Aberystwyth University first opened in 1872 with 26 students in the Welsh seaside town after which it is named.
It was a founding member of the former University of Wales, funded by donations from individual benefactors and members of the public. ‘The people’s university’, as it came to be known, is now home to nearly 10,000 students across its faculties of Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences.
Spread over three campuses, the university’s Penglais and Llanbadarn sites are located close to the main town. Its Gogerddan campus houses the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, a world class research and teaching centre that addresses global challenges such as food security, sustainability and climate change. It also recently opened a branch campus in Mauritius, which offers degrees in Accounting and Finance, Business, Computer Science and Law.
Aberystwyth itself is an area of outstanding natural beauty, offering students easy access to the sea and unspoilt countryside via Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains.
The university’s Penglais campus was the first in Wales to achieve a Green Flag Award for the high quality of its environment, while Aberystwyth itself was awarded the title of ‘Greatest Town’ by the Academy of Urbanism in 2015 for its shops, restaurants, nightlife and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
In the middle of a major campus redevelopment project, Aberystwyth invested £45million in 2015 for new student residences, teaching spaces and an arts centre – one of the UK’s largest – with further investment planned for campus enhancements over the next three years.
Despite continuing expansion, the university prides itself on having retained an intimate, friendly atmosphere where students pursue active social lives and high academic standards.
Aberystwyth has also been recognised by a leading newspaper as being among the five top safest places to study within the UK, with some of the country's lowest crime rates.