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, mottoeng = Advice comes over nightTranslation used by Birkbeck. , established = 1823 – London Mechanics' Institute
1866 – Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution
1907 – Birkbeck College , type =
Public research university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership or receives significant public funds through a national or subnational government, as opposed to a private university. Whether a national university is con ...
, endowment = £4.3 m , budget = £109 millions (2015) , parent =
University of London The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awardi ...
, staff = , president = Baroness Bakewell , chancellor =
The Princess Royal Princess Royal is a style customarily (but not automatically) awarded by a British monarch to their eldest daughter. Although purely honorary, it is the highest honour that may be given to a female member of the Royal Family. There have been seven ...
(
University of London The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awardi ...
) , vice_chancellor =
Wendy Thomson Wendy Thomson (born 1953) is a Canadian-born public administrator and social policy researcher and advisor who has worked in both Canada and the UK. She was the managing director of Norfolk County Council from 2014 until the end of 2018. Since Ju ...
(
University of London The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awardi ...
) , head_label = Master , head = David S Latchman , students = () , undergrad = () , postgrad = () , location =
London London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millen ...
, England, United Kingdom , coordinates = , colours = , mascot = , nickname = , affiliations =
Association of Commonwealth Universities The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) was established in 1913, and has over 500 member institutions in over 50 countries across the Commonwealth. It is the world’s oldest international network of universities and its mission is ...

European University Association The European University Association (EUA) represents more than 800 institutions of higher education in 48 countries, providing them with a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research policies. Members of the ...

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA ) is a drama school in London, England, that provides vocational conservatoire training for theatre, television, film, and radio. It is based in the Bloomsbury area of Central London, close to the Senate H ...

Universities UK Universities UK is an advocacy organisation for universities in the United Kingdom. It began life as the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom (CVCP) in the nineteenth century when there were informa ...
, website = , logo = Birkbeck, University of London logo.svg Birkbeck, University of London (formally Birkbeck College), is a
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located in
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London. It is considered a fashionable residential area, and is the location of numerous cultural, intellectual, and educational institutions. Bloomsbury is home of the British Museum, the largest m ...

Bloomsbury
, London, England, and a
constituent college A collegiate university is a university in which functions are divided between a central administration and a number of constituent colleges. Historically, the first collegiate university was the University of Paris and its first college was the Co ...
of the federal
University of London The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awardi ...
. Established in 1823 as the London Mechanics' Institute by its founder, Sir
George Birkbeck Dr George Birkbeck (; 10 January 1776 – 1 December 1841) was a British physician, academic, philanthropist, pioneer in adult education and a professor of natural philosophy at the Andersonian Institute. He is the founder of Birkbeck, University ...

George Birkbeck
, and its supporters,
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, J. C. Hobhouse and Henry Brougham, Birkbeck is one of the few universities to specialise in evening
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion o ...
in the United Kingdom. Birkbeck's main building is based in the area of
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London. It is considered a fashionable residential area, and is the location of numerous cultural, intellectual, and educational institutions. Bloomsbury is home of the British Museum, the largest m ...

Bloomsbury
in
London Borough of Camden The London Borough of Camden () is a borough in Inner London and, for the purposes of the London Plan has been designated as part of 'Central London'. Camden was historically a part of Middlesex. Camden Town Hall, on Euston Road, lies north of ...
in Central London. In partnership with
University of East London , mottoeng = Knowledge and the fulfilment of vows , established = 1892 - West Ham Technical Institute1952 - West Ham College of Technology1970 - North East London Polytechnic1989 - Polytechnic of East London 1992 - gained university status , type ...
, Birkbeck has an additional large campus in Stratford, next to the
Theatre RoyalTheatre Royal is the name of many theatres, especially in the United Kingdom. The name was once an indication that the theatre was a patent theatre, with a Royal Patent without which performances of serious drama would be illegal. Places ; United ...

