RBAI (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)

Biography/History

RBAI (Royal Belfast Academical Institution) was established in 1810 as a result of the demands of a group of well-to-do Belfast merchants, and professional gentlemen. According to them the existing Belfast Academy under Dr. William Bruce did not offer a "complete, uniform, and extensive system of education." They hoped that a new school would give more access to the ‘higher’ branches of learning as well as to those which would fit youths for a practical commercial career. Until the middle of the 19th Century Inst. was both a school and a university. This was before Queen’s University was opened and the only University in Ireland was in Dublin.