University College Birmingham, respected across the country for its links with industry to support students in their future progression, enjoys successful working relationships with organisations on a local, national and international level. These links equip students with the professional skills needed to embark on a successful career when their university adventure has come to an end.
UCB was awarded full university status in 2012, at the same time as fellow Birmingham provider Newman University. Its story begins in the small Victorian classrooms of the late 1800s. Founded as part of Birmingham Municipal Technical School, it went on to become a separate College of Bakery, Catering, Domestic Science and Associated Studies, and has always had culinary excellence at the heart of its delivery!
With the addition of a number of new courses over the years and a shift in its focus, the name inevitably changed several times. It was renamed Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts in 1957. The college had operated from nine city and suburban schools, but was put in one central building in 1968 when the Duke of Edinburgh unveiled an impressive new £1.5 million complex on Summer Row. It was designed to meet the needs of up to 1,000 students, and also included a hostel for 57 female students boarding on dinner, bed and breakfast arrangements.
The late 1980s brought another identity, with the previous title making way for the Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies. Its five major departments at that time were Hotel and Catering, Residential Child Care, Domestic Arts, Bakery, and Nursery Nursing.
In April 1993 the college left the control of the local authority and joined the new further education sector, with the newfound independence leading to an increase in recruitment, investment in the facilities, and development of the curriculum.
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A cool £25 million was spend on the construction of new halls of residence The Maltings, with work carried out between 1996 and 2003. As part of the expansion, Richmond House on Newhall Street was added to the complex, and opened as a dedicated further education centre in 2001. Just 12 months later, the institution switched to the higher education sector, in order to deliver leading courses in both higher and further education.
Towards the end of 2007, the Privy Council granted taught degree awarding powers, leading to the name University College Birmingham. Full university status arrived five years later, to the delight of colleagues.
Recent accolades have come in thick and fast, with UCB’s industry-leading work attracting recognition from many different sources. They include the Investors in People Gold Accreditation for the management and development of staff in 2014, and the Hospitality Assured 2015 prize for Most Innovative Use of the Standard Award the following year, which was awarded for providing consistency and quality across the university services.
Ofsted gave an ‘outstanding’ grade following an inspection in 2009, while the university is also the proud holder of Beacon Status, Catey Education and Training Award, Investors in People, Charter Mark and Matrix Award.