|University of Wales, Aberystwyth|
|Motto||Welsh: Nid Byd, Byd Heb Wybodaeth|
Motto in English
|A world without knowledge is no world at all|
|Established||1872 (as The University College of Wales)|
|Endowment||£43.3 million (as of 31 July 2018)|
|Chancellor||John Thomas, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd|
Aberystwyth University (Welsh: Prifysgol Aberystwyth) is a public research university in Aberystwyth, Wales. Aberystwyth was a founding member institution of the former federal University of Wales. The university has over 8,000 students studying across 3 academic faculties and 17 departments.
Founded in 1872 as University College Wales, Aberystwyth, it became a founder member of the University of Wales in 1894 and changed its name to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. In the mid-1990s, the university again changed its name to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. On 1 September 2007, the University of Wales ceased to be a federal university and Aberystwyth became independent again.
In 2019, it became the first university "University of the year for teaching quality" by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide for two consecutive years. It is the first university in the world to be awarded Plastic Free University status (for single-use plastic items).
In the middle of the 19th century, eminent Welsh people were advocating the establishment of a university in the Principality. One such was Thomas Nicholas, whose 1863 book Middle and High Class Schools, and University Education for Wales is said to have "exerted great influence on educated Welshmen".
Funded through public and private subscriptions, and with five regional committees (London, Manchester, Liverpool, North and South Wales) guaranteeing funds for the first three years' running costs, the university opened in October 1872 with 26 students. Thomas Charles Edwards was the Principal. In October 1875, chapels in Wales raised the next tranche of funds from over 70,000 contributors. Until 1893, when the college joined the University of Wales as a founder member, students applying to Aberystwyth sat the University of London's entrance exams. Women were admitted in 1884.
In 1885, a fire damaged what is now known as the Old College in Aberystwyth town centre, and in 1897 the first 14 acres of what would become the main Penglais campus were purchased. Incorporated by Royal Charter in 1893, the university installed the Prince of Wales as Chancellor in 1896, the same year it awarded an honorary degree to British Prime Minister William Gladstone.
The university's coat of arms dates from the 1880s. The shield features two red dragons to symbolise Wales, and an open book to symbolise learning. The crest, an eagle or phoenix above a flaming tower, may signify the College's rebirth after the 1885 fire. The motto is Nid Byd, Byd Heb Wybodaeth (a world without knowledge is no world at all).
In the early 1900s the university added courses that included Law, Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, and Botany. The Department for International Politics, which Aberystwyth says is the oldest such department in the world, was founded in 1919. By 1977, there were eight Fellows of the Royal Society on the university's staff, including Gwendolen Rees, the first Welsh woman elected an FRS.
The Department of Sports and Exercise Science was established in 2000. Joint honours Psychology degrees were introduced in September 2007, and single honours Psychology in 2009.
The chancellor of the university is The Right Honourable Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, who took up the position in January 2018. The visitor of the university is an appointment made by the Privy Council, under the Royal Charter of the university. Since July 2014, the holder of this office is The Honourable Mr Justice Roderick Evans QC.
In 2011 the university appointed a new vice chancellor under whom the academic departments were restructured as larger subject-themed institutes.
Organisation and administration
Departments and Faculties
The University's academic departments, as well as the Arts Centre, International English Centre, and Music Centre are organised in three faculties:
Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) is a research and teaching centre at Aberystwyth University for the study of biological, environmental and rural sciences. IBERS brings together staff from the Institutes of Rural Sciences and Biological Sciences at Aberystwyth University and the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER). Around 360 research, teaching and support staff conduct basic, strategic and applied research in biology.
Aberystwyth Business School
In 1998 the Department of Economics (founded 1912), the Department of Accounting and Finance (founded 1979) and the Centre for Business Studies merged to create the School of Management and Business. In 2013, the School joined the Department of Information Studies and the Department of Law and Criminology at a new campus at Llanbadarn Fawr. The School was shortlisted for ‘Business School of the Year Times Higher Education Awards (2014). In 2016 the Institute, minus the Department of Information Studies, was renamed the Institute of Business and Law, the remaining departments being renamed Aberystwyth Business School and Aberystwyth Law School.
