10 Key Facts About Queen's
Student numbers have multiplied more than 100 times since Queen's first opened its doors in 1849 with 195 students. More than 25,231 postgraduate and undergraduate students, both full-time and part-time, make Queen’s one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom.
The total number of higher degrees awarded by Queen’s in 2003–2004 was 1,047 with a further 3,692 primary degrees being gained. The annual new intake of students to Queen’s and Stranmillis and St Mary’s University Colleges now totals around 9,474.
Queen’s is one of Belfast’s biggest employers. It has more than 3,500 employees, including nearly 1,600 teaching and research staff. Research has suggested that for every 100 jobs in higher education, a further 89 are created throughout the economy.
In the era of the knowledge-based economy, the University is playing an increasingly important role in economic development. Its research plays a pivotal role in underpinning Northern Ireland's industrial base and it makes a significant contribution to wealth and job creation. Around 50 companies have emanated from Queen's research, creating some 700 jobs.
Queen’s has more than 250 buildings, some 120 of them listed as being of architectural merit. Other Queen’s premises are at the Royal Victoria and City Hospitals, Newforge Lane, and the Marine Biology Station at Portaferry. The best known image of Queen’s is the dignified façade of the Lanyon Building which features in all kinds of media, from British tourist brochures to Irish banknotes. It has even been used on the leading Russian TV network as the backdrop to news items about Northern Ireland.
Queen’s is proud of its pioneering record on social equality issues. The University’s Charter of 1908 guaranteed women equal eligibility to hold any office and enjoy any advantage of Queen’s – 12 years before women were admitted to Oxford and a full decade before they were given the vote. Full rights for women students had already been granted in the 1880s. The 1908 Charter, which consolidated the principle of non-denominational teaching, also made trailblazing provision for student representation on the Senate, the governing body of the University.
Queen’s makes a huge contribution to Northern Ireland’s professional life. Most doctors and dentists, architects and lawyers, pharmacists and psychologists, nurses and engineers are graduates of Queen’s, as are many of its leading managers, teachers, scientists, social workers, accountants and clergy of every denomination.
Queen’s outlook and reputation are truly global. The Chancellor is Senator George Mitchell, the US statesman who made an enduring personal impact upon Northern Ireland’s peace process. More than 90 countries are represented in the student community and a high proportion of its academic staff are from outside Northern Ireland. Queen's family of 100,000 graduates are making their mark all over the world in fields as diverse as physics, surgery, civil engineering, agriculture, archaeology and music.
The University is central to the artistic and cultural life of Northern Ireland. The Belfast Festival at Queen’s, the internationally-acclaimed showcase of the performing and visual arts, is one of the bedrocks of the University’s contribution to the community. The University is also home to the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s, and to a full-time cinema, the Queen’s Film Theatre. The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, officially opened in 2004, will underpin Queen’s reputation as a world literary force.
Queen’s is currently implementing a £200 million investment programme in staff, students and facilities. The programme will deliver a first-class educational experience for future generations of students and ensure that Queen’s can compete with the best in the world.