Who are Birkbeck College?
Birkbeck was founded by George Birkbeck as the London Mechanics’ Institute in 1823, and it has been part of the University of London since 1920. At its founding our aim was to provide education to the working people of London, and we continue to pursue that aim today, with over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes taught predominantly via evening lectures. Birkbeck has a history of inclusivity, with women being admitted as students from 1830.
The principal aims of Birkbeck are to:
-provide flexible and part-time higher education courses which meet the changing educational, cultural, personal and career needs of students of all ages: in particular, those who live or work in the London region
-enable adult students from diverse social and educational backgrounds to participate in our courses
-make available the results of research, and the expertise acquired, through teaching, publication, partnerships with other organisations and the promotion of civic and public debate
-maintain and develop excellence in research and provide the highest quality research training in all our subject areas.
The key supporting objectives are to:
-offer our students an integrated range of flexible, research-led courses across all levels of provision
-achieve and maintain strong research cultures in support of interdisciplinary work in each school and faculty
-ensure the College provides an inclusive working and learning environment for its students and staff so that all may develop to their full potential
-develop the College’s capacity to respond rapidly to new and changing opportunities in higher and further education
-develop sustainable partnerships within the London region and beyond.
What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women’s recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are Birkbeck College involved in?
Birkbeck holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award, as do several of our departments, and further departments are currently working on applications for Bronze or Silver. We were a participant in the 4 year, 5 country TRIGGER (Transforming Institutions by Gendering Contents and Gaining Equality in Research) project, an FP7-funded European project aiming at increasing the number of women in those university sectors where they are under-represented. The Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics is a supporter of the London Mathematical Society’s Good Practice Scheme for supporting mathematics departments to embed equal opportunities for women within their working practices. The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems has recently launched ComputingWomen@BBK, which brings together staff working in CSIS and students studying on their courses with the aim of promoting and supporting women’s careers in Computer Science and IT.
Why did Birkbeck College join WISE?
Birkbeck has joined WISE so that we can draw on their extensive resources and networks to enhance our efforts to support women in STEM.