Theatre Royal
. Birkbeck offers over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all lectures are given in the evening. Birkbeck's academic activities are organised into five constituent faculties which are subdivided into nineteen departments. Birkbeck, being part of the
University of London The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awardi ...
, shares the University's academic standards and awards University of London degrees. In common with the other University of London colleges, Birkbeck has also secured its own independent degree awarding powers, which were confirmed by the Privy Council in July 2012. The quality of degrees awarded by Birkbeck was confirmed by the UK
Quality Assurance Agency The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is the independent body that checks on standards and quality in UK higher education. It conducts quality assessment reviews, develops reference points and guidance for providers, and conduc ...
following institutional audits in 2005 and 2010. Birkbeck is a member of academic organisations such as the
Association of Commonwealth Universities The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) was established in 1913, and has over 500 member institutions in over 50 countries across the Commonwealth. It is the world’s oldest international network of universities and its mission is ...
and the
European University Association The European University Association (EUA) represents more than 800 institutions of higher education in 48 countries, providing them with a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research policies. Members of the ...
. The university is also a member of the
Screen Studies Group, London The University of London Screen Studies Group (SSG) is a research consortium in film studies, founded in 2001. Member institutions include Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, University College London, King's College London, Royal Holloway, SOAS, Queen Mary, ...
. The university's Centre for Brain Function and Development was awarded The
Queen's Anniversary PrizeThe Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are a biennially awarded series of prizes awarded to Universities and Colleges in the further and higher education sectors within the United Kingdom. Uniquely it forms part of the Britis ...
for its brain research in 2005. Birkbeck's alumni include five
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, numerous political leaders, members of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British overseas territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other politic ...
and a British prime minister.


History


Founding

In 1823, , a physician and graduate of the
University of Edinburgh , latin_name = Universitas Academica Edinburgensis , image_name = University of Edinburgh ceremonial roundel.svg , image_size = 150px , established = , type = Public university/ancient university , endowment = £487.7 million , budget = £1,125 ...
and an early pioneer of adult education, founded the then "London
Mechanics' Institute#REDIRECT Mechanics' institutes {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
" at a meeting at the
Crown and Anchor Tavern The Crown and Anchor, also written Crown & Anchor and earlier known as The Crown, was a public house in Arundel Street, off The Strand in London, England, famous for meetings of political (particularly the early 19th-century Radicals) and variou ...
on the
Strand Strand may refer to: Topography *The flat area of land bordering a body of water, a: ** Beach ** Shoreline *Strand swamp, a type of swamp habitat in Florida Places Africa *Strand, Western Cape, a seaside town in South Africa *Strand Street, a ...
. More than two thousand people attended. However the idea was not universally popular and some accused Birkbeck of "scattering the seeds of evil." In 1825, two years later, the institute moved to the Southampton Buildings on
Chancery Lane Chancery Lane is a one-way street situated in the ward of Farringdon Without in the City of London. It has formed the western boundary of the City since 1994, having previously been divided between the City of Westminster and the London Borough ...
. In 1830, the first female students were admitted. In 1858, changes to the
University of London The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awardi ...
's structure resulting in an opening up of access to the examinations for its degree. The Institute became the main provider of part-time university education. In 1866, the Institute changed its name to the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution. In 1885, Birkbeck moved to the Breams Building, on
Fetter Lane Fetter Lane is a street in the ward of Farringdon Without in the City of London. It forms part of the A4 road and runs between Fleet Street at its southern end and New Fetter Lane, which continues north towards Holborn Circus. History The street ...
, where it would remain for the next sixty-seven years. In 1904, Birkbeck Students' Union was established.


Birkbeck College

In 1907, Birkbeck's name was shortened to "Birkbeck College". In 1913, a review of the University of London (which had been restructured in 1900) successfully recommended that Birkbeck become a constituent college, although the outbreak of the
First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "the war to end all wars", i ...
delayed this until 1920. The
Royal Charter#REDIRECT Royal charter#REDIRECT Royal charter#REDIRECT Royal charter#REDIRECT Royal charter {{R from other capitalisation ... {{R from other capitalisation ... {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
was granted in 1926. In 1921, the college's first female professor, Dame
Helen Gwynne-Vaughan Dame Helen Charlotte Isabella Gwynne-Vaughan, (née Fraser; 21 January 1879 – 26 August 1967) was a prominent English botanist and mycologist. During the First World War, she served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and then as Commandant o ...
, began teaching
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
. Other distinguished faculty in the inter-war years included
Nikolaus Pevsner Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner (30 January 1902 – 18 August 1983) was a German-British art historian and architectural historian best known for his monumental 46-volume series of county-by-county guides, ''The Buildings of England'' (195 ...
, J. D. Bernal, and Cyril Joad. During the World War II, Second World War, Birkbeck was the only central University of London college not to relocate out of the capital. In 1941, the library suffered a direct hit during The Blitz but teaching continued. During the war the College organised lunch time extramural lectures for the public given by, among others, Joad, Pevsner and Harold Nicolson. In 1952, the college moved to its present location in Malet Street.


