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We want to celebrate BCU and our 2025 Strategy with our communities – our staff and students, our graduates, our partners, the people who live and work alongside us, and many more besides, reconnecting longstanding relationships and forging new links. We want you to be a part of it. Find out more about our exciting programme below and sign up to hear more about specific events by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: 16 May - 27 May
Innovation Fest ran for two weeks at BCU’s STEAMhouse and Millennium Point buildings. It offered businesses the opportunity to experience the creative talent emerging from BCU’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment and culminated with students being celebrated and awarded for their innovation and digi-tech expertise.
LENNY HENRY CENTRE FOR MEDIA DIVERSITY 2nd ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
Date: 20 May
A celebration was held at our City Centre Campus to celebrate the second anniversary of our Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, which aims to bring together experts to examine representation and boost diversity across the media industry.
Guests at the event included Laurence Olivier award-winning actor Adrian Lester, Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B, senior executives from Channel 4, BBC, and ITV, and journalists, producers, editors and academics from across the UK.
Speaking at the anniversary celebrations, Sir Lenny Henry, Chancellor at BCU, said: “What I have learnt is that we must turn protest into progress. We need to transform our complaints about the lack of diversity into real tangible results.”
I AM BCU AWARDS
Date: 9 June
Delivered in partnership between the University and the Students’ Union, the awards recognised the outstanding achievements of staff and students across the BCU community.
INSPIRED FAMILY DAY
Date: 11 June
Thousands of young, curious minds flocked to BCU to take part in our Inspired Family Day providing a plethora of fun and creative activities, including a book reading and signing by our Chancellor, Sir Lenny Henry.
The event, at the University's Parkside and Curzon buildings, marked the launch of Inspired Festival - a two-week programme of events that showcase the work of our art and design graduates.
Inspired Family Day saw youngsters and their families get involved in a host of exciting workshops and demonstrations including percussion sessions with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire musicians, medal making with a School of Jewellery expert, family portraits in the biggest green screen studio outside London, and designing gaming characters with School of Games, Film and Animation specialists.
Date: 11 June – 25 June
Celebrating exciting new talent emerging from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, the Inspired Festival offered a window into the future of the creative industries.
BCU 2025 STRATEGY EVENT
Date: 14 June
Birmingham City University held a special celebration of its past, present, and future with key figures form government, business, and the arts, including the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.
The formal celebration of the University’s ambitious BCU 2025 strategy, which outlines the institution’s academic and research ambitions, alongside its plans to tackle societal challenges, took place on at the University’s world-renowned Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and its new STEAMhouse building.
Hosted by Marcus Ryder MBE, of the University’s Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, the event featured a premiere screening of a special film that brings to life the University’s transformative work, a presentation from the Mayor, a celebration of students and music from leading artists.
INTO UNIVERSITY – 2ND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Date: 20 June
BCU and national education charity IntoUniversity celebrated the second anniversary of a partnership aimed at improving access to higher education including for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
IntoUniversity Birmingham North, an educational support initiative for young people in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham, was set up by the two organisations in 2020.
IntoUniversity forms partnerships with universities to provide young people – particularly those from disadvantaged neighbourhoods – with after-school academic support, mentoring and aspiration-building workshops and trips.
Since the centre opened, we have worked with over 2,200 students in the local community, and in 2021/22, 76% of school leavers from IntoUniversity Birmingham North progressed to university, compared to 29% of young people in the local area.
BCU SUMMER STAFF PARTY
Date: 22 June
Celebrations were held at Hockley Social Club to mark the crucial role staff are playing in achieving the ambitions set out within BCU’s 2025 Strategy.
BCU CATWALK SHOW
Date: 29 June
Leading figures from the fashion, business and creative industries gathered for a catwalk event celebrating the talents of Birmingham City University’s students and graduates.
‘THE CATWALK: BCU in Digbeth’ took place at Birmingham’s The Mill, showcasing the designs of the University’s Birmingham Institute of Jewellery, Fashion and Textiles.
Over 100 guests from across industries and sectors - including designers, buyers, and experts from Burbo K’Ture, Next, Superdry, Zara, and Christian Louboutin - flocked to Digbeth to view the latest high-end fashion collections produced by the University’s Fashion students and graduates. The event also included a state-of the-art digital exhibition and displays of designs created by the University’s Jewellery and Textiles students and graduates.
Inspired after seeing the designs at the catwalk show the University organised in Digbeth, Harvey Nichols chose a collection of work by students to display in the window of its Mailbox store in Birmingham City Centre.
