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Celebrating 50 years of research and teaching excellence

11 January 2016

The School of Geography and Planning celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016 with a change of name and a series of events.

Established in 1966, the School of Geography and Planning is a leading centre for teaching and research in human geography and spatial planning. Since then the School has seen considerable change in terms of the student intake, staff composition and research profile. From January 2016 the School has adopted a new name and identity as the School of Geography and Planning.

Head of School Professor Paul Milbourne explains: “It’s been an exciting few years at the School of Geography and Planning. Undergraduate student numbers in the School have more than doubled. This has introduced a shift in the balance between planning and geography students; about 70% of our first year students are now taking geography-led courses.

“This name change is more than just semantics. I believe it is more truly reflective of our key research strengths and our future direction. Of course we will maintain our focus on our planning research and related teaching content, but by placing Geography at the forefront we are more truly reflecting the identity of the school and the shape of our student body.”

Geography at Cardiff is ranked 38th in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject, making it the third highest ranked subject in the University.  In light of the growing numbers of student geographers, the School invested in several new geography appointments in 2015, and will be recruiting to seven new posts in 2016.

The School has historically enjoyed excellent reputations for high-quality teaching and research – both nationally and internationally - in both geography and planning. In 2014’s Research Excellent Framework exercise the School of Geography and Planning ranked 9th in the UK for research, with 85% of its research assessed as world leading or internationally excellent.

Professor Milbourne continues: “We’ve have had much to celebrate over the past few years, both in terms of teaching and research. When reflecting on the School’s history and how we’ve evolved over the past half-century it seemed very fitting to coordinate this new identity and direction with our 50th anniversary celebrations.”

The School will host a series of events throughout 2016 to commemorate this milestone. Themes include homelessness, city regions/urban governance, and food, culminating in an event in October 2016 to mark 50 years since the Aberfan tragedy. The School will also host the 2016 UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference.

Information about the anniversary events will be posted on the School website.

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