Current status

In 2002, the university was rebranded Birkbeck, University of London, having dropped the word ''College'' from its preferred name, but Birkbeck College, University of London remains its full legal name. In 2003, following a major redevelopment, its Malet Street building was reopened by the Chancellor of the University of London,
The Princess Royal Princess Royal is a style customarily (but not automatically) awarded by a British monarch to their eldest daughter. Although purely honorary, it is the highest honour that may be given to a female member of the Royal Family. There have been seven ...
. In 2006, Birkbeck announced that it had been granted £5 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to expand its provision into east London, working with the
University of East London , mottoeng = Knowledge and the fulfilment of vows , established = 1892 - West Ham Technical Institute1952 - West Ham College of Technology1970 - North East London Polytechnic1989 - Polytechnic of East London 1992 - gained university status , type ...
. The partnership was formally launched on 21 November 2006 and is called Birkbeck Stratford. Birkbeck is the largest college of the University of London not to award its own degrees. Although it has held its own degree awarding powers since 2012, Birkbeck has chosen to hold these in reserve, preferring to award University of London degrees. It also offers many continuing education courses leading to CertHE, certificates and DipHE, diplomas, foundation degrees, and short courses.


The School of Continuing Education

In 1876, the London Society for the Extension of University Education was founded, boosting the aims of encouraging working people to undertake higher education. In 1988, the Department of Extra-Mural Studies of the University of London was incorporated into Birkbeck, becoming at first the Centre for Extramural Studies. In 1903, it became the Department of Extra-Mural Studies of the
University of London The University of London (abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awardi ...
and it was integrated into Birkbeck in 1988 as the School of Continuing Education. In 2009, the Faculty of Lifelong Learning was incorporated into the main College structure.


Campus and location

Image:Birkbeck College library interior 11.06.13.jpg, The interior of the new library. Birkbeck is principally located between Malet Street and Woburn Square in
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London. It is considered a fashionable residential area, and is the location of numerous cultural, intellectual, and educational institutions. Bloomsbury is home of the British Museum, the largest m ...

Bloomsbury
, with a number of institutes, teaching hospitals, and scientific laboratories on nearby streets. The Friends House is also partially owned by Birkbeck Law School. The School of Arts, including the Department of English & Humanities, is housed in Virginia Woolf's former Gordon Square residence in Bloomsbury. Other notable former residents of this house include John Maynard Keynes, Vanessa Bell, and Lydia Lopokova. The Gordon Square building includes th
Birkbeck Cinema
and th
Peltz Gallery
Many Birkbeck classes are taught at other locations around the Bloomsbury area, due to a combination of Birkbeck's widening participation strategy to make higher education accessible and also because nearly all classes on one day are taught at the same time, resulting in heavy competition for limited space. Birkbeck expanded into east London, in conjunction with the
University of East London , mottoeng = Knowledge and the fulfilment of vows , established = 1892 - West Ham Technical Institute1952 - West Ham College of Technology1970 - North East London Polytechnic1989 - Polytechnic of East London 1992 - gained university status , type ...
. The project is known as Birkbeck Stratford. The campus officially opened in November 2013.


Organisation


Faculties and departments

The University consists of five schools that comprise a total of 19 diverse academic departments, which are: * Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing * Department of Cultures and Languages * Department of History of Art * Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies * Department of Computer Science and Information Systems * Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics * Department of Management * Department of Organizational Psychology * Department of Law * Department of Criminology * Department of Biological Sciences * Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences * Department of Psychological Sciences * Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication * Department of Geography * Department of History, Classics and Archaeology * Department of Philosophy * Department of Politics * Department of Psychosocial Studies


