Education: A-Z of Higher Education Colleges: This Week: University of Birmingham, Westhill

Age: 92

History: Founded in 1907 as a college for the training of non-conformist Sunday school teachers. Land was donated by Quakers - the Cadbury's chocolate people - and a lot of the early teaching was basic literacy. Moved into community and youth work and Froebel education. Later began to train primary school teachers.

Address: Leafy south-west Birmingham, three miles from the city centre.

Ambience: Mix of old and new buildings, from the redbrick arts and crafts edifice to a pounds 5.25m learning resource centre put up in 1997. An eight- storey unsightly accommodation block has been mothballed. All set in 80 acres of garden and playing fields in an almost village atmosphere next to Bournville.

Vital statistics: Small college of higher education with 850 full-time students and 120 PGCE students. Has now diversified out of teacher training. Runs degrees in such courses as creative arts, English and art, childhood studies, race and ethnic studies, and maths, science and psychology. Part of the University of Birmingham since August 1999. Male/female ratio 1:3. One-half mature students.

Added value: Teaches Islamic studies. Muslim parents are happy to send their daughters there. The college is proud of its record in widening access- one quarter of students are from Asian/Afro-Caribbean backgrounds.

Easy to get into? You'll need two A-level passes if you're coming in at 18, but the college operates an open-entry policy.

Glittering alumni: Sue Gormley, headteacher, Ward End School, Birmingham; Terry Martin, headteacher, Tiverton School, Birmingham; teacher Diana Sperry won the Guardian Award for the most creative use of information and communication technology in primary schools.

Transport links: To get into town, you can take the cross-city rail service or a bus up the Bristol Road. Getting to Birmingham is easy by road or train.

Who's the boss? History Professor John Briggs, a collector and historian of Staffordshire pottery.

Teaching: Scored 17 out of 24 in art and design. In Ofsted's primary teacher training inspection was rated good; in secondary RE teacher training was rated good to adequate.

Research: Beat three new universities in the 1996 research assessment exercise. Achieved a 3b in theology (top grade is 5).

Financial health: In the black. Will be better off still as a result of merger with Birmingham University.

Nightlife: The Yard and Bucket bar on campus. Annual summer ball. Local pubs and clubs offer student discounts.

Cheap to live in? Room in hall costs pounds 73 a week including meals. Private accommodation in Selly Oak costs about pounds 40 a week (no food).

Buzzphrase: Drunk as a skunk (what happens to students on Thursdays).

Next week: Westminster College, Oxford

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: MIS Officer - Further Education Sector

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Operating throughout London and...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all