The University of Sheffield (informally Sheffield University) is a research university in the city of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. The University of Sheffield was originally formed by the merger of three colleges. The Sheffield School of Medicine was founded in 1828, followed in 1879 by the opening of Firth College, which developed out of the Cambridge University Extension Movement scheme, by Mark Firth, a steel manufacturer, to teach arts and science subjects. Firth College then helped to fund the opening of the Sheffield Technical School in 1884 to teach applied science, the only major faculty the existing colleges did not cover. The three institutions merged in 1897 to form the University College of Sheffield. Sheffield is one of the six red brick universities.
It was originally envisaged that the University College would join Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds as the fourth member of the federal Victoria University. However, the Victoria University began to split up before this could happen and so the University College of Sheffield received its own Royal Charter in 1905 and became the University of Sheffield.
From 363 full-time students and 71 staffs in 1905, the University grew slowly until the 1950s and 1960s when it began to expand rapidly. Many new buildings (including the famous Arts Tower and the Main Library) were built and student numbers increased to their present levels of just under 26,000. In 1987 the University began to collaborate with its once would-be partners of the Victoria University by co-founding the Northern Consortium; a coalition for the education and recruitment of international students.
The University of Sheffield is not a campus university, though most of its buildings are located in fairly close proximity to each other. The centre of the University's presence lies one mile to the west of Sheffield city centre, where there is a mile-long collection of buildings belonging almost entirely to the University. The Octagon Centre is a multi-purpose conference centre and music venue situated at the Western Bank campus, and is joined by a skyway to University House. The Octagon Centre comprises an eight-sided auditorium with a capacity of 1600, offices, meeting rooms, and a lounge with bar and patio. The Octagon Centre consists of a main auditorium known as the Convocation Hall, with offices and meeting rooms in corridors across two floors at a lower elevation on the southern side of the building, and a bar lounge.
The University has five faculties;
- Faculty of Arts and Humanities
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health
- Faculty of Pure Science
- Faculty of Social Sciences
There are currently 18,005 undergraduate’s students and 8,950 postgraduate students enrolled in the university. It has above 5,306 admin staff.
The University of Sheffield Students' Union has been rated as the best in the UK by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 5 years in-a-row. It was founded in 1906 and consists of two bars (Bar One – which has a book-able function room with its own bar, The Raynor Lounge – and The Interval); three club venues (Fusion, Foundry and Studio); and coffee shops, restaurants, shops, and the student run cinema Film Unit. There is also a student radio station called Forge Radio and a newspaper called Forge Press, which are run under the umbrella of 'Forge Media'. The Union has nearly three hundred student societies and nearly fifty sports teams.