Academic profile


Research and teaching

The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities (BIR) was established in 2004, with the renowned but controversial Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek appointed as International Director. According to its website, the Institute aims to, among other things, "engage with important public issues of our time through a series of open debates, lectures, seminars and conferences" and "foster and promote a climate of interdisciplinary research and collaboration among academics and researchers". The launch of the Institute wasn't without controversy, provoking an article in ''The Observer'' newspaper titled "What have intellectuals ever done for the world?" which criticised the ostensible irrelevance and elitism of contemporary public intellectuals. The current director of the institute is Costas Douzinas. 2004 also saw Birkbeck enter into a research and teaching collaboration with the Institute of Education, jointly founding the London Knowledge Lab. This interdisciplinary research institute brings together social scientists and computer scientists to address research questions about technology and learning.'ALT Lab Group: London Knowledge Lab' page. Association for Learning Technology Lab Group website. Available online at: Meanwhile, the London Consortium graduate school — a collaboration between Birkbeck, the Tate Gallery, Tate Galleries, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Architectural Association, and, until 1999, the British Film Institute – has been running since the mid-1990s, offering masters and doctoral degrees in the interdisciplinary humanities and cultural studies, resourced and jointly taught by all the participating institutions. Its permanent and adjunct faculty include figures such as Tom McCarthy (novelist), Tom McCarthy, Colin MacCabe, Laura Mulvey, Steven Connor, Marina Warner, Juliet Mitchell, Stuart Hall (cultural theorist), Stuart Hall, Roger Scruton, Salman Rushdie, Tilda Swinton as well as Slavoj Žižek. Its current chair is Anthony Julius. Since 2003, when David Latchman of UCL became Master of the Birkbeck, he has forged closer relations between these two University of London colleges, and personally maintains departments at both. Joint research centres include the UCL/Birkbeck Institute for Earth and Planetary Sciences, UCL/Birkbeck/IoE Centre for Educational Neuroscience, UCL/Birkbeck Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, and Birkbeck-UCL Centre for Neuroimaging. Science research at Birkbeck has a notable tradition. Physicist David Bohm who made notable contributions to the theory of Quantum mechanics was professor of Theoretical Physics from 1961 to 1987, Nobel Laureates Aaron Klug at the Department of crystallography, Derek Barton at the Department of Chemistry together with eminent physicist Roger Penrose and David Bohm at the Department of Physics. Computer scientist Kathleen Booth wrote the first assembly language. Birkbeck is part of the Institute of Structural Molecular Biology, which includes the Bloomsbury Centre for Structural biology, established in 1998. This is a collaborative venture between Birkbeck College and University College London and is a leading academic centre for translating gene sequences and determining protein structure and function. It also includes the Bloomsbury Centre for Bioinformatics, a collaborative venture also between Birkbeck College and University College London for research into Bioinformatics, Genomics, Systems Biology, GRID computing and Text mining. Birkbeck was ranked 13th in ''The Guardian's'' 2001 Research Assessment Exercise and 26th in the ''Times Higher Education's'' equivalent table. In the 2008 RAE results, Birkbeck ranked in the top 25% of UK multi-faculty Higher Education Institutions. The RAE rated the quality of research in a range of subjects at 159 Higher Education Institutions in the UK. Birkbeck submissions from Earth Sciences, Psychology, History, Classics and Archaeology and History of Art, Film and Visual Media were rated in the top five nationally. In REF2014, half of Birkbeck's submissions were rated in the top 20 nationally, and eight submissions received 100% ranking for Research Environment. 73% of Birkbeck's research was rated "world-leading" (4*) or "internationally excellent" (3*).


Rankings

Birkbeck's Centre for Brain Function and Development was awarded The
Queen's Anniversary PrizeThe Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are a biennially awarded series of prizes awarded to Universities and Colleges in the further and higher education sectors within the United Kingdom. Uniquely it forms part of the Britis ...
for its brain research in 2005. In 2010, Birkbeck was shortlisted for the ''Times Higher Education'' University of the Year Award. In 2021, the ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings'' ranked Birkbeck 95th in the world for Psychology. The university is constantly ranked in the top 100 in the world by ''QS World University Rankings'' for English Language & Literature and Philosophy. Internationally, Birkbeck is ranked within the top 350 universities in the world by the ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020'' and ''QS World University Rankings 2020.'' In 2018, Birkbeck announced that it will withdraw from UK university rankings because their methodologies unfairly penalise it, since "despite having highly-rated teaching and research, other factors caused by its unique teaching model and unrelated to its performance push it significantly down the ratings".