Department of Computer Science
AberMUD, the first popular internet-based MUD, was written in the department by then-student Alan Cox. Jan Pinkava, another graduate, won an Oscar for his short animated film Geri's Game. Students in the department were also involved in the creation of the award-winning service robot librarian named Hugh (robot) and Kar-go, the autonomous delivery vehicle.
Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (IGES), formed in 1989 from the former Departments of Geography (established in 1918) and Geology. houses the E. G. Bowen map library, containing 80,000 maps and 500 atlases.
Department of Information Studies
The College of Librarianship Wales (CLW) was established at Llanbadarn Fawr in 1964 in response to a recommendation for the training of bilingual librarians that was made in the Bourdillon Report on Standards of public library service in England (H.M.S.O., 1962). The College grew rapidly and claims to be Europe's largest institution for training librarians. The independent College merged with the University in August 1989.
Department of International Politics
The Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth was founded in 1919. It was founded shortly after World War I with the stated purpose of furthering political understanding of the world in the hope of avoiding such conflicts in the future. This goal led to the creation of the Woodrow Wilson chair of International Politics. The department has over 700 students from 40 countries studying at undergraduate, masters and PhD levels. It achieved a 95% score for student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey, placing it as the highest-ranking politics department in Wales and within the UK's top ten.
The department has hosted various notable academic staff in the field including E. H. Carr, Leopold Kohr, Andrew Linklater, Ken Booth, Steve Smith, Michael Cox, Michael MccGwire, Jenny Edkins and Colin J. McInnes.
Department of Law and Criminology
The Department of Law and Criminology is housed in the Hugh Owen Building on the Penglais campus. Founded in 1901, it includes the Centre for Welsh Legal Affairs, a specialist research centre. All academic staff are engaged in research, and the International Journal of Biosciences and the Law and the Cambrian Law Review are edited in the department. In 2013 the department joined the Department of Information Studies and the School of Management and Business at a new campus at Llanbadarn Fawr, as part of a newly created Institute of Management, Law and Information Studies. As of September 2018, the department has since relocated back to the Hugh Owen Building, based in the Penglais campus, for the forthcoming 2018/19 Academic Year, and in the same year, the name of the department changed from Aberystwyth Law School to the Department of Law and Criminology.
Department of Modern Languages
Aberystwyth has taught modern languages since 1874. French, German, Italian and Spanish courses are taught at both beginners' and advanced levels, in a research-active academic environment. One of its research projects is the Anglo-Norman Dictionary, based in Aberystwyth since 2001 and available online since 2005.
Department of Physics
Physics was first taught at Aberystwyth as part of Natural Philosophy, Astronomy, and Mathematics under N. R. Grimley, soon after the foundation of the University College. It became a department in 1877, under the headship of F. W. Rudler. The department was located in the south wing of what is now the old college, but later relocated to the Physics Building on the Penglais Campus. The first chair in Physics was offered to D. E. Jones in 1885. Prior to WW1 much of the early research in the department was undertaken in Germany. Early research in the 1900s was concerned with electrical conductivity and quantum theory, later moving into thermal conductivity and acoustics. In 1931 the department hosted the Faraday Centenary Exhibition. E. J. Williams was appointed chair of Physics in 1938 where he continued his research into sub-atomic particles using a cloud chamber. Following World War II research was concerned with mechanical and nuclear physics, later moving into air density, experimental rocket launching equipment, and radar.
Department of Psychology
In 2007 Aberystwyth established a Centre for Applied Psychology within the Department of International Politics. By 2011, Psychology moved into their current premises in Penbryn 5 on the Penglais Campus. The department is home to over 300 undergraduate students.
