Newman University, Wichita partners with Newman University College, Birmingham to benefit student learning

Feb 23, 2012

Students studying at Newman University in Kansas will have the chance to expand their horizons following the announcement of a partnership with a university in the United Kingdom.

The Chapel at Newman University College Birmingham

Newman University, headquartered in Wichita, will link up with Newman University College Birmingham in the United Kingdom. The partnership will initially begin as a student-exchange program. In time, it is hoped the partnership will develop to include staff exchanges and combined research opportunities, among other initiatives.

Surprisingly, the two institutions have strong similarities. Both began as teacher colleges, and both are named after Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, who was beatified during the Pope’s UK visit in 2010.

According to Michael Austin, Ph.D., Newman University provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, “The beatification of Blessed Cardinal Newman in 2010 provided a welcome opportunity to focus attention on the value of higher education as well as highlighting the opportunity to develop international networks by establishing links with institutions inspired by his teaching.

To that aim, Dr. Susan Docherty, Head of Theology and Combined Honors Program Leader at Newman University College Birmingham, visited Wichita and Newman University in late 2011 while traveling in the U.S. Docherty spent time with faculty and spoke to a group of faculty and staff during her visit.

“Having visited our US counterparts toward the end of 2011, I’m excited by the possibilities presented by this new partnership,” Docherty said. “As students enter increasingly global workplaces, it’s essential they gain experience of working in different geographies if they’re to appreciate the nuances of different cultures and become effective, responsible leaders.”

Under the terms of the initial partnership, second-year students studying for combined-honors degrees (and some single-honors programs) at Newman University will be able to spend one semester studying at Newman University Birmingham from 2012-13. The agreement is reciprocal, therefore allowing UK students to travel to Newman University and to share their perspectives with other students on campus.

“The shared ethos enjoyed by Newman University, Kansas and Newman University College Birmingham became clear during Dr Docherty’s visit late last year and we’re looking forward to exploring the wealth of opportunities for collaboration that this new partnership promises,” said Austin.

Newman University, Wichita, Kan. is a Catholic university named for John Henry Cardinal Newman and founded by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society. Newman meets the needs of traditional freshmen, returning adults, and graduate students through more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information about Newman University go to

Newman University, Wichita, also has a strong foundation in teacher training beginning when the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ founded Sacred Heart Junior College in 1933. Today, Newman University is nearly 80 years old and serves more than 3,000 students through its main campus in Wichita, Kansas, and outreach sites in eastern and western Kansas, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.

Newman University College is a Catholic higher education institution based in Bartley Green, Birmingham and enjoys one of the highest graduate employment rates of any higher education institution in the country.

Founded in 1968, Newman was awarded University College status in 2007, giving it the power to confer its own degrees. With a strong reputation for teacher training, the university college also offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and foundation degree courses covering a range of subjects, primarily in the fields of humanities and social sciences.

Newman University College is named after Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 – 1890), one of the intellectual greats of the nineteenth century. While proud of its Catholic heritage, the college welcomes staff and students of all religions and backgrounds.