CORPORATE HOSPITALITY AT EDGBASTON
Alumni, staff, students, and leaders from organisations across the city and region joined us at Edgbaston as we celebrated a two-year extension of our long-standing partnership with Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
The partnership provides opportunities for BCU students to work with Warwickshire CCC’s elite teams on short or long-term placements. There are also opportunities for students to gain experience with its sports science, medical, performance analysis, media and marketing teams.
Professor Philip Plowden, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “We are deeply committed to our home city and the region which surrounds it, and this partnership provides a visible reminder of this commitment. But the partnership is about far more than seeing our name at Edgbaston Stadium, or even on the playing shirt, important as that is.
“It enables us to offer an impressive range of placement opportunities to our students, and not just those who are studying sport-related disciplines – we’re opening up opportunities across event and venue management, media and marketing, amongst others.
“It’s these types of placements which make a BCU education so distinctive – we are a practice-orientated University, and ensuring our students are able to access real-world opportunities to hone their skills is a vital part of what we do. And through this partnership, we also ensure we are giving back to the city, by using our students’ enthusiasm and expertise gained during their studies to enhance the work done at Edgbaston, and with one of our city’s premier sports clubs.”
BCU Learning and Teaching Futures 2022
Date: 7 July
BCU came together to reflect and learn from innovative practice across the faculties and professional services, with over 60 presentations and workshops from staff at all levels.
LAUNCH OF THE STEAMhouse PRE-INCUBATOR
The STEAMhouse Pre-Incubator provides students and graduates the opportunity to develop skills and concepts, as well as access to valuable programmes, workshops and facilities.
The space, located in BCU’s Millennium Point building gives a supportive environment for people to launch a business venture, as well as foster fresh opportunities for new partnerships and exciting collaborations.
The Pre-Incubator reflects BCU’s continued commitment to employability, which has resulted in 97.4 percent of alumni working or progressing into further study within six months of graduating.
It also builds on BCU’s mission to be the University for Birmingham, enabling personal transformation, and ensuring students and graduates have the skills and support to make a positive contribution to the region.
Joanna Birch, Director of Innovation, Enterprise and Employability at BCU, said: “BCU’s vision is about transforming lives and entrepreneurial education provides an amazing backbone for people to learn how to establish a business of their own or gain valuable skills to support a more entrepreneurial impactful approach in any business.
“We are dedicated to ensuring our students and graduates can access and utilise spaces such as the Pre-Incubator, and meet and connect with useful networks and experienced entrepreneurs, to build a network of contacts that can support them throughout their life.”
STEAMhouse – OFFICIAL OPENING
Hundreds of political, business and creative industry leaders came together to celebrate the launch of BCU’s major new STEAMhouse building.
Home to a multi-disciplinary community of entrepreneurs, businesses, academic researchers and students, STEAMhouse - located in the University’s City Centre campus - offers a wealth of support to companies of all sizes to boost growth through innovation to address commercial and societal challenges.
Almost 400 guests attended the launch event, which included tours of the stunning five-story building, exhibitions and demonstrations showcasing its cutting-edge facilities and world-class business support services, live music from the University’s Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra and a performance by spoken word artist Amerah Saleh.
STEAMhouse is central to Birmingham City University’s commitment to spearheading the STEAM agenda, which places the Arts at the centre of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.
Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise) at Birmingham City University, said: “STEAMhouse will play a key role for growth and innovation across Birmingham, the region and beyond. We are proud to be pioneering the STEAM agenda as part of our mission to transform the lives not only of our students, graduates and the communities we serve, but also the wider economy.”
BCU AT WESTMINSTER
Date: 8 November
At an event at the House of Lords, BCU leaders urged policymakers to place greater emphasis on the value of the Creative Arts in higher education and recognise the role universities play in strengthening the sector’s growth and innovation.
They also called on industry and government to commit to increasing diversity in the arts and media industries to ensure equality and true representation.
Speakers at the event made the case for greater investment in Creative Arts education, and the need to drive forwards the STEAM agenda – bringing together the Arts with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) disciplines.
Lucy Powell MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Chi Onwurah MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity, and Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, Arts Minister, were also among the speakers at the event supporting BCU’s calls to action.
Sir Lenny Henry, Chancellor of Birmingham City University, who opened the event with a video message to attendees, said: “I am proud that our University, with its hugely diverse student community and an outstanding Arts education provision, is unlocking opportunities for future musicians, artists, journalists, jewellers, designers, filmmakers and many more professions besides.
“This next generation of talent will transform Britain’s creative sector – ensuring proper representation of the true diversity of this country, as well as leading to more innovation and growth that will ripple across our whole economy.”