Director of Residential and Environmental Services
pool – an asset not only for our students and staff but for the wider community. We are currently finalising the next phase of our estates strategy, which will see a further £300 million invested into projects such as the new Collaborative Teaching Laboratory, which will bring together practical teaching activities across a broad range of science and engineering disciplines, with plans including a new state-of-the-art facility in 2018/19. This means we will not only have best-in-class teaching lab facilities for our students, but a transformed curriculum. This, and many other developments, will enrich the student experience, and continue to strengthen our intellectual environment.
Rated 76th in the most recent QS World University Rankings, the University has a significant international presence. As well as a large international student community undertaking courses at Birmingham, our vibrant Study Abroad programmes attract students from around the world to spend time in Birmingham. We have made a significant investment to support partnership development with leading universities and key public and private organisations in Brazil. This has created joint research fellowships, visiting scholars, and a large, vibrant community of Brazilian PhD students on campus.
The University is one of the UK’s most successful institutions in terms of attracting research funding. We have a portfolio of 2,613 live projects with an award value to the University of £574 million. Our research record speaks for itself. REF2014 showed that more than 80% of all research carried out at Birmingham is rated as internationally excellent or world-leading, as well as showing that 87% of our research activity has a global impact, demonstrating our continued academic success across a broad range of areas. Supported by a major gift from a philanthropist, the University is developing a unique institute for forest research (BIFOR) which will investigate the effect of rapid climate change on tree canopy development and pathogens. Our substantive links with industry include receiving a £60 million investment from Rolls-Royce and HEFCE for the world-leading High Temperature Research Centre. In 2014, the University secured one of the four national quantum technology hubs, an £80 million initiative which focuses on technology transfer from fundamental science to application. In 2015, the government announced a £60 million investment into the Midlands Energy Research Accelerator, which is led by the University in partnership with other Midlands universities to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the global economy by transforming research and development in three critical areas of energy: Thermal, Integrated Systems and Geo-Energy.
The University’s many cultural assets take in the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon, which has direct working links with the Royal Shakespeare Company and enhances the educational opportunities available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students; 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.
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