Queen’s University Belfast is a public university in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is often referred to simply as Queen’s, or by the abbreviation QUB. The university was chartered in 1845, and opened in 1849 as “Queen’s College, Belfast”, but has roots going back to 1810 and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s 20 leading research intensive universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association.
In addition to the main campus not far from the centre of Belfast, the university has two associated university colleges, these being St Mary’s and Stranmillis both also located in Belfast. Although offering a range of degree courses. While the university refers to its main site as a campus, the university’s buildings are in fact spread over a number of public streets in South Belfast, centering on University Road, University Square and Stranmillis Road, with other departments located further afield.
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On June 20, 2006 the university announced a £259 million investment programme focusing on facilities, recruitment and research. One of the outcomes of this investment has been a new university library, opened in July 2009.
Several institutes are also associated with Queen’s. Located close to the main campus is the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s which offers training to law graduates to enable them to practice as solicitors or barristers in Northern Ireland, England & Wales and the Republic of Ireland.
The University Playing Fields, also known as Malone Playing Fields, is located just over 2 miles (3.2 km) from the main campus, comprising 17 pitches for rugby, association football, Gaelic football, hockey, hurling, and cricket. In addition, there are three netball courts, nine tennis courts and an athletics arena.
The university hosts the annual Belfast Festival at Queen’s and the Belfast Film Festival, and in 2007 held the Irish Student Drama Association Festival. It runs Northern Ireland’s only arthouse cinema, Queen’s Film Theatre, and an art gallery, the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s, which is a registered museum.
Queen’s is home to more than 17,000 students. Approximately 1,200 international students currently study at Queen’s, benefiting from one of the lowest costs of living in the UK, as deemed by the British Council. Queen’s has global community of former students spans over 100 countries and has over 85,000 Alumni members.
Queen’s has a large number of now-famous alumni, including the current President of Ireland Mary McAleese; Nobel Prize winners poet Seamus Heaney and politician Lord Trimble; former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Lord Faulkner of Downpatrick; Lords Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Lord Hutton and Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Justice of The Supreme Court of United Kingdom (the only Justice who is not graduated from Oxbridge)