Bangor University is a university in Bangor, Wales. It received its Royal Charter in 1885 and was one of the founding institutions of the federal University of Wales. Officially known as University College of North Wales (UCNW), and later the University of Wales, Bangor (UWB), in 2007 it became Bangor University, independent from the University of Wales.
The university was founded as the University College of North Wales (UCNW) on 18 October 1884, with an inaugural address by the Earl of Powis, the College’s first President, in Penrhyn Hall. There was then a procession to the college including 3,000 quarrymen (quarrymen from Penrhyn Quarry and other quarries had subscribed more than 1,200 pounds to the university). The foundation was the result of a campaign for better provision of higher education in Wales that had involved some rivalry among towns in North Wales over which was to be the location of the new college.
The college was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1885. Its students received degrees from the University of London until 1893 when UCNW became a founding constituent institution of the federal University of Wales.
Campus and buildings
The university occupies a substantial proportion of Bangor and also has part of its School of Healthcare Sciences in Wrexham.
The university was originally based in an old coaching inn, the Penrhyn Arms Hotel, which housed its 58 students and its 12 teaching staff. In 1911 it moved to a much larger new building, which is now the old part of the Main Arts Building
Halls of residence
The redbrick University Hall, built in a Queen Anne style, was the first substantial block. It was opened in 1897. Neuadd Reichel, built on the Ffriddoedd Farm site, was designed in a neo-Georgian style by the architect Percy Thomas and was opened in 1942 as a hostel for male students.
Accommodation is guaranteed for all first-year undergraduate students at Bangor. There are around 3,000 rooms available in halls of residence, and all the accommodation is within walking distance of the university. There are three residential sites in current use: Ffriddoedd Village, St Mary’s Village and Neuadd Garth.
The largest accommodation site is the Ffriddoedd Village in Upper Bangor, about ten minutes’ walk from Top College, the Science Site and the city centre. This site has eleven en-suite halls completed in 2009, six other en-suite halls built in the 1990s and Neuadd Reichel built in the 1940s, and renovated in 2011.
St Mary’s Village
Bryn Eithin overlooks the centre of Bangor and is close to the Science Departments and the Schools of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. Demolition of the former St Mary’s Site halls, except for the 1902 buildings and the Quadrangle, began in 2014 to make way for new halls which were completed in 2015. The halls on this site are Cybi, Penmon, and Cemlyn, which are all self-catered, flats; Tudno, which is a townhouse complex; and the original St. Mary’s building, with studios and flats.
College Road has one hall, Neuadd Garth (formerly Neuadd John Morris Jones, before that Neuadd Rathbone), which is a self-catering hall. The site is located close to the Main Arts building in Upper Bangor.
A private hall of residence called Tŷ Willis House (formerly known as Neuadd Willis) is operated by iQ Student Accommodation; which incorporates the old listed British Hotel with a new extension to the rear, and a further hall on the site of the old Plaza Cinema. Other privately-owned halls of residence in Bangor include Neuadd Kyffin, Neuadd y Castell, Neuadd Llys y Deon and Neuadd Tŷ Ni.
The Former Students’ Union Building from Deiniol Road Undeb Bangor is Bangor University’s Students’ Union and was relocated to the brand new Arts and Innovation Centre, Pontio, in 2016. Pontio includes a theatre, a cinema, a studio theatre and social facilities including the Undeb on the 4th floor.
Arts, Humanities and Business
- History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
- Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
- Music and Media
- Welsh (Cymraeg)
Environmental Sciences and Engineering
- Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
- Natural Sciences
- Ocean Sciences
- Education and Human Development
- Health Sciences
- Medical Sciences
- Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences
The students’ union provides services, support, activities and entertainment for students. All Bangor University students automatically become members of the students’ union unless they choose to opt-out. As with most if not all students’ unions, a yearly election takes place in which several sabbatical officers are elected. These sabbatical officers are held accountable for the actions and decisions of the union and often work closely with members of the Student Representative Council and other boards.
In January 2016 Bangor Students’ Union moved into the new Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Deiniol Road, Bangor. The New Student Centre provides students with free Sports and Societies, as well as the chance to become a course rep.
The Students’ Union offers more than 600 volunteering opportunities in 35 community-based projects, contributing a total of 600 hours to volunteering each week.
There is a long tradition of student volunteering in Bangor. The oldest records available detail the organisation of a tea party for local elderly residents in 1952. The Tea Party project continues to run to this day and is SVB’s oldest project. In October 2012 Student Volunteering Bangor was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Clubs and societies
There are more than 90 societies and over 50 sports clubs, ranging from academic societies to almost every sport imaginable. Notable sports include football (Bangor University F.C.), rowing (Bangor University Rowing Club), ultimate frisbee (Bangor University Ultimate Frisbee Club), and fencing (Bangor University Fencing Club).
Y Seren is the official English language student newspaper for Bangor University. Seren provides coverage for important student events such as the sabbatical officer elections and the annual Varsity sports competition. The newspaper is delivered monthly to the Ffriddoedd and St Mary’s Villages, as well as to University buildings and local businesses. Seren also has a website, where every issue is archived. The newspaper’s offices are located in the Pontio Arts Centre building.
Storm FM is the official student radio station for Bangor University and is one of only three student radio stations in the UK with a long-term FM license. The station is broadcast on 87.7FM from a low-powered FM transmitter based on the Ffriddoedd Site. The FM license allows for broadcast to a very small area of Bangor, namely the Ffriddoed Road Halls of Residence. Storm FM went online in 2009.