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 become the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. On 1 September 2007, the University of Wales ceased to be a federal university and Aberystwyth University became independent again. In 2019, it became the first university to be named "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 of these, Thomas Nicholas, whose book Middle and High Class Schools, and University Education for Wales (1863) 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, Aberystwyth, 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 the 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, the university's staff included eight Fellows of the Royal Society, such as Gwendolen Rees, the first Welsh woman to be 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 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 Mr Justice Sir Roderick Evans QC. In 2011 the university appointed a new vice chancellor under whom the academic departments were restructured as larger subject-themed institutes.Our Mission To deliver inspirational education and research in a supportive, creative and exceptional environment in Wales.Our Vision Building on our historical strengths and our reputation for excellence, we will contribute to society in Wales and the wider world by applying our knowledge to local and global challenges. Working within a supportive, welcoming and bilingual community, we will use our expertise to cultivate critical thinking, independent questioning and skills that equip our learners for lives of success.We develop enduring personal strengths that facilitate people’s future success. Our community of staff and students drive positive change by addressing local and global challenges. We encourage innovation from new ideas and actions, within an entrepreneurial context. We strive to unlock individual potential. We encourage imaginative, free and critical thinking. We generate unique outcomes by drawing on our distinct Welsh culture, history, exceptional environment and facilities. We foster the ingenuity of staff and students in problem solving, adaptation and versatility. We promote openness and generosity of spirit and cherish the strong sense of community that exists across the University, Aberystwyth and our wider world. We listen and respond to each other’s honest opinions with respect. We take pride in the richness of the diversity of cultures, opinions and backgrounds of our staff and students. We work to enhance our global reputation in discovery, educational quality and innovation. We are committed to excellence in research, teaching and engagement. We celebrate the attainments, achievements and contributions of our staff, students and alumni. Our academic community is engaged externally, contributing to civic debate, the promotion of the Welsh language and culture, and to the local and wider economy. We work with our students, as individuals and collectively, to ensure the continuous improvement of the student experience and learning environment at Aberystwyth. We communicate the work and worth of the University to the wider world and engage people in the delivery of our vision.We will empower students to unlock their own potential and to develop as independent learners in a supportive, inclusive and creative bilingual community. Students will graduate as independent critical and free thinkers with both discipline specific and transferable skills. Students will encounter our excellent research through practical projects and research-led teaching.Our objectives are to:Continually develop our undergraduate provision to ensure attractive, highquality courses which lead to graduate-level employmentNurture innovative teaching and learning (including flexible learning) that is recognised as a sector benchmark of best practice in Welsh and EnglishEnrich our curricula with distinct research undertaken within the UniversityDevelop targeted postgraduate provision that delivers rigorous programmes which are attractive to home and international studentsEmbed employability skills across our range of programmes, including further opportunities for work experience, volunteering, international experience and other transferable skillsPromote and facilitate staff development in pedagogy to drive continual improvement in our learning and teaching experienceFurther improve the student experience and to work in close partnership with the Students’ Union to keep the student voice at the heart of our activity
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