The main campus of the University is situated on Penglais Hill, overlooking the town of Aberystwyth and Cardigan Bay, and comprises most of the University buildings, Arts Centre, Students’ Union, and many of the student residences. Just below Penglais Campus is the National Library of Wales, one of Britain's five legal deposit libraries. The landscaping of the Penglais Campus is historically significant and is listed. The CADW listing states,
"The landscaping of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth campuses, particularly the earlier Penglais campus, is of exceptional historic interest as one of the most important modern landscaping schemes in Wales...One section of the Penglais campus was designed by the well known landscape architect Brenda Colvin and is one of the very few of her schemes to have survived. A number of women have played a key role in the development and planting of the whole site."
The Llanbadarn Centre is located approximately one mile to the east of the Penglais Campus, overlooking the town and Cardigan Bay to the west, with the backdrop of the Cambrian Mountains to the east. Llanbadarn Centre hosted Aberystwyth Law School and Aberystwyth Business School, which together formed the Institute of Business and Law. The Department of Information Studies is also based there. Additionally, the Llanbadarn Campus is the site of the Aberystwyth branch of Coleg Ceredigion, a further education college, and not part of the University.
At Gogerddan, on the outskirts of town is located the University's major centre for research in land based sciences and the main centre for the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science.
The School of Art is located between the Penglais Campus and the centre of Aberystwyth, in what was originally the Edward Davies Chemical Laboratory. A listed building, the Edward Davies Building is one of the finest examples of architecture in Aberystwyth.
The site of the original university is the 'Old College', currently the subject of the 'New Life for Old College' project which aims to transform it into an integrated centre of heritage, culture, learning and knowledge exchange.
The university opened an international branch campus in Mauritius in 2016 operating as Aberystwyth University (Mauritian Branch Campus) and registered with the Tertiary Education Commission of Mauritius, but closed it to new enrolments two years later due to low enrolment numbers.
Most of the student residences are on campus, with the rest in walking distance of the campus and Aberystwyth town centre. Accommodation ranges from 'traditional' catered residences to en-suite self-catered accommodation, and from budget rooms to more luxurious studio apartments. All have wired access to the University's computer network and a support network of residential tutors.
- Penglais Campus
- Cwrt Mawr (self-catered flats, single and twin rooms, capacity c.600)
- Neuadd Pantycelyn (Welsh speaking, reopening in 2020 following refurbishment, capacity 200).
- Penbryn (Welsh-speaking traditional catered hall, capacity 350)
- Rosser (self-catered en-suite flats, capacity 332), expanded in 2011 to include postgraduate flats in Rosser G (capacity 60)
- Trefloyne (self-catered flats, capacity 146)
- Pentre Jane Morgan (the Student Village)
- Almost 200 individual houses arranged in closes and cul-de-sacs. Each house typically accommodate 5 or 6 students.
- Fferm Penglais Student Residence
- Purpose-built student accommodation with studio apartments and en-suite bedrooms. An area of accommodation within the Fferm Penglais Student Residence is set aside for students who are Welsh learners or fluent Welsh speakers, and wish to live in a Welsh speaking environment.
- Town accommodation
- Brynderw (self-catered flats, capacity 146)
- Seafront Residences (self-catered flats located on the seafront and Queen's Road, overall capacity 720–800 including the redeveloped Alexandra Hall and Clarendon House Postgraduate residence). The original Seafront residences (Plyn' and Caerleon) were destroyed by fire in 1998. Seafront residences include Alexandra, Aberglasney, Balmoral, Blaenwern, Caerleon, Carpenter, Ceredigion, Clarendon, Glyndwr, Pumlumon and Ty Gwerin Halls.
The University also owns several houses, such as Penglais Farmhouse (Adjacent to Pentre Jane Morgan) and flats in Waun Fawr, which are let on an Assured Shorthold Tenure to students with families. Disabled access rooms are available within the existing student village.