Students' Union

The Birkbeck Students' Union (BBKSU) was founded in 1904 and was one of the founding members of the National Union of Students (United Kingdom), National Union of Students. Initially governed by a Council, elected from and responsible to the students, today it is governed jointly by a Student Council, Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and Clubs & Societies Committee. Students initially paid an annual membership fee to join, but students are now automatically registered as members when they enrol onto a course at the college. Birkbeck Students' Union offers a number of societies for students, as well as a various sports clubs that compete in the University of London league. It also provides student representation and support, a student magazine, a student shop and a bar. Birkbeck students also have access to the societies and clubs of the Student Central, whose building adjoins Birkbeck's Bloomsbury site.


Notable people

File:J. Ramsay MacDonald LCCN2014715885 (cropped).jpg, Ramsay MacDonald, first Labour Party (UK), Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom File:Sidney Webb.jpg, Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield, economist and co-founder of the London School of Economics and Political Science File:Marcus Garvey 1924-08-05.jpg, Marcus Garvey, political leader and founder of UNIA-ACL and Black Star Line File:Blackett-large.jpg, Patrick Blackett, professor of physics and Nobel prize winner in Physics 1948 File:Thomas Stearns Eliot by Lady Ottoline Morrell (1934).jpg, T. S. Eliot, lecturer in English and Nobel prize winner in Literature 1948 File:Aaron Klug 1979.jpg, Aaron Klug, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry File:Eric Hobsbawm.jpg, Eric Hobsbawm, historian File:The Capture of William Joyce, Germany, 1945 BU6910.jpg, William Joyce, politician and Nazi propaganda broadcaster File:Arthur Wing Pinero Mw05020.jpg, Arthur Wing Pinero, Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, dramatist and stage director File:John McDonnell 2011.jpeg, John McDonnell (politician), John McDonnell, MP and former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer File:Antony Beevor 01.JPG, Antony Beevor, military historian File:Roger Scruton by Pete Helme.jpg, Roger Scruton, philosopher and activist File:Daisy Ridley by Gage Skidmore.jpg, Daisy Ridley, actress and star of ''Star Wars: The Force Awakens'' (Dropped Out) File:David fleming blackheath.jpg, David Fleming (writer), David Fleming, inventor of the Tradable Energy Quotas File:Slavoj Zizek in Liverpool cropped.jpg, Slavoj Zizek, philosopher and International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities File:Coventry Scouts groups have a visit from Bear Grylls.jpg, Bear Grylls, adventurer and television presenter File:Roger_Penrose_at_Festival_della_Scienza_Oct_29_2011.jpg, Roger Penrose, physicist and winner of 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics File:David Bohm.jpg, David Bohm, physicist and author *Eric Kaufmann (1970), Canadian professor of politics. *Samir El-Youssef writer and critic. *Julia Goldsworthy, British Liberal Democrat politician and former Member of Parliament. *J. Philippe Rushton, Canadian psychologist and author. *Tracey Emin, British artist. *Leonard Mandel, American professor of physics. *Delcy Rodríguez, Venezuelan politician. *Romesh Ranganathan, British comedian and actor. *Ed Davey (MSc Economics, 1993): British Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament and former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. *Sidney Webb, British economist. *Richard Sambrook, British journalist and former BBC executive. *Kitty Ussher, British economist and former Labour Member of Parliament. *Alex Corbisiero, Rugby union player. *Gloria De Piero, journalist and former Labour Member of Parliament. *Lisa Nandy, British Labour Member of Parliament. *Annie Besant, British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and philanthropist. *Nick Smith (British politician), Nick Smith, Welsh Labour Member of Parliament. *Philippa Forrester, British television and radio presenter and author. *Jenny Rowe, Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Supreme Court. *Denis MacShane, British former Labour Member of Parliament. *Shirley Toulson, British poet and author.


References


External links

*
Birkbeck, University of London student lists

Birkbeck, University of London military personnel,1914–1918
{{DEFAULTSORT:Birkbeck, University Of London Birkbeck, University of London, University of London Educational institutions established in 1823 1823 establishments in England Buildings and structures in Bloomsbury Universities UK