Birkbeck Impact


Birkbeck students outside the main Malet Street building, laughing and smiling


Over the last 15 years I have been a Birkbeck student on three separate occasions and made the same observation every time. Birkbeck is truly unique. A melting pot of ambitious, resilient students that come together from all professions, backgrounds, nationalities and stages of life.

This is in part due to the College’s now 200-year-old mission of widening access to education and bringing new voices into academia. But it’s also thanks to Birkbeck’s supporter community who understand the importance of continuing to make high-quality learning opportunities available to underrepresented groups.

In 2019, my husband Marcel and I joined this generous community and since then we have been fortunate to meet some of the students receiving financial support.

Partly due to the pandemic and cost of living crisis, we have increasingly seen and heard that our gifts and the gifts of this community, have been the crucial difference between students dropping out and finishing their courses.

We would like to thank you for joining us in supporting The World Needs More Birkbeck campaign. A Birkbeck education helps people follow their passions and take control of their future, and that is something we greatly need more of.

I hope you enjoy reading about how our community has made a difference during this special anniversary year.

With kindest regards,

Muriel Jongen (MSc Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy, 2015) and Marcel Jongen

Muriel and Marcel Jongen with scholarship students from Birkbeck, in a group photo in the Keynes Library

Muriel and Marcel Jongen (middle) with scholarship students and Birkbeck staff

Muriel and Marcel Jongen (middle) with scholarship students and Birkbeck staff

The World Needs More Birkbeck

The World Needs More Birkbeck logo - an owl surrounded by a border

Our community plays a vital role in the future of Birkbeck by:

Students smiling in classroom


Removing barriers to ensure education is available to all, across every level of study.

A Birkbeck postgraduate student in the microbiology lab


Enabling our leading academics and researchers to make breakthroughs that can shape our world.

The building at 373 Euston Road with its distinctive roof shape


Creating the physical and digital spaces that provide the best environments for students and researchers.

A member of staff working with a student


Providing the pastoral, academic and financial support that gives students the tools to succeed.

The Year in Review

This year we raised



1,227 donors

And welcomed

107 new donors to our supporter community

We were supported by

358 volunteers
Of which 209 (58%) had never volunteered at Birkbeck previously
65% were alumni and 35% were from our corporate partners
They contributed 5,568 hours of their time
And our Mentoring Pathways programme had a record number of participants, matching 237 volunteer mentors with student mentees

Enabling Access


(MSc Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents)

"I never finished my own secondary education after dropping out to become a carer for my mother at 12 years old. Despite leaving school without qualifications, I always wanted to keep learning.

"I became a teaching assistant and specialised in working with children out of school due to mental health difficulties or special educational needs and disabilities.

"While doing this, I was inspired by colleagues from the NHS’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), and I knew this had to be my next step."

"I received a scholarship from Birkbeck to study Counselling. It came at the perfect time and really eased my anxiety. I was speechless at the generosity of the College's supporters.

"It makes such a difference knowing there are people out there who want you to pursue your goals and succeed. I’ve just started my second year and I can’t wait to finish my degree and start work in CAMHS."

*To protect the privacy of students, names have been changed.

Birkbeck student looking down camera lens

This year we...

Welcomed 10 new students onto the forced migrant scholarship programme and continued to support 21 existing students
Held the first ever University of Sanctuary Open Day, which brought together 12 London universities, 5 charities and 80 prospective students from forced migrant backgrounds
Worked with over 50 partners, including local grassroots organisations, local authority teams, and charities, to create and signpost pathways into higher education
Delivered 22 engagement activities with schools and further education colleges in areas underrepresented in higher education

Advancing Research

Tackling sexism and sexual harassment in medicine

Dr Caroline Kamau-Mitchell, Reader in Occupational Health

In 2020, with the support of early-stage research funding from Birkbeck alumni, Caroline produced a systematic review and meta-analysis of sexism and sexual harassment in medicine. The key findings were that many doctors across the world experience concerning levels of harassment from patients and colleagues, and that the experiences are associated with an increased risk of burnout, stress and suicidal thoughts.

In 2022, Caroline organised the first ever international conference on this subject.

“We wanted to build a platform to share views and focus on solutions about what hospitals and medical schools should do to eradicate these issues in medicine.”

Following the conference, Caroline and colleagues wrote a paper outlining their recommendations. This has been shared with parliamentary bodies, medical associations, and also the UK’s Medical Schools Council, which went on to engage in related talks with Universities UK.

Doctors’ unions such as the British Medical Association, and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association have begun working on how to use these recommendations in medical training. In the future, Caroline will hold training sessions for doctors, and help unions draft recommendations for NHS hospitals.

