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Top Birkbeck highlights of 2023

This year’s highlights included celebrating Birkbeck’s 200th anniversary, receiving very positive results from student feedback in the National Student Survey, and Birkbeck being ranked in the top 20 UK universities for social mobility.

Birkbeck students in front of Birkbeck's Malet Street building
Birkbeck students in front of Birkbeck's Malet Street building

This past year has been filled with exciting developments and achievements at Birkbeck, University of London across our community of students, staff and alumni. Here’s a selection of just a few of our 2023 highlights: 

2023 marked Birkbeck’s 200th anniversary, and the year of celebrations started this month. Incredible stories of the achievements of 200 people in Birkbeck’s vibrant and diverse community began to be featured on the website, social media and on campus. 

London is an incredible city and there are few places as exciting in which to live and study. This month, international students took in the amazing sights in London on a bus tour. 

New Birkbeck research made a breakthrough in finding the solution to tackle antibiotic resistance, with researchers successfully creating molecules that block the enzyme responsible for antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organization (WHO) cites antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. 

Birkbeck’s Annual Arts Week, open to the public as well as students and staff, featured over 30 free events including a walking tour of the lost world of Westminster. Established in 2012, Arts Week is the annual summer showcase of research, teaching and creative work from Birkbeck School of Arts' academics, artists and associates. 

Ian Crawford, Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology, was awarded the NASA Michael J. Wargo Exploration Science Award, an annual award given to a scientist or engineer who has significantly contributed to the integration of space exploration and planetary science throughout their career. 

Dr Pedro Gomes, Associate Professor in Economics at Birkbeck, coordinated a six month trial of nearly forty companies in Portugal to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the four-day working week. The first results of the trial are now in.  

Five Birkbeck academics secured research awards worth £4.2million. The research projects span a range of subject areas, including examining museum closures in the UK from 2000 to 2025; regulation and resilience of the neuronal microtubule cytoskeleton in health and disease; and a project looking into factors that may explain why some children respond very differently to sensory inputs. 

Students were very positive about Birkbeck's teaching and learning resources in National Student Survey 2023, with Birkbeck receiving a 91% positivity rating for the way teaching staff explain things from final year undergraduates. The university also received a 91% positivity rating for the support its library resources provide to learning. Both these ratings put Birkbeck above the sector average and among the top performing universities in the country. 

Birkbeck's 373 Euston Road building featured in the Open House Festival, an annual celebration of London’s housing, architecture and neighbourhoods. Set over seven storeys, the 373 Euston Road teaching centre houses a striking 180-seat copper-clad lecture theatre with a roof terrace; ten new classrooms for between 30 to 60 students; a student lounge and café; and social learning areas. 

Promoting social mobility is at the heart of Birkbeck’s mission, and Birkbeck ranked in top 20 UK universities for social mobility, in the English Social Mobility Index that is published annually by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).  

Birkbeck was awarded over £825,000 by the Wellcome Trust to develop its research culture. The funding will be used to provide tailored support for groups recognised as being disadvantaged in higher education, to further their research and careers in health and health-related subjects. 

On 2 December 2023, Birkbeck, University of London, which pioneered lifelong learning and the extension of a high-quality research-led university education to all for whom it may be of benefit, commemorated its 200th anniversary. 

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