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New Vice-Chancellor pledges to put Wales on ‘world map’

03 September 2012

The new Vice-Chancellor of Wales’ leading University has pledged to use his role to help put Wales firmly on the world map.

Professor Colin Riordan – who takes up his post as Vice-Chancellor and President of Cardiff University today - insists the University’s unique position in Wales and standing as a world-leading research University has the potential to raise Wales’ international profile and standing.

Professor Riordan said: "One of my key priorities on taking up my post as Vice-Chancellor is to help Wales strengthen by creating a vibrant knowledge-led society and economy that puts Wales ahead of the game. Wales has a great deal to be proud of and we remain determined to act together, combining our strengths and talents to drive forward the knowledge economy in Wales and beyond.

"Cardiff University has a responsibility to offer the widest range of opportunities to encourage and attract the very best talent to Wales. We take this role very seriously and always aim to use our international reputation and commitment to excellence in everything we do to help create a prosperous Wales. Indeed we enjoy this challenge as it is in all our interests for these aspirations to succeed.

"Our collaborative projects with schools, other universities, businesses, charities, and international partners have paid real dividends in recent years. But as we explore new ways of working in partnership across all our activities, we know how much more we can achieve in the future.

"So whether our contribution comes via the training of health professionals for the NHS, developing new low carbon technologies for Wales, tackling the big health challenges facing the nation or by winning millions of pounds worth of research grants to fund world-class projects and life-changing breakthroughs, we want our efforts to have a positive impact on Welsh lives."

The new Vice-Chancellor has also committed to establish Cardiff University as one of the world’s leading universities with an academic community recognised for its international distinction and impact.

Professor Riordan added: "Why shouldn’t a Welsh university feature in the world’s top 100? As Vice-Chancellor my aim is for Cardiff University to be one of the world’s leading universities and put Wales firmly on the world map."



Further information, please contact:

Chris Jones

Public Relations

Cardiff University

Tel: 029 20 874731


Professor Riordan is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex. He moved to Essex in 2007 from Newcastle University, where he had been Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since August 2005.

Professor Riordan has published widely on post-war German literature and culture, including editing books on the writers Jurek Becker, Uwe Johnson and Peter Schneider. Other research interests include the history of environmental ideas in German culture.

He has extensive experience of teaching and improving the student experience. In 2009 he chaired the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s enquiry into teaching quality.

He has taught at a number of universities including Swansea University (1986-94) and Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in Germany (1982-84). He was Dean of Postgraduate studies and Head of the School of Modern Languages at the University of Newcastle.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s 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. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.