Birmingham City University (abbrev. as BCU; and previously Birmingham Polytechnic and the University of Central England in Birmingham) is a newly established British university in the city of Birmingham, England. It is the second largest of five universities in the city, the other four being Aston University, University of Birmingham, University College Birmingham, and Newman University. It is the third most highly ranked of the five universities in Birmingham according to the Complete University Guide, below both the University of Birmingham and Aston University. Initially established as the Birmingham College of Art with roots dating back to 1843, it was designated as a polytechnic in 1971 and gained university status in 1992.
The university has three main campuses serving four faculties, and offers courses in art and design, business, the built environment, computing, education, engineering, English, healthcare, law, the performing arts, social sciences, and technology. A £125million extension to its campus in the city centre of Birmingham, part of the Eastside development of a new technology and learning quarter, is opening in two stages, with the first phase having opened its doors in 2013. The university is a member of the million+ group of New Universities. Roughly half of the university's full-time students are from the West Midlands, and a large percentage of these are from ethnic minorities. The university runs access and foundation programmes through an international network of associated universities and further education colleges, and has the highest intake of foreign students in the Birmingham area.