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Civic mission

A young girl learns about the brain

We put our communities at the heart of everything we do. It’s what we call our civic mission.

We have been responding to major challenges faced by society and undertaking work for public good for well over 130 years. We are not only committed to improving the health, wealth and wellbeing of the communities we serve but take seriously our role to promote environmental sustainability and diversity.

Our ambition

The coronavirus social and health crisis has caused us to rethink how we can better use our expertise to benefit our diverse communities. We are determined to play our part in rescuing, reviving and renewing the economic, cultural and social hopes of Wales.

We will build back fairer from the pandemic, with a specific focus on future generations. We will take an active role in tackling social inequalities and the global climate emergency. And we will reach out to young people and excluded communities locally, and across Wales, who are in most need of help and support.

We will lead Wales’ green recovery

Five volunteers wearing high vis vests smile at the camera standing next to the big bags filled with rubbish they have collected.
Volunteers join a community litter pick organised by our Water Research Institute as part of their public engagement.

We will identify what a sustainable future might look like by building on the ways people are reconnecting with nature and concern for our planet’s future.

We are committed to taking action on sustainability, leading by example and improving our own environmental performance. We will build an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future to bring about environmental benefits not only to Cardiff but to the wider world.

We will promote sustainability through our teaching, sharing of our innovative research and through public engagement activities. Our staff and students will make positive changes to our environmental impact, in particular our declaration of a Climate Emergency, and our aim to become carbon neutral by 2030.

We will build Wales’ skills for the future

Woman in white lab coat with Cancer Research logo speaks to two female students also wearing lab coats.
Year 12 pupils take park in a Science and Health Live workshop in our School of Medicine.

As Wales’ biggest university, we will support a skills-led recovery from the post-COVID recession.

We offer a range of flexible study programmes as well as short Continued Professional Development courses, including free online courses, to develop skills. Some courses are designed for those in particular professional fields, whilst others cover more general skills of value to a wide range of people and employers.

Our Welsh for Adults programme has been running for over 30 years, benefiting Welsh learners in the community as well as our own staff and students.

We ensure young people are given every opportunity to fulfil their potential regardless of their circumstances or background. Our widening participation and community outreach programmes engages those who are under-represented in higher education and who have experienced educational disadvantage or disruption. We break down barriers to higher education and support young people throughout their educational journey.

We work closely with schools and colleges across Wales to support young people by offering many free educational resources and activities for teachers, schools and colleges in a range of subjects. Meanwhile, our School Governor Initiative actively encourages and support university staff and members of our alumni to contribute their skills and expertise to schools by serving as School Governors.

Cardiff University in particular have a lot of resources that meet our needs as teachers. These are just experiences that you can't replicate in a classroom, you can't fake doing this.

Alex Davies, Performing Arts Teacher and Head of year 9 After his pupils attended a big band workshop in our School of Music.

We embrace community engagement

We use our wide range of expertise to support and deliver impactful community led projects alongside student and staff volunteers. Together, we play a major role in shaping projects which seek to tackle poverty and social inequalities, boost the economy and improve health, education and wellbeing.

Boy on bike

Community Gateway

We’re committed to building a long-term partnership with Grangetown residents and businesses.

Male volunteer shows three year seven boys a sword as an example of a historical artifact.

CAER Heritage

A project exploring the history and archaeology of Caerau Hillfort and the surrounding area, helping to connect communities with their heritage and develop educational opportunities.

Our academic researchers work across disciplines and reach out beyond academia to better understand and tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and the environment. Our research staff and students continually explore new approaches to engage with the community, particularly under-represented groups, on research that makes a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

We also welcome the local and wider public to many of our events and activities, with members of the public accessing university facilities to improve their education, health and wellbeing, from use of our extensive libraries to our sports facilities. Our regular Open Days for undergraduate and postgraduate study give visitors a chance to explore our campus and city, meet staff and students and get a real feel for studying and living in Cardiff.

Cardiff Castle during the Tafwyl festival.
Cardiff Castle during the Tafwyl festival.

We are proud to be a Welsh university and are commitment to promoting and celebrating Welsh language and culture. We are establishing a new Welsh Language Academy to champion and promote a forward-thinking, bilingual nation.

We actively participate and support key Welsh festivals, engaging visitors in our research and teaching at the National Eisteddfod every year through lively talks, discussions and hands-on activities.

Our civic mission sub-strategy

Civic mission sub-strategy

Our Civic Mission sub-strategy has been refreshed to focus on how we can help Wales recover and rebuild following the pandemic.

Contact us

Please get in touch about our civic mission at