Cardiff University (Welsh: Prifysgol Caerdydd) is a public research university located in Cardiff, Wales. Its origins trace back to 1883 when it was established as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire. In 1893, it became a founding college of the University of Wales. Over the years, the institution underwent several name changes, evolving into University College, Cardiff in 1972 and merging with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology in 1988 to form University of Wales College, Cardiff. Subsequently, in 1996, it was officially named University of Wales, Cardiff. The university received degree-awarding powers in 1997, temporarily suspended, and then fully embraced its independence, adopting the name Cardiff University in 1999, which became its legal designation in 2005.
Cardiff University holds the distinction of being the sole Welsh member of the Russell Group, a prestigious association of research-intensive universities in the United Kingdom. Notable academics and alumni of the university include two heads of state or government and two Nobel laureates. As of 2023, the university boasts an esteemed faculty, with 17 fellows of the Royal Society, 11 fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, seven fellows of the British Academy, 21 fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and 32 fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Cardiff University is widely recognized for excellence across various departments, with notable achievements and contributions from its faculty. The university takes pride in having two Nobel Laureates on its staff, namely Sir Martin Evans and Robert Huber. A distinguished group of Cardiff University academics has been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society, including Graham Hutchings, Professor of Physical Chemistry and Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute; Ole Holger Petersen, MRC Professor and Director of Cardiff School of Biosciences; and John M. Pearce, Professor of Psychology.
In terms of inclusivity, Cardiff University garnered acclaim in 2013 for its support of LGBT students, earning a place among the best UK universities in Stonewall's Gay by Degree guide. It was the sole university in Wales and one of only two in the UK to achieve top marks on Stonewall's checklist of priorities for LGBT+ students.
Internationally, Cardiff University has received recognition in various global rankings. In 2021, it was jointly ranked 168th in Best Global Universities by US News, 164th in SCImago Institutions Rankings, 162nd in the Round University Rankings, and 159th according to the Center for World University Rankings.
Furthermore, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2021, Cardiff University secured positions within the top 50 globally in communication and media studies (28), architecture and built environment (37), and psychology (59). Additionally, several other subjects achieved rankings within the top 100, including dentistry and mineral and mining engineering (49), civil and structural engineering, geography, social policy and administration, pharmacy and pharmacology, English language and literature, and sociology.