Queen's University Belfast

Queen's University Belfast

Infobox University
name = Queen's University Belfast
native_name =

image_size = 175px
established = 1849
staff = 1,600
chancellor = George J. Mitchell
vice_chancellor = Professor Peter Gregson
students = 24,560cite web |url=http://www.hesa.ac.uk/holisdocs/pubinfo/student/institution0506.htm |title=Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06 |work=Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics |accessdate=2007-04-04]
undergrad = 19,165
postgrad = 5,395
city = Belfast
province = Northern Ireland
country = United Kingdom
coor = coord|54|35|3|N|5|56|5|W|display=inline,title|type:edu
campus = Urban
affiliations = Russell Group TIME Utrecht Network UI UUK
website = http://www.qub.ac.uk
address = University Road
telephone = +44 (0) 2890 245133

Queen's University Belfast is a university in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The university's official title, per its charter, is "Queen's University of Belfast". It is often referred to simply as "Queen's", or by the abbreviation "QUB". The university was chartered in 1845, and opened in 1849 as "Queen's College, Belfast", but has roots going back to 1810 and the Belfast Academical Institution.cite web|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/TheUniversity/AboutQueens/HistoryofQueens/|title=History of Queen's|publisher=Queen's University Belfast|accessdate=2008-03-01]

Queen's is a member of the Russell Group (a lobby group of major research universities in the United Kingdom), the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, Universities Ireland and Universities UK. The university offers academic degrees at various levels and across a broad subject range, with over 300 degree programmes available. [cite web|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/Education/TeachingQuality/|title=Teaching Quality|publisher=Queen's University Belfast|accessdate=2008-03-04] The university's current President and Vice-Chancellor is Professor Peter Gregson, and its Chancellor is the former United States Senator, George Mitchell.

The University also forms the focal point of the Queen's Quarter area of the city, one of Belfast's four cultural districts.


Queen's University Belfast has its roots in the Belfast Academical Institution, which was founded in 1810 and remains as the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. The present university was first chartered as "Queen's College, Belfast" in 1845, when it was associated with the simultaneously founded Queen's College, Cork and Queen's College, Galway as part of the Queen's University of Ireland - founded to encourage higher education for Catholics and Presbyterians, as a counterpart to Trinity College, Dublin, then an Anglican institution. Queen's College, Belfast opened in 1849. Its main building, the Lanyon Building, was designed by the English architect, Sir Charles Lanyon.At its opening, it had 23 professors and 343 students.fact|date=March 2008

The "Irish Universities Act, 1908" dissolved the Royal University of Ireland, which had replaced the Queen's University of Ireland in 1879, and created two separate universities: the current National University of Ireland and the Queen's University of Belfast.

Queen's has been led by a distinguished line of Vice-Chancellors (presidents), including Sir David Keir, Lord Ashby of Brandon, Dr Michael Grant, Sir Arthur Vick, Sir Peter Froggatt, Sir Gordon Beveridge, and Sir George Bain.

The university's Chancellors have included Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, Field Marshall Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Lord Ashby and the incumbent, George Mitchell.

Parliamentary representation

The university was one of only eight United Kingdom universities to hold a parliamentary seat in the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster until such representation was abolished in 1950. The university was also represented in the Parliament of Northern Ireland from 1920–1968, where its graduates elected four seats.

In Irish republican theory at this time, elections to the UK and Northern Ireland parliaments were considered to be elections to an equivalent Dáil Éireann constituency.


In addition to the main campus not far from the centre of Belfast, the university has two associated university colleges, these being St Mary's and Stranmillis both also located in Belfast. Although offering a range of degree courses, these colleges primarily provide training for those wishing to enter the teaching profession. The university has formal agreements with other colleges in Northern Ireland and operates several outreach schemes to rural areas.

While the university refers to its main site as a campus, [See http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/TheUniversity/Location/Maps/MainCampus/, for example.] the university's buildings are in fact spread over a number of public streets in South Belfast, centring around University Road, University Square and Stranmillis Road, with other departments located further afield.

