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Launch of Cardiff University’s 125th Anniversary Year

22 January 2008

Cardiff University begins a packed year of celebrations today (Wednesday 23 January 2008) to mark 125 years of achievement.

In 1883, Queen Victoria ruled a quarter of the globe, Robert Louis Stevenson was causing a sensation with Treasure Island, Blackburn Olympic won the FA Cup and the bells rang out for the opening of Cardiff University. It had 13 staff, 151 students, little income or resources and was operated from a dilapidated former infirmary building.

Today it has some 6,000 staff (including two Nobel Laureates), 26,000 students, outstanding buildings and facilities in the city’s civic centre and Heath Park campus, a turnover of £370M, and a place among the ranking of the world’s top 100 universities. It is part of the Russell Group of Britain’s top twenty leading research universities and has just won its third Queen’s Anniversary Prize for excellence.

Counting down to the University’s actual anniversary on October 24 2008, a special programme of events will include concerts, award ceremonies, conferences, lectures, sporting and other cultural and social events all designed to collectively bring together the widest range of people to mark this important year.

Also being launched today is the University’s ‘125 for 125’ appeal. Building on the anniversary theme of ‘Changing Lives’ the appeal aims to raise an additional 125 scholarships to help the next generations of students and young researchers, realise their academic ambitions at Cardiff, and the first £100,000 will be match-funded by the University.

University Vice Chancellor Dr David Grant, said: "From humble beginnings Cardiff’s achievements over the past 125 years are a source of pride and an inspiration to those of us who are working and studying here today, just as I hope they have been to all of the staff and students who have been part of our community over the years.

"As we celebrate our heritage through reflection upon our past, it is important that we recognise that all that has been achieved provides a strong platform for the achievement of our current priorities and our challenging vision ‘To be a world-leading University".

University President Neil Kinnock (Lord Kinnock of Bedwelty) said:

"Never insular, never isolated, never an Ivory Tower - this is a University which for 125 years has put something substantial back into this part of South East Wales as well as Wales more widely. Cardiff University not only generates large employment but fosters the development of university based industry and employment innovation. It is an institution to which I owe just about everything, indeed only my parents compare, as a source of support, inspiration and opportunity."

The University has also launched a dedicated 125 anniversary website which will host an events calendar, fundraising updates, and a special ‘My Cardiff’ feature to enable anyone with a University connection to provide memories, anecdotes, stories, and pictures – or to comment on what the University has meant to them.


Notes to Editors:

Interviews can be arranged on request.

Please contact: Lowri Jones on 02920 870 995 or E:

About Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by Times Higher Education (THE).

The University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research and its breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Visit the University website at:

Further Information:

For more media information, please contact:

Lowri Jones

Public Relations and Communications

Cardiff University

T: 02920 870 995