Reputation and academic profile
|Times / Sunday Times (2020)||45|
|British Government assessment|
|Teaching Excellence Framework||Gold|
Aberystwyth University is placed in the UK’s top 50 universities in the main national rankings. It is ranked 48th for 132 UK university rankings in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2019  and the first university to be given the prestigious award "University of the year for teaching quality" for two consecutive years (2018 and 2019).
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed it in the 301—350 group for 800 university rankings, compared with 351—400 the previous year, and the QS World University Rankings placed it at the 432th position for 2019, compared with 481—490 of the previous year. In 2015, UK employers from “predominantly business, IT and engineering sectors” listed Aberystwyth equal 49th in their 62-place employability rankings for UK graduates, according to a Times Higher Education report.
Aberystwyth University was rated in the top ten of UK higher education institutions for overall student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS).
Aberystwyth University was shortlisted in four categories in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) (2015).
Aberystwyth University has been awarded the Silver Award under the Corporate Health Standard (CHS), the quality mark for workplace health promotion run by Welsh Government.
The University has been awarded an Athena SWAN Charter Award, recognising commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research.
In 2007 the University came under criticism for its record on sustainability, ranking 97th out of 106 UK higher education institutions in that year's Green League table. In 2012 the university was listed in the table's "Failed, no award" section, ranking equal 132nd out of 145. In 2013 it ranked equal 135th out of 143, and was listed again as "Failed, no award".
In October 2015, the University’s Penglais Campus became the first University campus in Wales to achieve the Green Flag Award. The Green Flag Award is a UK-wide partnership, delivered in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy with support from Natural Resources Wales, and is the mark of a high quality park or green space.
In 2013, the University and College Union alleged bullying behaviour by Aberystwyth University managers, and said staff were fearful for their jobs. University president Sir Emyr Jones Parry said in a BBC radio interview, "I don't believe the views set out are representative and I don't recognise the picture." He also said, "Due process is rigorously applied in Aberystwyth." Economist John Cable resigned his emeritus professorship, describing the university's management as "disproportionate, aggressive and confrontational". The singer Peter Karrie resigned his honorary fellowship in protest, he said, at the apparent determination to "ruin one of the finest arts centres in the country", and because he was "unable to support any regime that can treat their staff in such a cruel and appalling manner."
List of Presidents
- 1872–1895, Henry Austin Bruce, 1st Baron Aberdare
- 1895–1913, Stuart Rendel, 1st Baron Rendel of Hatchlands
- 1913–1926, John Williams, 1st Baronet, of the City of London
- 1926–1944, Edmund Davies, Baron Edmund-Davies
- 1944–1954, Thomas Jones (T. J.)
- 1955–1964, David Hughes Parry
- 1964–1976, Ben Bowen Thomas
- 1977–1985, Cledwyn Hughes, Baron Cledwyn of Penrhos
- 1985–1997, Melvyn Rosser
- 1997–2007, Elystan Morgan, Baron Elystan-Morgan
- 2007–2017, Emyr Jones Parry
- 2018–date, John Thomas
List of Principals and Vice-Chancellors
- 1872–1891 Thomas Charles Edwards
- 1891–1919 Thomas Francis Roberts
- 1919–1926 John Humphreys Davies
- 1927–1934 Henry Stuart-Jones
- 1934–1952 Ifor Leslie Evans
- 1953–1957 Goronwy Rees
- 1958–1969 Thomas Parry
- 1969–1979 Goronwy Daniel
- 1979–1989 Gareth Owen
- 1989–1994 Kenneth O. Morgan, Baron Morgan of Aberdyfi
- 1994–2004 Derec Llwyd Morgan
- 2004–2011 Noel Lloyd
- 2011–2016 April McMahon
- 2016–2017 John Grattan (acting)
