University of Birmingham

#128 /
Global Influence

University in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

About University of Birmingham

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Birmingham has a rather involved history. The oldest entity to which the modern university can trace its roots is the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery, founded in 1825. This medical-training college was officially recognized by the crown in 1836, becoming the Birmingham Royal School of Medicine and Surgery, which developed into Queen’s College, Birmingham, in 1843.

A separate institution of higher learning, Mason Science College, was founded in Birmingham in 1875, upgrading to Mason University College in 1898.

Two years later, in 1900, the Birmingham Royal School of Medicine and Surgery and Mason University College merged to become the new University of Birmingham, operating under a royal charter.

Birmingham was one of the first of the so-called “red-brick” universities, operating under the auspices of the crown as public institutions in provincial English cities. The red bricks were not only closer to home for many English people, they were also far less exclusive in their admission criteria and general ambience, as well as representing a less expensive higher education option, than Oxford or Cambridge.

Birmingham has always been strong in the natural sciences. Some 11 Nobel Prize recipients have called the university home, including:

  • John M. Kosterlitz, John Schrieffer & David Thouless — physics
  • Norman Haworth & Fraser Stoddart — chemistry
  • Maurice Wilkins, Peter Medawar, John Vane & Paul Nurse — physiology or medicine

Other Birmingham-connected notables include:

  • Physicists Rudolf Peierls, Otto Frisch, Mark Oliphant & John S. Bell
  • Biologist and organ transplantation pioneer, Rupert Billingham
  • Ethologist and popular science writer, Desmond Morris
  • Philosopher, Michael Dummett
  • Philosopher and theologian, William Lane Craig
  • Novelist and screenwriter, James Clavell
  • Actors Madeleine Carroll, George Takei & Isaac Hempstead Wright
  • German billionaire heiress, Susanne Klatten
  • Chemical engineer and industrialist, Jim Ratcliffe
  • Economist and current member of the Greek Parliament, Yanis Varoufakis
  • Former British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain

According to Wikipedia, The University of Birmingham 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 , and Mason Science College , making it the first English civic or 'red brick' university to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

What Is University of Birmingham Known For?

University of Birmingham is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

University of Birmingham's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are University of Birmingham's Most Influential Alumni?

University of Birmingham's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, and History. Here are some of University of Birmingham's most famous alumni:

William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig
An American Christian apologist and theologian.
Maurice Wilkins
Maurice Wilkins
A New Zealand-born English physicist and biologist.
Alfred J. Lotka
Alfred J. Lotka
An American mathematician.
Desmond Morris
Desmond Morris
An English zoologist, ethologist and surrealist painter.
John Stewart Bell
John Stewart Bell
A Northern Irish physicist.
Elliott H. Lieb
Elliott H. Lieb
An American mathematical physicist and professor of mathematics and physics at Princeton University.
Yanis Varoufakis
Yanis Varoufakis
A Greek-Australian political economist and author, Greek finance minister.
Paul Nurse
Paul Nurse
A Nobel prize winning British biochemist.
Adam Osborne
Adam Osborne
An American writer and software publisher .
John Vane
John Vane
An English pharmacologist .
Stanley Mandelstam
An American physicist .
Francis William Aston
Francis William Aston
A British chemist .