On June 20, 2006 the university announced a £259 million investment programme focusing on facilities, recruitment and research. [cite news|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/TheUniversity/GeneralServices/News/ArchivesPressReleases-CampusNews/2006PressReleases/06-2006PressReleases/#d.en.31450|title=Queen's invests £259 million in 'world-class future'|date=2006-06-20|accessdate=2006-09-16]


Academics at Queen's are organised in terms of twenty-one schools with each school operating as a primary management unit of the university and being the focus for education and research for their respective subject areas. [cite web|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/SchoolsDepartments/|title=Schools & Departments|publisher=Queen's University Belfast|accessdate=2008-08-28]


Several institutes are also associated with Queen's. Located close to the main campus is the "Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen's" which offers training to law graduates to enable them to practise as solicitors or barristers in Northern Ireland, England & Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

The "Institute of Theology" consists of several colleges with a Christian emphasis, including St Mary's (Catholic), Union Theological College (Presbyterian) as well as Baptist and Methodist colleges in Belfast. In all five colleges teach any programmes with a theological emphasis on behalf of the university; the university may confer theology degrees but cannot teach the subject itself.


Queen's University Belfast was admitted to the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities in November 2006. [cite news|url=http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/news/2006/appointment-first-director-general-and-expands-membership-to-20-top-research-universities.html|title=The Russell Group appoints first Director General and expands membership to 20 top research universities|publisher=Russell Group|date=November 2006|accessdate=2008-03-01] [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6123044.stm|title=Queen's to join UK 'ivy league'|publisher=BBC News|date=2006-11-07|accessdate=2008-03-01]

*In its independent 2009 league tables "The Guardian" newspaper placed the university at number 46 out of 117 institutes of higher education within the United Kingdom. [cite web|url=http://browse.guardian.co.uk/education?SearchBySubject=&FirstRow=&SortOrderDirection=&SortOrderColumn=&Subject=University+ranking&Institution=Queen%27s%2C+Belfast|title=University Guide 2009|work=The Guardian|accessdate=2008-08-18] [cite web|url=http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Education/documents/2008/05/08/rankingsrevised.xls|title=Rankings with performance scores|work=The Guardian|accessdate=2008-08-18]
*In its independent 2009 league tables "The Times" placed the university at equal 31st out of 113 ranked universities in its "Good University Guide". [cite web|url=http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_gug/gooduniversityguide.php|title=Good University Guide 2009|work=The Times|accessdate=2008-08-18]
*In its independent 2006 league tables "The Sunday Times" placed Queen's at number 37 of 119 in its University Guide 2006 League Table, up two places from the previous year. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,8403,00.html The Sunday Times University Guide 2006] ; accessed September 29th 2006]
*In 2007 the Times Higher-QS World University rankings placed Queen's at number 88 out of the top 150 universities in Europe [cite web|url=http://www.topuniversities.com/worlduniversityrankings/results/2007/overall_rankings/european_top_150/|title=Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings 2007 - European Top 150|publisher=QS Top Universities|accessdate=2008-08-28] and commented that Queen's 'is a leader in innovation and education with an international academic reputation'. [cite web|url=http://www.topuniversities.com/schools/data/school_profile/default/queensuniversitybelfast|title=Queen's University of Belfast|publisher=QS Top Universities|accessdate=2008-08-28]

Admissions and students

Entrants to Queen's have, on average, 359 A/AS-level points and there are currently 5.3 applications per place.Sunday Times University Guide, [http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/stug2006/uk48.pdf Queen's University Belfast] , 10 September 2006, accessed 16 January 2007] The "Sunday Times" has described the Queen's admissions policy as "among the most socially inclusive in Britain and Northern Ireland". 99.5 per cent of first degree entrants are from state schools,cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6905288.stm |title=More state pupils in universities |work=BBC News |accessdate=2007-07-24] although this is mainly due to the lack of private schools in Northern Ireland.

