University of Birmingham

A leading research-intensive university, the University of Birmingham is a vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution, in the top 20 in the UK and 100 globally. With approximately 28,000 students and 6,000 members of staff, its work brings people from more than 150 countries to Birmingham.

The University of Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at Birmingham has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives.

We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

Universities are never complete. They develop as new challenges and opportunities occur. At the University of Birmingham we innovate, we push the frontiers of understanding; we ask new research questions, we turn theory through experiment into practice – because that’s what great universities do.

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Syrian rebel troops in a firefight in Aleppo. Freedom House

From Arab Spring to regional sectarian war

The promise by Syrian rebel leader Selim Idriss this week that “we are allowed to fight Hezbollah fighters inside [Lebanese] territory” was a chilling intimation of what may lie ahead for the region. What…
Passions run high when it comes to the NHS but despite some unprecedented challenges it will do what it always does - survive. PA

Despite the difficulties, the NHS is not dead yet

The NHS in 2013 is facing a series of unprecedented challenges. A rapidly ageing population is just one of a number of factors fuelling a rise in demand for services and hospitals are struggling to cope…
Royal service? Eddie Stobart is among the firms expected to bid for legal aid contracts. Andrew Milligan /PA Archive

Legal aid reforms will leave the poor with little choice

If you were in a fix and looking for a lawyer, would you think of bringing in haulage contractor, Eddie Stobart, to argue your case? Or Tesco, for that matter? And while G4S may be experienced at running…
Without energy storage technology we’re leaving good energy blowing in the wind. Danny Lawson/PA

When the wind blows we must capture it for a calmer day

The handling of Britain’s energy strategy leaves much to be desired, subject as it is to short term politics over long term planning. We face a trilemma that stems from the opposing tension of climate…
Desperately seeking Tesco. Lynne Cameron/PA

Supermarkets can lead high street rebirth

A report released yesterday by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) outlines a very bleak future for the UK high street. A fifth of shops are expected to close in the next five years, with 316,000 job…
Isolated and reviled: the families of terror suspects suffer trial by media with virtually no support from social services. Image by Pensiero via Creative Commons

Bleak future lies in wait for the families of Woolwich suspects

The family of Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo have broken their silence, issuing a statement in which they condemned acts of terror and religious violence and sent their “heartfelt condolences…
Watching brief: police gathering footage at a demonstration. Petras Gagilas via Creative Commons

From Boston to Woolwich: the flaws in second guessing counterterrorism

Almost as quickly as the first responders in the aftermath of a terrorist attack arrive, come the second guessers. In the case of the horrendous incident in Woolwich last week, it was not long before it…
Brute force: English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson (left) rallied his supporters outside a Woolwich pub. PA/Neil Lancefield

EDL uses an old playbook to spread message of hate

It was unsurprising that little more than a few hours after yesterday’s horrific murder, the far-right arrived in Woolwich. Emboldened by the afternoon’s events, the English Defence League’s (EDL) leader…
GPs and hospitals aren’t incentivised to properly manage demand, which has contributed to the crisis in Accident & Emergency. PA/Stephen Kelly

A&E is in crisis because we all take it for granted

Our increasing use of hospital services is out of control and unsustainable and is contributing to the current crisis in accident and emergency (A&E). But the problem isn’t new and 30 years of NHS…
Shell and BP in less competitive times. flikr/recursion_see_recursion

Oil, the marketing wolf pack, and EU price-fixing

When most of us think of cartels, we think of Colombian drug gangs rather than multi-national businesses. But not any more; if European regulators are to be believed, a cartel has been operating much closer…
It’s never easy when someone we’re close to is dying but there are things we can learn from the professionals who deal with this every day. PA/David Cheskin

We need to get over our fear of talking about dying

It’s not always easy to talk to someone who is dying. Conversations about future plans and wishes may appear insensitive and fuelled with great pain and distress when it’s somebody we love. For some, not…
Australia’s hydro energy storage systems are getting long in the tooth: maybe it’s time to look at liquid air. Michael Mazengarb

The missing link: why Australia needs energy storage

In visiting Australia regularly for the last two decades I have never quite understood why greater value is not placed on the nation’s latent solar and nuclear energy assets. Perhaps it is because Australia…
Current methods of examining newborn babies’ hearts in the first days of life are not particularly effective. jeremysalmon/Flickr

How a simple test could save babies from dying of heart disease

More babies die from undiagnosed congenital heart defects than from any other abnormality. But a simple test which is safe, painless and takes only a couple of minutes could help identify these babies…

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