May 2018

Golden anniversary celebrations get underway!

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From 50p breakfasts, gold dust coffee, a celebration selfie photobooth, prize-winning chocolates for students and special cupcakes for staff to a pop-up shop selling exclusive 50th merchandise, golden anniversary celebrations are officially underway at UCB! 

It is exactly 50 years since University College Birmingham was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as the Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts, bringing courses spread over nine schools across the city under one roof at the brand new Summer Row campus.

 Today, we are celebrating 50 years of radical change and progression as a globally-connected, three-campus provider of vocational and academic college courses, degrees and apprenticeships in tourism, creative services, business, sport, health and social care and education, as well as in food and hospitality. 

“Things have changed so much in 50 years, the facilities are unrecognisable,” said alumni Duncan Cameron, who was in the first cohort of hospitality students in 1968. 

“We visited recently and the overwhelming impression I was left with is one I experienced as a student, that of total commitment to the students and the hospitality industry. An institution to be truly proud of.”

Potted history

Starting out as a centre for domestic Victorian cookery classes before bringing its educational offering under one roof in 1968, what was Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts diversified its courses in the 1980s to become Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies.

Moving away from Birmingham City Council control in 1993, the college received the Queen’s Anniversary Award to recognise its links with industry in 1998. In 2002, it started providing both higher and further education courses with a strong vocational focus and, in 2006, became the first HE institution to receive the government’s Beacon status for outstanding teaching and learning.

Granted its own degree awarding powers in 2007, the institution became University College Birmingham, with many degrees accredited by the University of Birmingham, and ‘University’ title was granted in 2012. Today, it has more than 7,500 students.

Growth plans include building on UCB’s new partnership with the University of Birmingham to widen participation and create new pathways together, and open its new £42m Moss House higher education campus in the Jewellery Quarter in 2019.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Ray Linforth said: “With Brexit, the Higher Education and Research Act, the Teaching Excellence Framework and the introduction of T Level vocational awards, higher and further education continues to undergo radical change.

“We are tremendously proud of our unique and specialist position and we look forward to a great year of celebrations at UCB and across the city.”

Student successes include Michelin-starred chef Brad Carter, Miss Macaroon founder Rosie Ginday, the world’s first male flying butler Eren Wirizlay, board member of the National Bank of the Maldives Abdulla Yasir and Paralympian swimmer Chloe Davies.

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