Queen's University can trace its roots back to 1845 when it was established as one of three Queen's Colleges in Ireland. It is the second oldest university in Ireland, and the ninth oldest in the United Kingdom. Queen's became a university in its own right under the terms of the Irish Universities Act 1908 following the signing of a Royal Charter by King Edward VII in the same year.
The University is an autonomous body which has the status of a charitable institution. It receives much of its funding from the Department for Employment and Learning . The Department, which is advised by the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council , takes overall responsibility for policies relating to higher education in Northern Ireland.