Newman University is a public university based in the suburb of Bartley Green in Birmingham, England. The university was founded in 1968 as Newman College of Higher Education. From 2008 to 2013 it was known as Newman University College, until gaining full university status in 2013. The University offers degrees in subject areas from teacher training, sports science to humanities and the liberal arts.
The University is named after the 19th-century religious figure John Henry Newman who had strong links with the city of Birmingham as an Oratorian and a member of the Birmingham Oratory. His view of a university was of a scholarly community wherein the focus should be on training the mind to think rather than the simple diffusion of knowledge.
In 1965, the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, George Patrick Dwyer, donated land in Bartley Green that was once site of Athol House Farm for the purposes of building a teacher training college. In 1966, while under construction, the College appointed Simon Quinlan as its first Principal and Joe Blackledge as Vice Principal. At its opening, the College was the first mixed-gender institution under lay control. The College accepted its first group of 182 students in 1968.
Initially, the College’s degree qualifications were awarded by University of Birmingham. In 1983, under threat of closure, the College entered into an agreement with nearby Westhill College to share facilities. This relationship ended abruptly in 1998 when Coventry University started to award all degrees and Westhill College was absorbed into University of Birmingham. Between 2003 and 2008, University of Leicester validated all degrees at the College. The Privy Council gave the institution degree-awarding powers in 2007 finally marking the institution’s independence.
Between the years 2000 and 2008, the College expanded rapidly. Student numbers increased 112%.