The total student population is 24,560, of whom 19,165 are undergraduates and 5,395 postgraduates. Of the undergraduate population, 18,145 are from the UK, 640 from elsewhere in the European Union and 380 are from outside the EU. The figures for postgraduates are 4,115 from the UK, 650 from elsewhere in the EU, and 630 from the rest of the world, mainly from China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Queen's was established as a non-sectarian institution, with the aim of attracting both Protestant and Catholic students. While the university does not publish data on the religion affiliation of its students, Rupert Taylor, who conducted his PhD research on the university during The Troubles, argued in an article published in 1988 that "Whilst in the past, especially before the Second World War, Catholics were under-represented this is not currently the case". Taylor cites data showing that Catholic representation amongst undergraduates rose from 21.9 per cent in 1958/59 to 27.4 per cent in 1968/69 and 42.5 per cent in 1978/79.cite journal|last=Taylor|first=Rupert|title=The Queen's University of Belfast: The liberal university in a divided society|journal=Higher Education Review|volume=20|issue=2|pages=27–45|date=1988] By the late 1990s, 54 per cent of Queen's students were Catholics, compared to a 48 per cent share of the Northern Ireland population aged 18-25. [cite book|last=Clarkson|first=Leslie A|date=2004|title=A University In Troubled Times: Queen's, Belfast, 1945-2000|location=Dublin|publisher=Four Courts Press] The growing share of Catholics in the student population is in part due to the tendency of middle-class Protestants to go to university in Britain rather than Northern Ireland. As of 2008 the QUB medical school accepts some 250 home medical students per year and an additional 12 from overseas. cite web|url=http://www.study-medicine.co.uk/index.php?pageid=stats|title=www.study-medicine.co.uk British Medical School Statistics|publisher=Study-medicine.co.uk|accessdate=2008-09-08] .

tudent life

tudents' Union

The Students' Union at Queen's (QUBSU) is located opposite the Lanyon Building on University Road, and is provided for under the University's Statutes. All students at the University are automatic members of the Union, making it one of the largest Unions on a single campus in Ireland and the UK. It is administered by the Students' Representative Council (SRC) (elected every October, on a Faculty basis) and an Executive (elected in March), who manage the operations of the Union in conjunction with several full time staff.

Union Services

A range of services are provided by the Students' Union following its reopening in March 2007 after a £9 million redevelopment, including an Advice Centre with full-time staff to help with issues such as money problems, accommodation and welfare. Commercial services are also provided for by the Union and include a shop, canteen and coffee franchise. There are also four pubs within the building, the biggest of which, the Mandela Hall, hosts concerts and the Shine nightclub.

Clubs and Societies

More than fifty sporting clubs and over 100 non-sporting societies are recognised by the Student's Union Council and therefore eligible to apply for an annual grant from the University. [ [http://quis.qub.ac.uk Clubs and Societies] , Queen's University website; accessed 15 July 2007] The QUB boathouse, home of Queen's University Belfast Boat Club (QUBBC) and Queen's University of Belfast Ladies Boat Club (QUBLBC), is located on the River Lagan near Stranmillis. The Dragonslayers Gaming Society hosts one of Ireland's largest games conventions, Q-Con, in June of each year, and cultural groups such as An Cumann Gaelach and the Ulster-Scots Society are also present. The Queen's University Mountaineering Club is notable for producing three Everest summiteers including Ireland's first, Dawson Stelfox. [cite web|url=http://www.open.ac.uk/graduation2006/pop63047.shtml|title=Mr Dawson Stelfox|publisher=Open University|accessdate=2008-06-15] Dr Roger McMorrow and Dr Nigel Hart also summited in May 2007, and were subsequently jointly announced Queen's University Graduates of the year for 2006/07 [cite news|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/Alumni/Events/PastEvents2006-2007/2007Events/GraduateStudentoftheYearwinners/|title=Graduate & Student of the Year winners|publisher=Queen's University Belfast|accessdate=2008-06-15] for their role in rescuing a young Nepalese climber left for dead near the summit. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/6700603.stm|title=BBC: NI doctors in Everest rescue drama|publisher=BBC News|date=2007-05-29|accessdate=2008-06-15]


Queen's provides housing for both undergraduates and postgraduates, although because of the compact size of Northern Ireland many students chose to live at home and commute to the university. In 2005/06, 36 per cent of Queen's students lived in private accommodation within Belfast, 29 per cent lived with parents or guardians, 20 per cent in private accommodation outside of Belfast, and 10 per cent lived in university maintained accommodation. [cite web|publisher=The Planning Service|url=http://www.planningni.gov.uk/AreaPlans_Policy/Plans/BMA/HMO/Supplementary_docs/HMA.pdf|title=Supplementary Document 1: Housing Market Analysis, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs): Subject Plan for Belfast City Council Area 2015|pages=14|accessdate=2007-08-26]

The university provides accommodation on a purpose-built 'student village' called Elms Village, which has its own bar and shop, located on the Malone Road, south of the main campus, as well as in a number of houses in the South Belfast area, including at College Gardens and on Mount Charles. [cite web|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/StudentAccommodationServices/Filetoupload,103200,en.pdf|title=Where to stay at Queen's|publisher=Queen's Accommodation and Hospitality|accessdate=2008-09-03]

Cultural life

The university hosts the annual Belfast Festival at Queen's and the Belfast Film Festival, and in 2007 is holding the Irish Student Drama Association Festival. It runs Northern Ireland's only arthouse cinema, Queen's Film Theatre, and an art gallery, the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, which is a registered museum.


