The Bloomsbury Colleges
The Bloomsbury Colleges (TBC) group was set up in 2004 and now consists of the following four colleges of the University of London: Birkbeck, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Royal Veterinary College, and the School of Oriental and African Studies. The School of Pharmacy was a founding member before becoming the UCL School of Pharmacy in 2012, as was the Institute of Education before it became the UCL Institute of Education in 2014. The aim of the group is to collaborate together in academic administrative matters so as to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort and to gain the benefits of critical mass whilst maintaining the independence to pursue specialist missions. Such collaboration enhances the capacity of the institutions to provide support, deliver services and create opportunities of professional advancement for the support and service staff in the four institutions. The physical proximity of the colleges is a key factor in facilitating contact and enabling shared facilities where relevant.
The management survey which led to the founding of TBC was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It identified a range of activities where the original six institutions could do things better collaboratively than independently, many of which were administrative. The Colleges were collaborating in academic areas before the group was formed but new areas of cooperation were identified including the provision of jointly supervised PhD scholarships which have been available since September 2007.