- 2016– Elizabeth Treasure
- Henry Bird, lecturer in art history (1936–1941)
- Ken Booth, Professor of International Politics
- Edward Carr, Historian & Woodrow Wilson Professor of International Politics
- Henry Walford Davies, first Gregynog Professor of Music, composer, broadcaster, Master of the King's Music
- John Davies, Welsh historian
- Hannah Dee, lecturer in Computer Science
- R. Geraint Gruffydd, Chair of Welsh language and literature (1970–1979)
- David Russell Hulme, Director of Music (from 1992), conductor and musicologist
- Robert Maynard Jones, Chair of Welsh language (1980 until retirement)
- D. Gwenallt Jones, poet, Welsh lecturer
- Leopold Kohr, economist and political scientist
- Dennis Lindley, Professor of Statistics (1960–1967)
- David John de Lloyd, Gregynog Professor of Music, composer
- Alec Muffett, systems programmer (1988–92)
- Lily Newton, Professor of Botany
- Ian Parrott, Gregynog Professor of Music (1950–1983), composer and musicologist
- Joseph Parry, Professor of Music, composer and conductor
- T. H. Parry-Williams, poet and author; Professor of Welsh (1920–1952)
- F. Gwendolen Rees FRS Professor of Zoology
- Huw Rees FRS, Geneticist (1923-2009)
- William Rubinstein, Professor of History
- Marie Breen Smyth, a reader in political violence in the International Politics Department
- Richard Marggraf Turley, poet, professor of English Literature, the University's first Professor of Engagement with the Public Imagination
- Dame Marjorie Williamson, Principal Royal Holloway College, University of London 1962–73
- HRH Charles, Prince of Wales
- HRH Tunku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tunku Munawir, the 11th Yang Di Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan
- HRH Tunku Naquiyuddin, Tunku Laxamana (Regent) of Negeri Sembilan
- HE Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, former president of Sierra Leone
- E. G. Bowen, geographer
- Edward Collingwood, mathematician, scientist
- Alan Cox, Programmer (major contributor to the Linux kernel) (1980s)
- D. J. Davies (1893–1956), economist, socialist Plaid Cymru activist
- Natasha Devon, writer, mental health activist
- Andrew Gordon naval historian
- Deian Hopkin, historian
- David Russell Hulme, Director of Music (from 1992), conductor, musical historian
- David Gwilym James Vice-Chancellor, University of Southampton 1952–1965
- Emrys Jones, Professor of Geography at the LSE
- T. Harri Jones, poet
- Roy Kift, dramatist, writer
- Mary King, political scientist
- Michael MccGwire, international relations specialist and Naval Commander
- Twm Morys, poet
- Tavi Murray, glaciologist, received the Polar Medal
- Ernest Charles Nelson, botanist
- David Hughes Parry (1893–1973) Vice-Chancellor, London University (1945–1948)
- T. H. Parry-Williams, poet, author, academic
- Frederick Soddy, Nobel Prize Winner in chemistry (1921)
- John Meurig Thomas FRS, chemist, professor, author
- Paul Thomas, founding Vice-Chancellor of University of the Sunshine Coast
- Nigel Thrift, geographic scholar, Vice Chancellor of Warwick University
- David John Williams, writer
- Glanmor Williams, historian
- Rev. John Tudno Williams, theologian
- Waldo Williams, poet
- Rev. William Richard Williams, theologian
- Christine James, first female Archdruid of Wales
- Gethin Glyn- Zoology
- Aron Dafydd - UMCA Leader
- Tun Salleh Abas, Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia (1984–1988)
- Belinda Ang, judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore
- Alun Talfan Davies, judge and publisher
- Ellis Ellis-Griffith, 1st Baronet, former barrister and Liberal politician
- Iris de Freitas Brazao - First female prosecuting lawyer in the Caribbean
- Samuel Thomas Evans, barrister, judge, Liberal politician
- Elwyn Jones, Baron Elwyn-Jones, Attorney General for England and Wales (1966–1970) and Lord Chancellor (1974–1979)
- John Morris, Baron Morris of Aberavon, Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan and Attorney General for England and Wales (1997–1999)
- Timothy Brain, former Chief Constable for Gloucestershire
