Throughout our history, Swansea University has proudly combined visionary research, innovative thinking and community action to address challenges facing our society, both locally and globally.
Looking back over the past century, our staff, students and partners have demonstrated unwavering resilience, enabling the University to adapt to challenges, endureg adversity and emerge stronger.
Clear parallels can be drawn between key events in our University’s history and our actions today as we continue working together to improve lives.
Visionary research for 100 years
Throughout our University’s history, we have been committed to visionary research that tackles the major challenges of the day, from national defence to preserving public health.
Then: During World War 2, Swansea University hosted the Department of Explosives Research, which was evacuated from London.
Discover more about Swansea University’s key role during WW2 and its aftermath.
Image: Department of Explosives Research & Development, Woolwich Arsenal, c.1940s. Photo: A.Colquhoun. Courtesy of the Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University (2017/6)
Now: Today, our researchers and their collaborators are producing vital research in the fight against COVID-19, from preventing social isolation suicide risk to speed-cleaning ambulances carrying infected patients.
Working together to improve lives since 1920
Then: From the 1950s until relatively recently, the Raise and Give (RAG) weeks in Swansea were a pivotal part of the University’s calendar. Often to the bewilderment of the local community, students would help raise money for local charities through processions of floats through the town and pram races between Cardiff and Swansea.
Image: Courtesy of the Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University (reference: UNI/SU/PC/5/5)
Now: Our students continue to volunteer for the benefit of the local community today, with a group of Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) students stepping in to offer emergency relief childcare to Swansea health workers. Find out more.
Then: Community has always been at the heart of Swansea University’s mission. During WW2, a Home Guard was set up at the College, as it was known then.
Image: Courtesy of the Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University (reference: UNI/SU/AS/4/1/2:95)
Now: Almost 100 years on, our inspiring students continue this community support to join the NHS front line in the fight against COVID-19. Find out more
A century at the heart of your community
Then: During the Festival of Britain, and amidst a period of austerity, Swansea University staged its own large-scale exhibition and opened all its departments to the public for tours and demonstrations, to bridge any gap between ‘town and gown’.
Now: Almost 70 years later, we remain committed to learning from our community through our involvement in the Swansea Science Festival, Oriel Science, and most recently, through virtual teaching initiatives and supporting local schools – Find out more about our involvement.
Then: In the early 1960s, Swansea University was heavily involved in the regeneration scheme of the Lower Swansea Valley, clearing up much of the post-industrial wasteland that was there at the time.
Now: Today, along with the City and County of Swansea, Swansea University continues to explore the heritage-led regeneration of the former site of the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks. Find out more about the project.
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