Birmingham University is one of the oldest Universities in England. It was founded in 1900 as a successor to Mason Science College and is the earliest of the redbrick Universities. A major research- led institution, the University has over 15,000 Undergraduate and 7,000 Postgraduate students. The Birmingham University was founded by the Citizens of Birmingham in order to train and educate the people who would create and manage burgeoning business and industries of the Midlands. Thus in order to achieve this, the University started offering major scientific and engineering disciplines. The Birmingham University is the first University in UK to establish a Faculty of Commerce and Medical school. Today the University offers a full range of academic subjects and has five-star rating for teaching and research in several departments. The university is also contributing to cancer research. Birmingham University is considered as one of the best universities in the country for its sports teams.
The ancient main campus of the Birmingham University is on the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, arranged around the 100-m high Chamberlain clock tower. The spectacular Great Hall and Aston Webb Crescent are stately buildings. The other campus is Selly Oak campus, which lies at short distance to the south of the main campus. It was the home of a federation of nine higher education colleges. They mainly focused on theology and education and were integrated into the university for teaching purposes in 1999. Among these was Westhill College (later the University of Birmingham, Westhill) which merged with the University's School of Education in 2001. In addition to these two sites, the University also operates on several other sites within the city. The Birmingham University is the founding member of Universitas 21, an elite group of top research universities throughout the world. The Unviersity is awarded the distinction of Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence by the European Commission, in recognition of interdisciplinary expertise in European affairs. As a major European institution of higher education, the Birmingham University attracts students and staff from around the world and has extensive courses on humanities, social sciences and law