University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham (informally Birmingham University)[8][9] is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen’s College, Birmingham (founded in 1825 as the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery), and Mason Science College (established in 1875 by Sir Josiah Mason), making it the first English civic or ‘red brick’ university to receive its own royal charter.[2][10] It is a founding member of both the Russell Group of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

University in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

University of Birmingham

Motto Latin: Per Ardua ad Alta
Motto in English
Through efforts to heights[1]
Type Public
Established 1825 – Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery
1836 – Birmingham Royal School of Medicine and Surgery
1843 – Queen’s College
1875 – Mason Science College[2][3]
1898 – Mason University College
1900 – gained university status by royal charter
Endowment £116.7 million (2020)[4]
Budget £737.3 million (2019–20)[4]
Chancellor Lord Bilimoria[5]
Vice-Chancellor Sir David Eastwood
Visitor Jacob Rees-Mogg
(as Lord President of the Councilex officio)
Academic staff
5,495 (2020) – including academic atypical staff [6]
Students 35,760 (2019/20)[7]
Undergraduates 23,155 (2019/20)[7]
Postgraduates 12,605 (2019/20)[7]




Campus Urban, suburban
Colours The University

College scarves
  • College of Arts and Law

    College of Social Sciences


    College of Life and Environmental Sciences


    College of Engineering and Physical Sciences


    College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Affiliations Universitas 21
Universities UK
Sutton 13
Russell Group

The student population includes 23,155 undergraduate and 12,605 postgraduate students, which is the 7th largest in the UK (out of 169). The annual income of the university for 2019–20 was £737.3 million of which £140.4 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £667.4 million.[4]

The university is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, housing works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet; the Shakespeare Institute; the Cadbury Research Library, home to the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts; the Lapworth Museum of Geology; and the 100-metre Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, which is a prominent landmark visible from many parts of the city.[11]Academics and alumni of the university include former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin,[12] the British composer Sir Edward Elgar and eleven Nobel laureates.[13]

. . . University of Birmingham . . .

A view across Chancellor’s Court, towards the Law building

The earliest beginnings of the university were originally traced back to the Queen’s College, which is linked to William Sands Cox in his aim of creating a medical school along strictly Christian lines, unlike the contemporary London medical schools.[citation needed] Further research[by whom?] revealed the roots of the Birmingham Medical School in the medical education seminars of John Tomlinson, the first surgeon to the Birmingham Workhouse Infirmary, and later to the Birmingham General Hospital. These classes, held in the winter of 1767–68, were the first such lectures ever held in England or Wales. The first clinical teaching was undertaken by medical apprentices at the General Hospital, founded in 1779. The medical school which grew out of the Birmingham Workhouse Infirmary was founded in 1828, but Cox began teaching in December 1825. Queen Victoria granted her patronage to the Clinical Hospital in Birmingham and allowed it to be styled “The Queen’s Hospital”. It was the first provincial teaching hospital in England. In 1843, the medical college became known as Queen’s College.[14]

Ceiling of the Aston Webb building

In 1870, Sir Josiah Mason, the Birmingham industrialist and philanthropist, who made his fortune in making key rings, pens, pen nibs and electroplating, drew up the Foundation Deed for Mason Science College.[3] The college was founded in 1875.[2] It was this institution that would eventually form the nucleus of the University of Birmingham. In 1882, the 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 Joseph Chamberlain becoming the President of its Court of Governors.

. . . University of Birmingham . . .

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. . . University of Birmingham . . .

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