“It’s great to see our work impacting future generations of medical students. There is still a long way to go, but we are going to keep engaging the right people and giving clear suggestions of how to achieve the change we want to see."

Nurse staring into distance

This year...

The College ran 141 study skills workshops to help prepare students for university study, including sessions on academic writing and research skills.
These workshops were attended 3,562 times and attendees rated the sessions an average of 4.83 out of 5 stars
We supported more than 1000 emerging academics to pursue their research areas and start realising their potential
Pie chart
83% of Birkbeck research assessed in the Research Excellence Framework was marked as 'world leading or internationally excellent'

Our Unique Student Body


is the average age of a Birkbeck student


of our students identify as Black, Asian or another Minority Ethnicity


of all undergraduate students are the first in their
family to go to university


of undergraduate students
have not previously studied
at higher than GCSE level,
compared to a national
average of 8%


international students study at Birkbeck, and our student body is made up of more than 150 nationalities


of Birkbeck students have one or more declared disabilities

Tomorrow's Infrastructure & Estates

'HyFlex' Learning

Birkbeck has launched a new Creative Inclusive Learning Programme, supported by a grant from the Office for Students. This will transform teaching at the College over the next three years, primarily through the installation of HyFlex technology in every Birkbeck classroom.

HyFlex technology seamlessly synchronises teaching in physical classrooms with online teaching so that students can join remotely and still fully participate in classes. This is currently being piloted in 40 postgraduate modules.

“I’m enjoying teaching with HyFlex. I’ve seen my online and in-person students working together and helping each other during classes. It has enabled all students to feel part of one group, regardless of location. It’s also made a major difference this year when adverse weather and rail strikes have prevented students from attending in person.”

Dr Ken Hori, Reader in Birkbeck’s Business School

“A core aspect of Birkbeck’s mission is to deliver education that meets the needs of working Londoners and all others who want to benefit from the College’s teaching and research excellence. HyFlex teaching will enable us to provide options that work for all members of our diverse student body and cement our position as one of the most inclusive and flexible places to study in the UK.” 

Diane Houston, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education

A class looking at a lecturer by an interactive whiteboard

This year...

Two students sitting in a booth with laptops
20% of Birkbeck classrooms have been equipped with 'HyFlex' technology
76 students received funding to support the purchase of equipment for digital learning, like laptops
The dropout rate for students in receipt of this funding was 8%, compared to the average dropout rate of 10%
For part-time students in London, Birkbeck was ranked 1st for how 'well courses are organised' and 'how good the teaching staff are at explaining things'
(National Student Survey, 2023)

Strengthening Student Support


(BA English, 2015 & MA Creative Writing)

"I grew up in a small village in Turkey where social values were very restrictive for women and girls, and there were limited opportunities.

"My grandmother and others believed that girls should focus on getting married rather than pursuing an education. They would burn the books if they found us reading. But we always found ways to read in secret.

"I completed primary school but couldn't attend secondary school due to my father's illness. Several years later I arrived in the UK, speaking no English but eager to continue my education.

"While working as a waitress I learned English, completed GCSEs in maths, English and science, and an access to higher education diploma. I was also raising two children at the time.

"I have been supported in so many ways since starting at Birkbeck. While going through my divorce, one of the academic tutors helped me find childcare for my timetabled hours and guided me through the process to get a bursary. That’s the amazing thing about Birkbeck — you bring everything in your life with you and they help you make it work.

"I am now in the second year of my Creative Writing MA and I’m on a scholarship after getting a high distinction last year. As a financially independent single mother of two, this has eased my stress significantly and helped me commit to my studies with peace of mind."

*To protect the privacy of students, names have been changed.

Student sitting by the water, reading

This year...

123 students received a needs-based bursary to help them manage living costs, travel, and other key expenditure
98% of students in receipt of this bursary completed their course, compared to the average College completion rate of 90%
We welcomed 146 new students onto our summer programme which helps to prepare undergraduates for life at Birkbeck through study skills sessions and signposting key services
122 students took part in our business and entrepreneurship accelerator programme, involving 25 hours of workshops with experts
Birkbeck students smiling outside Clore Management Centre
Birkbeck students smiling outside Clore Management Centre

Thank you

With your help, we can continue to support the next generation of changemakers and further our founding mission of making high-quality education accessible to all. We can keep building an environment that supports a diverse learning community and delivers world-class research with the power to create positive change.

The generosity of our community is vital to Birkbeck’s continued success. To learn more about how your generosity can have an impact or to make a gift, please visit

Thank you for your support of Birkbeck — past, present and future.