Birmingham City University

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Birmingham City University

Established 1971 (as City of Birmingham Polytechnic)
Type Public
Chancellor The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Randal Brew, OBE
Vice-Chancellor David Tidmarsh
Students 25,010 [1]
Location Birmingham, England, UK

Birmingham City University (formerly Birmingham Polytechnic and the University of Central England in Birmingham) is a University in the city of Birmingham, England.

The main university campus is located in Perry Barr, Birmingham. The University also incorporates Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), the largest faculty of art, design and media education in the United Kingdom, located at Gosta Green, and the Westbourne campus in Edgbaston, home to both the University's NHS-supported healthcare training faculty, along with the Defence School of Health Care which is part of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) located at Selly Oak Hospital, and a moderate amount of student accommodation. The School of English is home to the National Academy of Writing.


File:Baker west.JPG
Baker building, Perry Barr campus
File:Dawson west.JPG
Dawson building (left) and tree-lined avenue through Perry Barr campus
File:Dawson Edge.JPG
Dawson (left) and Edge (right) buildings facing onto quadrangle
Edge building
File:Kenrick library front.JPG
Steps up to front entrance of Kenrick library, Perry Barr campus
File:Bar 42 UCE Birmingham.JPG
Bar 42, the student union bar at Perry Barr campus
BIAD Fine Art Department on Margaret Street, formerly the Birmingham School of Art

Birmingham Polytechnic

Before it became a university, by statute on 6 March 1992, it was a polytechnic. The City of Birmingham Polytechnic was run by Birmingham City Council. Although Birmingham had first had a Polytechnic from 1843 to 1853, this one was created in 1971 from five different colleges with more colleges being added in the mid-1970s.[citation needed]

On 1 April 1989, the Education Reform Act made this, and all, polytechnics independent corporations with charitable status.

University status

The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 allowed all polytechnics to adopt the title of "university". The name University of Central England in Birmingham was approved by the Privy Council on 16 June 1992.

In 1995, two more colleges were absorbed:

  • Birmingham and Solihull College of Nursing and Midwifery
  • West Midlands School of Radiography

In August 2005 the University rebranded itself as UCE Birmingham for marketing and promotional purposes though the original name remained the official one. This decision was reversed in March 2007, following the arrival of a new Vice-Chancellor, and the fuller title "University of Central England in Birmingham" was resurrected for all purposes.

Merger proposals

In November 2003, the University asked neighbouring Aston University to consider a merger. This was rejected, as was a separate proposal to merge with the University of Birmingham.[citation needed]

Name change

In June 2007, it was announced that the University would be renamed,[2] with three possible names being proposed; Birmingham City University, Birmingham Chamberlain University and Birmingham Metropolitan University.[3] Staff and students (both current and alumni) were asked to complete a survey on what they wish the name to be changed to. On October 1, 2007, Vice Chancellor Prof David Tidmarsh unveiled the name chance from UCE Birmingham to Birmingham City University.[4] 48.2% of those who voted on the survey, voted for the name to be changed to Birmingham City University.[5]

The rationale for the name change was a perceived confusion of the location of the University and to give a "shorter, more powerful name".[6] The rebranding of the university cost £200,000, which includes changing signage and stationary.[7]

The new logo of the University is based on the tiger in the crest originally used by the University when it changed from being a Polytechnic.[8] This crest itself originally came from the Birmingham College of Commerce which was one of the original institutions which formed the Polytechnic. Birmingham-based BHMG Marketing designed the new logo.[7]


The University now has seven faculties:

The University also includes the Birmingham School of Acting, which merged with the university in 2005 following a period of collaboration.[9]

Former faculties are:

  • Built Environment - closed in 2005. Course provision moved to BIAD and LHDS
  • Computing Information Systems - closed in 2005. Computing courses have moved to the Business School

Following the University's change to Birmingham City University there are also plans to move to six faculties located at just 3 campuses with a number of course areas moving between faculties.[10]


The University is primarily a teaching institution.[citation needed] However, a notable piece of research into the phenomena of contract cheating was publicised by researchers at the University.[citation needed]

The University has five Centres of Research Excellence which are main focus of the University's research activities.[11]

Mapplethorpe controversy

In 1998, the University was involved in a controversy over the inclusion of books by Robert Mapplethorpe in its library.[12]

Notable alumni

Graduates of the University and its former entities include:

Notable staff

Current and former staff of the University and its former entities include:


  1. "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06". Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
  2. UCE site regarding name change
  3. "University of Birmingham Council: 4 July 2007 Unconfirmed Minutes" (PDF). University of Birmingham. 2007-07-04. pp. p.4. Retrieved 2007-09-20. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. BCU site regarding name change
  5. "New name for city university". BBC Birmingham. 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-10-02. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. "Birmingham City University name change". Birmingham City University. 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2007-10-01. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Shahid Naqvi (2007-10-01). "UCE announces name change". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2007-10-02. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. Tony Collins (2007-10-01). "New name for Brum's UCE". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2007-10-02. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. Birmingham School of Acting merges with BCU [1]
  10. "Proposed organisation changes" - Consulation document issued by Prof. David Tidmarsh (September 2007)
  11. UCE Research pages
  12. UCE pages on the Mapplethorpe controversy
  13. "Novelist Crace to unveil 'fabulous' £3m library revamp". 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.

External links

Template:Universities in the United Kingdom