Queen's University Belfast is a public research university in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The university's official title, per its charter, is The 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 Royal Belfast Academical Institution.
Queen's is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, Universities Ireland and Universities UK. The university has been associated with three Nobel laureates and one Turing Award laureate. The university offers academic degrees at various levels and across a broad subject range, with over 300 degree programmes available. Professor Patrick Johnston is the University’s 12th President and Vice-Chancellor since 1 March 2014, and its Chancellor is Thomas Moran.
The University also forms the focal point of the Queen's Quarter area of the city, one of Belfast's seven cultural districts.
Queen's University Belfast has its roots in the Belfast Academical Institution, which was founded in 1810, one of the United Kingdom's 10 oldest universities, 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.. Some early students at Queen's University Belfast took University of London examinations.
War Memorial and main entrance
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 Queen's University of Belfast.
Queen's has been led by a distinguished line of Vice-chancellors, including Sir David Keir, Lord Ashby of Brandon, Dr Michael Grant, Sir Arthur Vick, Sir Peter Froggatt, Sir Gordon Beveridge, Sir George Bain and Professor Sir Peter Gregson.
The university's Chancellors have included Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, Field Marshal Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Eric Ashby, Baron Ashby, and George J. Mitchell. The incumbent is Kamalesh Sharma.
Queen's University Belfast was admitted to the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities in November 2006.
- Times Higher Education 2014/2015 placed Queen’s 251-275 in world university rankings.
- Times Higher Education placed Queen’s in the top 25 most international universities in the world.
- In the National Student Survey 2013, Queen's was ranked 12th in the UK for student satisfaction.
- The Sunday Times University Guide 2013 has named the Queen’s School of Pharmacy as the No. 1 Pharmacy school and the best place to study pharmacy in the UK.
- The independent complete league table in 2013 has placed the Queen’s School of Pharmacy at second place.
- In the 2013 QS World University Rankings, Queen's University Belfast was ranked 166th and in the top 1% of universities in the world. This places the University on a trajectory well short of reaching the target set by Vice-Chancellor Peter Gregson of being a "Global Top 100" by 2016.
- In 2012-13 the Times Higher-QS World University rankings (known from 2010 onwards as the QS World University Rankings) placed Queen's at number 276-300 out of the top 400 universities in Europe and commented that Queen's 'is a leader in innovation and education with an international academic reputation'. It has become number 53 in this year's (2012) Guardian University Guide.
- In its independent 2011 league tables The Guardian newspaper placed the university at number 56 out of 117 institutes of higher education within the United Kingdom, a drop of 29 places compared to 2006, when Sir George Bain retired as Vice-Chancellor .
- In its independent 2009 league tables The Times placed the university at equal 31st out of 113 ranked universities in its Good University Guide.
- The UK wide research assessment exercise (RAE), announced in December 2008, showed Queen's has 11 subject areas ranked within the top 10 in the UK and 24 in the top 20. With almost 800 staff submitted, every area had research assessed as world leading.
- In its independent 2008 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
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.
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 bars within the building, the biggest of which, the Mandela Hall, hosts numerous concerts each year as well as the majority the Students' Union's club nights.
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. The oldest society in Queen's University is the Literary and Scientific Society which focuses on debating political, cultural and social issues within Northern Ireland. Established in 1850 by Edwin Lawrence Godkin, the society has been very successful and produced some of the finest orators within the North of Ireland. 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. 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 for their role in rescuing a young Nepalese climber left for dead near the summit. QUB is one of only 20 Universities in the United Kingdom to have the privilege of an AIESEC Local Chapter, developing leadership, business and soft skills in highly motivated students, as well as providing international opportunities through their work abroad program.There is an Orange Lodge, based at Queen's called Rising Sons of William Queen's LOL 1845 which formed in 2003.
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.
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.
The university hosts the annual Belfast Festival at Queen's and the Belfast Film Festival, and in 2007 held the Irish Student Drama Association Festival. It runs Northern Ireland's only arthouse cinema, Queen's Film Theatre, the Brian Friel Theatre and an art gallery, the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, which is a registered museum. In 2008 the Naughton Gallery was awarded the Times Higher Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts. Housed in the Lanyon building since 2001 is a marble statue by Pio Fedi of the great physicist Galileo, portrayed deep in thought.
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. 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 2 miles (3.2 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. The area and its surrounding forest of Barnetts Demesne are mapped for orienteering.
Queen's Gaelic football team have won several Sigerson Cups, most recently in 2007. The university's association football team, Queen's University Belfast A.F.C., play in the Irish Second Division. Queen's snooker team have won the British intervarsity title on a record nine occasions and are the current champions.
Queen's Boat Club are one of the most successful clubs in the University. They are reigning Irish Champions in men's Intermediate and Senior 8's and are the current holders of the British Universities and Colleges Sport Men's Championship 8, Men's Intermediate 8, Men's Intermediate coxed four, Men's Championship Quad, Women's Beginner 8 and Women's beginner coxed four titles making them one of the most successful university rowing clubs in the UK at present. They are also reigning Irish University Champions in Men's Senior 8's, Women's Novice 8's and Women's Novice 4's. They are the only rowing club in Ireland to have a full-time rowing coach.
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, 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 20 June 2006 the university announced a £259 million investment programme focusing on facilities, recruitment and research. One of the outcomes of this investment has been a new university library, opened in July 2009.
In June 2010, the university announced that they would be launching a £7.5m Ansin international research hub with Seagate Technologies.
Queen's is one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, with a total workforce of 3,903, of whom 2,414 were members of academic, academic-related and research staff and 1,489 were administrative employees.