Queen's Physical Education Centre (abbreviated to and known widely as the PEC) recently went through an extension program was awarded 'Best Building 2007' by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Northern Ireland. [cite news|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/sport/Aboutus/NewsandEvents/08-06-2007PECScoopsTopBuildingAward/|title=Queen's Physical Education Centre scoops top building award|publisher=Queen's Sport|date=2007-06-08|accessdate=2007-12-27] It is one of the largest sports centres in the British Isles. This building houses many squash courts, several climbing walls and is home to QUB's senior men's and women's basketball teams.

The University Playing Fields, also known as Malone Playing Fields, is located just over convert|2|mi|km from the main campus, comprising 17 pitches for rugby, association football, Gaelic football, hockey, hurling, camogie and cricket. In addition, there are three netball courts, nine tennis courts and an athletics arena where the Mary Peters Track is situated.

Queen's Gaelic football team have won several Sigerson Cups, most recently in 2007.fact|date=February 2008 The university's association football team, Queen's University Belfast A.F.C., play in the Irish Second Division, the 3rd tier in Northern Irish football.

Notable alumni and academics

Queen's has a large number of now-famous alumni, including the poets Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon; actors Simon Callow, Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea; crime novelist Brian McGilloway; broadcaster Nick Ross; scientists John Stewart Bell, Frank Pantridge and Thomas Henry Flewett; lawyer Lord Hutton; politicians Eoin MacNeill, Sir Reg Empey, Lord Faulkner of Downpatrick, Lord Trimble, Lord Alderdice, Mark Durkan, Nigel Dodds and Conor Murphy; and the current President of the Republic of Ireland Mary McAleese. Other alumni include John Bodkin Adams, Trevor Ringland (a 2007 winner of the Arthur Ashe for Courage Award), David Case (Air Commodore, the highest ranking Black officer in the British Armed forces) and Tim Collins (former Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment). Former Provisional IRA member and hunger striker Laurence McKeown attended the university and obtained a Ph.D following his release from prison.

Notable academics who have worked at Queen's include Professor Paul Bew, Baron Bew, Professor Sir Bernard Crossland, Professor Tony Hoare, Professor Michael Mann and Professor John H. Whyte. Writer Philip Larkin was a sub-librarian at the university.

Links with other universities

Queen's participates in the European Union's ERASMUS programme, allowing undergraduate students to study for a period at universities in Austria, Finland, Iceland, Portugal, Belgium, France, Italy, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland. [cite web|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/ilo/socrates/partners/0708partners.htm|title=ERASMUS partners 2007-08|publisher=Queen's University Belfast|accessdate=2008-03-09] Queen's is also part of the Utrecht Network which works towards the internationalisation of higher education. The university also has exchange programmes with the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, and two universities in Canada: Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. [cite web|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/ilo/exchanges/|title=University exchange programmes|publisher=Queen's University Belfast|accessdate=2008-03-09] Ching Yun University in Jhongli City, Taiwan, lists Queen's as a 'sister institution'. [cite web|url=http://aps2.cyu.edu.tw/asp_work/encyu01/ISO/sisters.htm|title=清雲科技大學與外國學校(含學術機構)簽署學術交流合作協約|publisher=Ching Yun University|accessdate=2008-03-09] The university is also a member of the Top Industrial Managers for Europe (T.I.M.E.) Association.

Queen's takes part in the British Council's Business Education Initiative study-abroad scheme sending a number of undergraduate students to study business and related subjects at participating higher-education institutions in the United States. [cite web|url=http://www.britishcouncil.org/northernireland-learning-bei-prospective-students.htm|title=Prospective students|publisher=British Council Northern Ireland|accessdate=2008-09-03] [cite web|url=http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/InformationforStudentsGraduates/BusinessEducationInitiative/|title=Business Education Initiative|publisher=Queen's University Belfast|accessdate=2008-09-03]


ee also

*Education in Northern Ireland
*List of universities in Northern Ireland
*List of Queen's University Belfast people

External links

* [http://www.qub.ac.uk Queen's University Belfast]
* [http://www.qubsu.org/ Queen's University Belfast Students' Union]

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