well received by many students and members of staff at the University, there having been little or no consultation.
A full list can be seen under Category:University of Birmingham alumni.
- Walter Allen - novelist and literary critic
- The Rt Hon Baroness Amos - first black woman to sit in the British Cabinet
- Kenny Anthony - Prime Minister of St. Lucia
- The Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong MP - Chief Whip for the Government and Parliamentary Secretary at the Treasury
- Francis Aston - Nobel Prize winner
- Professor Michael Aston - television archaeologist (as "Mick Aston").
- Harry Boot - co-developer of the war-winning cavity magnetron
- Madeleine Carroll - film star
- James Clavell - novelist and screenwriter
- Lisa Clayton - first British woman to sail single-handed around the world
- Tim Curry - actor and musician
- Spencer Davis - 1960s Pop Star
- Alex Deakin - BBC weatherman
- Roy Fisher - poet
- Philippa Forrester - television presenter
- Patrick Hall - politician
- Dr Richard Hu - Singapore Minister of Finance from 1985-2001
- General Sir Mike Jackson KCB CBE - Chief of the General Staff, the most senior officer in the British Army.
- David Kelly - UN weapons inspector
- Simon Le Bon - lead singer of Duran Duran
- David Lodge - novelist
- Desmond Morris - zoologist
- Captain Adrian Nance OBE - Commanding Officer, HMS Ark Royal
- Sir Paul Nurse - Nobel Prize winner
- Marcus Oliphant - who had a key role in the development of the atomic bomb and radar
- Adam Osborne - founder of the Osborne Computer Corporation
- C. J. Sansom - crime novelist
- Chris Tarrant - TV presenter
- Sir Ernest Titterton - nuclear physicist involved in the development of the atomic bomb
- Henry Treece - poet and novelist
- Sir John Vane, FRS - Nobel Prize winner
- Rodolfo Neri Vela - Mexican astronaut
- Stanley Wells - Shakespearean scholar, editor of the Oxford Shakespeare
- The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe MP - former cabinet minister
- Victoria Wood - comedian
- Maurice Wilkins - Nobel Prize winning physicist who helped discover DNA.
- Francis Brett Young - novelist and poet
- Allison Curbishley, Olympic 400m athlete
- University of Birmingham website
- Birmingham University Guild of Students
- Birmingham Rock Music Society
- Redbrick - student newspaper
- Burn FM - student radio station
- The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
- Birmingham University Evangelical Christian Union
- The Raymond Priestley Outdoor Pursuits Centre
- BBC Article in the University rebrand
- University of Birmingham Ice Hockey Team
- University of Birmingham American Football Team
- Google Map
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