The University of Birmingham and Taylor's University Global Challenge Alliance

The University of Birmingham and Taylor’s University Global Challenge Alliance represents a new chapter with one of the University’s most trusted and important international partners. Our relationship stretches back many years and has seen a two-way flow of students, staff and research collaborations.

Strong foundations

The University of Birmingham and Taylor’s University first forged an institutional relationship in 2005. The partnership was founded on the University providing international degree opportunities for students successfully completing a programme of study at Taylor’s University . Over 350 students have studied at the University of Birmingham via this agreement over the past nine years. Currently the Schools of Mechanical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Chemical Engineering; and Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering annually welcome students from Taylor’s University onto their undergraduate programmes.

In November 2013 the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding undertaking to continue their work in expanding undergraduate provision, developing a portfolio of collaborative research, sharing and co-creation of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), facilitating student mobility, staff development and exchange , and cont inuing professional development.

It is on these solid foundations based on trust, respect and ambition that the University of Birmingham and Taylor’s Global Alliance is being formed.

Global Challenge Alliance

The two institutions recognise the significant benefits which might be derived from more formal, closer working relations across a range of activities. The purpose of establishing the Global Challenge Alliance is to develop educational, research and business development activities in the context of addressing 14 societal grand challenges, as identified by the National Academy of Engineering, covering a broad range of topics including sustainable energy provision, water and sanitation, cyber security and health. The Alliance will provide an opportunity for interaction and collaboration across all aspects of university activity, engaging staff and students from many different academic disciplines in research, teaching and outreach. In addition to enhancing undergraduate programmes, the Alliance will seek to stimulate joint PhD provision, research internships, industrial engagement, and staff secondments .

Future collaborations between the two parties will be fostered via a commitment to undertake world leading, original research and to deliver innovative teaching programmes under the banner of the University of Birmingham – Taylor’s University Global Challenge Alliance.

In October a delegation of colleagues from Taylor’s University will visit Birmingham and a reciprocal visit to Taylor’s University will take place in November where the Alliance will be formally launched.

Challenge areas

Between both institutions we seek to address fundamental societal issues in the following challenge areas, as identified by the National Academy of Engineering:

Energy and Environment

  • Making solar energy economical
  • Providing energy from fusion
  • Developing carbon sequestration methods
  • Managing the nitrogen cycle
  • Providing access to clean water


  • Advancing health informatics
  • Engineering better medicines


  • Preventing nuclear terror
  • Securing cyberspace
  • Restoring and improve urban infrastructure

Learning and Computation

  • Reverse-engineering the brain
  • Enhancing virtual reality
  • Advancing personalized learning
  • Engineering the tools of scientific discovery

Learn more

For further information about the Global Challenge Alliance please contact:


Professor John Bridgeman
t: (0121) 414 5145


Dr Steve Quigley
t: (0121) 414 4336