Queen's University Belfast is a public research university in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The university's official title, per its charter, is the Queen's University of Belfast. It is often referred to simply as Queen's, or by the abbreviation QUB. The university was chartered in 1845, and opened in 1849 as "Queen's College, Belfast", but has roots going back to 1810 and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.
Queen's is a member of the Russell Group of leading research intensive universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, Universities Ireland and Universities UK. The university offers academic degrees at various levels and across a broad subject range, with over 300 degree programmes available. The university's current President and Vice-Chancellor is Professor Sir Peter Gregson, and its Chancellor is the current Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Kamalesh Sharma.
Belfast (from Irish: Béal Feirste, meaning "mouth of the sandbanks") is the capital of, and largest city in, Northern Ireland. Most of Belfast is in County Antrim, but parts of East and South Belfast are in County Down. It is on the flood plain of the River Lagan.
By population, it is the fourteenth largest city in the United Kingdom and second largest on the island of Ireland. It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly. The city of Belfast has a population of 281,000 and lies at the heart of the Belfast urban area, which has a population of 579,276. The Larger Urban Zone, as defined by the European Union, has a total population 641,638. Belfast was granted city status in 1888.
Historically, Belfast has been a centre for the Irish linen industry (earning the nickname "Linenopolis"), tobacco production, rope-making and shipbuilding: the city's main shipbuilders, Harland and Wolff, which built the well-known RMS Titanic, propelled Belfast on to the global stage in the early 20th century as the biggest and most productive shipyard in the world. Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, establishing its place as a global industrial centre until the latter half of the 20th century. Industrialisation and the inward migration it brought made Belfast, if briefly, the biggest city in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century and the city's industrial and economic success was cited by Ulster unionist opponents of Home Rule as a reason why Ireland should shun devolution and later why Ulster in particular would fight to resist it.