- Goronwy Daniel, former civil servant and academic
- Joe Borg, European Union Fisheries and Maritime affairs Commissioner 
- Captain Roderic Bowen, former Liberal MP and Deputy Commons Speaker
- Nick Bourne former Welsh Assembly Member and Leader of the Welsh Conservatives
- Rehman Chishti, Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham (2010-) and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief (September 2019-)
- Dr. Stephen Clackson Independent councillor on Orkney Islands Council 
- David Davies, 1st Baron Davies, Liberal politician and philanthropist 
- Glyn Davies, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire
- Gwilym Prys Davies, Labour member of the House of Lords, 1982-2015
- Gwynfor Evans, first Member of Parliament for Plaid Cymru
- Steve Gilbert, former Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay 2010–15
- Siân Gwenllian, Plaid Cymru AM for Arfon
- Neil Hamilton, former Conservative MP and current AM, barrister
- Lady Sylvia Hermon, Ulster Unionist politician
- Emlyn Hooson, Baron Hooson, former Liberal politician
- Cledwyn Hughes, Baron Cledwyn of Penrhos, former Labour MP and parliamentarian
- Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysian Home Minister
- Dan Jarvis, Labour MP for Barnsley Central
- Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West
- Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, Assembly Member for Bridgend
- Gerry MacLochlainn Sinn Féin politician
- John Morris, Baron Morris of Aberavon, Labour politician
- Elystan Morgan, Baron Elystan-Morgan, former Labour MP for Ceredigion
- Roland Moyle, Labour politician, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Clement Attlee
- Will Quince, Conservative MP for Colchester
- Dan Rogerson, former Liberal Democrat MP
- Molly Scott Cato, Green Party MEP
- Ahmed Shaheed, Maldivian politician
- Virginijus Sinkevičius, chairman of the Economics committee of the Lithuanian parliament
- Bob Stewart, Conservative MP for Beckenham
- Gareth Thomas, former Labour MP
- Gareth Thomas, Labour MP for Harrow West
- Mark Williams, former Liberal Democrat member of Parliament for Ceredigion
- Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South
- Steven Woolfe, UK Independence Party MEP
- Lance Batchelor, former CEO of Domino's Pizza Group, currently serving as CEO of Saga Group
- Geoff Drabble, CEO of Ashtead Group
- Belinda Earl, former CEO of Debenhams was appointed CEO of Jaeger in 2004
- David Prosser, former CEO of Legal & General
- Tom Singh, owner and CEO of New Look (store)
- Cath Bishop, former professional British rower, turned civil servant
- John Dawes, Rugby player, who captained Wales and the British Lions
- Carwyn James, Welsh and British and Irish Lions rugby coach (1949?–1951)
- Leigh Richmond Roose, International footballer
- Berwyn Price, International 110m hurdles athlete, Commonwealth Games & World Student Games gold medallist
- Angela Tooby, Silver medal World Cross-country Championships, Auckland
- Neil Brand, writer, composer, and a silent film accompanist
- Seth Clabough – American novelist, English professor
- Shân Cothi, operatic singer and actress
- Jane Green, best-selling fiction writer (1987)
- Sarah Hall, writer and poet
- David Russell Hulme, conductor and musicologist
- Aneirin Hughes, actor
- Emrys James, actor
- Eveline Annie Jenkins (1893–1976), botanical artist
- Alex Jones, presenter of the BBC television programme The One Show
- Melih Kibar, former Turkish composer
- Alun Lewis, Second World War writer and poet
- Caryl Lewis, Welsh novelist
- Rick Lloyd, musician (Y Blew, Flying Pickets)
- Hayley Long, fiction writer
- Sharon Maguire, film director of Bridget Jones's Diary
- Alan Mehdizadeh, actor Billy Elliot the Musical
- Robert Minhinnick, poet, essayist, novelist and translator
- Amy Parry-Williams (1910–1988), singer, writer
- Esther Pilkington, performance artist
- Jan Pinkava, Oscar-winning animated film director
- Rachel Roberts, actress
- Lisa Surihani, Malaysian actress
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