Cardiff is very much a learning city with three universities all playing a vital role in driving the competitiveness of the regional economy. Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales boast between them nearly 80,000 students and over 12,000 staff.

University profiles 

Cardiff University has a strong reputation for the quality of its teaching and research and it is a member of the Russell group of leading research universities. There are around 30,000 students, including more than 3,000 from over 100 countries outside the UK, helping to create a vibrant, cosmopolitan community.

Ranked 6th in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Cardiff University broke into the “Golden Triangle” of Oxford, Cambridge and London and confirmed its place as a world-leading university. Key results of the REF for Cardiff University include:

  • 5th university nationally on rankings based on research impact
  • 2nd nationally on rankings based on impact
  • 5 out of 27 academic disciplines are first on impact. These are Architecture, Built Environment and Planning; Civil and Construction Engineering; Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; General Engineering; Modern Languages and Linguistics
  • 6 out of 27 academic disciplines are in the top 5 on quality. These are Civil and Construction Engineering (1st in UK); Pyschology , Psychiatry and Neurscience (2nd in UK); Communication, Cultural and Media Studies (2nd in UK); Sociology (3rd in  UK); Allied Health (joint 4th in UK); Education (joint 5th in UK0
  • 87% of research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent

Cardiff Business School has a close relationship with businesses in the city, including its collaboration with Legal & General, which has led to Cardiff developing the largest cluster of medical underwriters in the UK. Cardiff University’s Business School has also collaborated with OSTC to develop a Cardiff Trading Room to support the development of traders. In addition the Business School also has an Islamic Banking and Finance Centre of Excellence.

Cardiff Metropolitan University is a leading new university mainly due to its career orientated courses that make graduates popular with employers.  For the fourth year running, the university was ranked overall top in the UK for international student satisfaction in the latest International Student Barometer. It’s also a top sporting university with first-class facilities and a proud tradition of competition – and success with the largest School of Sport of any UK university.

Cardiff Metropolitan is a growing university, with business and management a key strength. In total Cardiff Metropolitan’s specialisms are focussed around its five schools, namely Cardiff School of Art & Design, the Cardiff School of Education, the Cardiff School of Health Sciences, the Cardiff School of Management and Cardiff School of Sport. In addition, the National Centre for Product Design and Development Research (PDR) provides expertise in design and innovation, offering support from research to manufacturing businesses. PDR has worked with several leading aerospace companies in Wales and is well known for its pioneering work in maxillofacial surgery.

The University won the ‘student experience’ award from Times
Higher Education in November 2014 and was categorised as ‘first-class’ in a UK-universities sustainability assessment. Through independent student-employability surveys, 94% of Cardiff Met graduates are in employment-or-further-study within
six months of graduation.  In the recent Research Excellence Framework results, Cardiff Metropolitan University was ranked as the highest post-1992 ‘modern’ university in 41st place, with 80% of the University’s overall quality profile rated as ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*). For impact, the proportion rated
as 3* or 4* is even better at 83%.

The University of South Wales was formed in April 2013 following a merger between the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport. The university has campuses in Cardiff, Newport and the South Wales Valleys. Its 33,000 students place it in the top ten largest campus universities and it attracts a cosmopolitan mix of students from 122 countries and all backgrounds. It delivers the full range of Stem subjects, from engineering and mathematics to computing and surveying, and is an experienced provider of teacher training courses.

The University of South Wales has recently launched its Centre for Financial and Professional Services in Cardiff, working with the Welsh Government to meet Cardiff’s demand for skills in the financial and professional services sector.

The University is also a major research university in Wales, with specialisms in the creative industries, sustainable energy, and mobile communications. In the 2014
Research Excellence Framework results, the University of South Wales doubled its amount of research rated as world leading. Half of its research is regarded as world leading or internationally excellent standard providing practical solutions for culture, society and the economy.