Newman University, Birmingham

Newman University is a public university based in the suburb of Bartley Green in Birmingham, England. The university was founded in 1968 as Newman College of Higher Education. From 2008 to 2013 it was known as Newman University College, until gaining full university status in 2013. The university is named after the 19th-century religious figure John Henry Newman, who had strong links with the city of Birmingham as an Oratorian and a member of the Birmingham Oratory. His view of a university was of a scholarly community wherein the focus should be on training the mind to think rather than the simple diffusion of knowledge. In 1965, the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, George Patrick Dwyer, donated land in Bartley Green that was once the site of Athol House Farm for the purposes of building a teacher training college. In 1966, while under construction, the college appointed Simon Quinlan as its first principal and Joe Blackledge as vice principal. At its opening, the college was the first mixed-gender institution under lay control. The college accepted its first group of 182 students in 1968.Initially, the college's degree qualifications were awarded by University of Birmingham. In 1983, under threat of closure, the college entered into an agreement with nearby Westhill College to share facilities. This relationship ended abruptly in 1998 when Coventry University started to award all degrees and Westhill College was absorbed into the University of Birmingham. Between 2003 and 2008, the University of Leicester validated all degrees at the college. The Privy Council gave the institution degree-awarding powers in 2007 finally marking the institution's independence. Between the years 2000 and 2008, the college expanded, student numbers increasing by 112%. Originally called Newman College of Higher Education, the college was established as a centre for the training of teachers for local primary and secondary schools. The institution changed its name to Newman University College in January 2008 and to Newman University in 2013. Upon receiving university status, then principal, Professor Peter Lutzeier, commented 'it has been a long road to get here but achieving full university status provides welcome recognition for the quality of Newman's courses, graduates and staff'.Being founded as recently as 1968, the buildings are modern and purpose-built. The campus is arranged around a series of inner quadrangles of lawns and trees. Halls of residence provide bedrooms for over 200 students, conveniently adjacent to the teaching areas and well-stocked library. Over £20 million has been invested on improving the campus for students, including a vibrant new-build entrance and state-of-the-art library, creating a modern and attractive learning environment, a new halls of residence and new teaching spaces. Further developments are still ongoing to improve life on campus. With approximately 2,700 students from a variety of backgrounds, Newman is becoming an increasingly popular place to study.Newman is a different kind of university; we’re driven by the belief that higher education should enable us to develop new ways of understanding the world, and help make a positive impact within it. Our students become independent thinkers with ambition, empathy, and a lifelong love for learning. We’re a friendly community of staff and students, and our small class sizes mean that academic staff can give personal care and attention to each student. Reports frequently highlight the positive experience of students and individual attention offered by Newman’s staff.The university campus is located in Bartley Green about 8 miles (12.9 km) south-west of the city centre. It overlooks the Bartley Reservoir. The campus is designed around a series of inner quadrangles near academic, administrative, and pastoral buildings. The buildings on campus are named after people with a local historical significance and/or an educational significance to Newman University. The quads are named after women who have made a significant contribution to Birmingham and the Halls of Residence are named after places of significance to John Henry Newman. Much of the Campus dates back to the original foundation of the college in the 1960s interspersed with more recent developments.St Mary's Chapel is located in the middle of the campus and offers chaplaincy support to those of any faith and spaces for religious exercise or contemplation. In 2016, the chapel was refurbished and a large extension added to the south side of the building to provide additional teaching spaces. Students have a number of choices for where to eat on Campus in addition to shops and takeaway restaurants on Genners Lane. The Sanctuary acts as the main refractory where hot and cold meals are served throughout the day. The Senses Bar is on the northern side of the campus The Atrium cafe serves Starbucks coffee and other snacks on the south side of campus.In 2013, the university invested £20 million in developing parts of the campus, including a new library and entrance named the St Chad Building. These were opened by Olympic athlete Kristian Thomas and nominated for the Education category BD Architect of the Year Award, 2012. In September 2014 and 2017, the university received the Gold Award for Eco Campus. At the north side of the Campus is the Newman Health and Wellbeing Centre. Opened in 2016, the centre offers counselling services to students and local residents as well as a range of outreach activities.

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