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Cardiff University (Welsh: Prifysgol Caerdydd) is a public research university located in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. The University is composed of three colleges: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences and Engineering.
Founded in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, it became one of the founding colleges of the University of Wales in 1893, and in 1999 became an independent University awarding its own degrees. It is the second oldest university in Wales. It is a member of the Russell Group of leading British research universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based university education and is ranked 123 of the world's top universities by the QS World University Rankings, as well as achieving the highest student satisfaction rating in the 2013 National Student Survey for universities in Wales.
The University has an undergraduate enrolment of 21,495 and a total enrolment of 30,180 (according to HESA data for 2013/14) making it one of the largest universities in Wales. The Cardiff University Students' Union works to promote the interests of the student body within the University and further afield. The University's sports teams compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues.
The University maintains fourteen student halls and a number of student houses throughout the city of Cardiff; providing a total of 5,362 student places in accommodation. They are in a variety of architectural styles and ages, from the Gothic Aberdare Hall, built in 1895, to the modern Talybont Halls, built in 1995. All first-year students are guaranteed a place in Halls. The Cardiff University Halls are:
- Aberconway Hall
- Aberdare Hall
- Cartwright Court
- Colum Hall
- Gordon Hall
- Roy Jenkins Hall
- Senghennydd Court
- Senghennydd Hall
- Talybont Halls
- University Hall
The Cardiff University Students' Union is a student-run organisation that aims to promote student interests both within the University and further afield. The Cardiff University Students' Union building is near Cathays Park, next to Cathays railway station. It has shops, a nightclub and the studios of Xpress Radio and Gair Rhydd, the student newspaper. It is democratically controlled by the student body through the election of eight full-time officers who manage the running of the Union. The Union provides a range of services, including a number of cafes, bars and shops, as well as advice, training and representation. The Union is an affiliated member of the National Union of Students.
Student groups and societies
The Union also supports over 150 other clubs and societies across a wide range of interests, including: Cardiff University Debating Society, and Act One, the student dramatic society. All clubs offer opportunities for beginners and the more experienced students.
Student Volunteering Cardiff is a registered charity run by Cardiff students that promotes and enables volunteering by the student body.
The Union provides facilities and support for several student media groups, including: gair rhydd, an award-winning, free student newspaper that is released every Monday of term; Quench, a monthly arts and lifestyle magazine that specialises in the local music scene as well as original investigative feature articles; Xpress Radio, the student radio station; and CUTV, the student television channel.
The Cardiff University Athletic Union is the body that supports student sport at Cardiff, it oversees more than 60 competitive and non-competitive sports clubs, many of which compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sport league. The University's Ice Hockey team, the Cardiff Redhawks (which also recruits players from other Welsh universities) competes in the British Universities Ice Hockey Association leagues.
The university's sports teams also take part in the annual Welsh Varsity against Swansea University, which includes the Welsh Boat Race, and several other sporting competitions.
Cardiff participates in British Universities and Colleges Sport which manages a sporting framework of competitive fixtures and events for over 150 institutions around the UK. Cardiff registers nearly 100 teams in the various leagues and competitions each year and sees students travelling around the country to represent Cardiff University. In 2013 Cardiff team achieved 15th position overall across the 50 different sports hosting events.
The University's academic facilities are centred around Cathays Park in central Cardiff, which contains the University's main building, housing administrative facilities and the science library; the Bute building, which contains the Welsh School of Architecture and the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies; the Glamorgan building, which houses the Cardiff Schools of Planning and Geography and Social Sciences, the Redwood Building (named in 1979 after the Redwood Family of Boverton near Llantwit Major by a 1978 suggestion by J D R Thomas), which houses the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; the law building which houses the Cardiff Law School; and the biosciences building, which provides facilities for both biosciences and medical teaching.
A number of the University's academic facilities are also located at the Heath Park campus which is based at the University Hospital of Wales, this contains the Cardiff University School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry, the School of Healthcare Sciences and the School of Optometry & Vision Sciences.