This has sometimes been seen as a weakness of the polytechnic, with the dispersal of sites considered confusing to visitors.
In the early 1970s, the Perry Barr campus was the site of building work for what later became the centrepiece of the polytechnic: the Attwood and Baker buildings.
The change in status enabled a tighter union between the polytechnic and industry, and by 1989 it had 30 lecturer's posts sponsored by firms.
The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 allowed all polytechnics to adopt the title of "university".
Michael Sterling, vice-chancellor of University of Birmingham, welcomed the initiative and said it was time for some creative thinking about higher education in the city.
"Clearly, with three very distinct universities in one city, it's sensible to take a hard look at the big picture and how we can best work together, whether separately, in combination, or even as one institution," he said.
Later in the 1970s, the campus was increased in size with the building of what later became the Cox, Dawson, Edge, Feeney and Galton buildings.
The following year, the Faculty of Health incorporated the Defence School of Health Care Studies.Although smaller buildings were subsequently constructed, this is largely the Perry Barr campus as it remains today (now called the City North Campus of Birmingham City University).From its opening, the polytechnic was considered very strong in the field of art and design.Roughly half of the university's full-time students are from the West Midlands, and a large percentage of these are from ethnic minorities.The university runs access and foundation programmes through an international network of associated universities and further education colleges, and has the highest intake of foreign students in the Birmingham area.Students who graduated in mid-1992 were given certificates bearing the name University of Central England, even if the entirety of their study had taken place at the polytechnic.The original design was created by Amba Frog Design In 1995, two more colleges were absorbed—Birmingham and Solihull College of Nursing and Midwifery, and the West Midlands School of Radiography—and the Birmingham School of Jewellery opened on Vittoria Street in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.He did this to challenge the monopoly solicitors held over conveyancing, which he felt led to higher costs.By 1979, the polytechnic was one of the biggest in the country, though that did not prevent it from being "starved" of resources and money.It was funded by the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council and no longer by the local education authority.The polytechnic continued to have close links to Birmingham City Council, and to this day the Lord Mayor of Birmingham also serves as the University's Chancellor.