A Golden Anniversary service at Bath Abbey, a campus-based Party on the Parade and a rugby match at ‘The Rec’ are just three of the ways the University of Bath will be celebrating its 50th anniversary today – Tuesday, October 25th.
As part of a special year long programme of anniversary events – since receiving its Royal Charter in 1966 – today’s celebrations begin in the historic Bath Abbey where staff, students, alumni and invited guests will enjoy a range of performances, music and dance.
Following this, the festivities then make their way onto campus with a Party on the Parade featuring entertainment for staff and students including band performances, dancing and a zip wire.
The University’s Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex, The Prince Edward is attending both the Abbey and campus events and will also be cutting a 50th birthday cake to mark the celebrations.
The festivities finish at Bath Rugby’s iconic ground, The Rec, where the University’s men’s 1st XV rugby union team will aim to continue their impressive unbeaten run in the new BUCS Super Rugby league when they host Leeds Beckett. The match kicks off at 6.30pm, is free to attend and is open to everyone.
Over the past 50 years, the University has developed an excellent international reputation for conducting world-class research and providing students with exceptional learning and teaching.
It is exactly 50 years since the University of Bath was granted university status in 1966 by Royal Charter, signed by Her Majesty the Queen. Its first Chancellor, Baron Hinton, was installed shortly after during a ceremony in the Bath Assembly Rooms in which a ceremonial mace was presented to the University as a gift from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
For half a century the University and its students and staff have played an integral part in the city of Bath. As the city’s second largest employer the University directly employs over 3,100 people whilst its student’s annually spend over 10,000 hours volunteering with local charities and organisations. Last year, the University’s students raised more than £65,000 for local, national and international charities, adding to a total of almost £400,000 in the past five years.
[The archive footage below shows the presentation of the University Mace during the Granting of the Royal Charter Ceremony in 1966]
Identified as the number one university in Europe in the QS ‘Top 50 Under 50’ 2015/16 rankings, and first in the UK for student satisfaction in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015, Bath continues to be ranked highly in all national league tables.
Nearly 90 per cent of Bath’s research in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) was defined as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. The quality of its research has won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize, twice.
Today, Bath students continue to be amongst the most satisfied in the UK with a 90 per cent overall satisfaction rating according to the National Student Survey (NSS). The University is also one of the best in the UK for graduate prospects having been ranked seventh nationally by the 2017 Times Good University Guide and best in the South West.
Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, commented: “I am delighted that the University is celebrating this momentous milestone as a vibrant and successful community. Since receiving our Royal Charter, Bath has maintained its position as a University conducting high quality research and providing excellent teaching and we look forward to continuing this for the next 50 years.
“The University’s success is intrinsically linked to the city of Bath. The beautiful location in a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Bath’s excellent infrastructure enable us to attract the best and brightest minds and, in turn, we make a significant contribution to the local economy and community.
Our 50th anniversary programme of events provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our considerable achievements but also say ‘thank you’ to our friends and neighbours in and around the city.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our staff and students whose dedication is an inspiration. It is this real sense of community and collaboration at our university, combined with our natural curiosity and ambition which has led to our success so far and will play a significant role as we look to the future.”