University students: 44,000 (12.7%)
Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Cardiff City Centre
Queen St, CardiffCardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales and the tenth largest in the UK. It is Wales' commercial centre and base for national cultural, government and sporting institutions. The city has 346,100 residents and the larger urban zone has a growing population approaching 900,000.
Cardiff is the main growth engine for the Welsh economy. Though the population of Cardiff is about one-tenth of the total for Wales, Cardiff makes up nearly one-fifth of Welsh GDP. Many of the city’s workers are daily commuters from the surrounding region. Cardiff attracts tourists as well and is the most popular visitor destination in Wales.
The city is also a stronghold for higher education. It is home to at least 44,000 university students across four universities, three of which are based in Cardiff. The city offers students a big-city study experience but without some of the congestion problems and high prices that university students face elsewhere.
Cardiff is on the south coast of Wales, with a shoreline on the Bristol Channel. The central parts are flat but hills rise on the city outskirts.
Cardiff is bordered to the west by the rural district of the Vale of Glamorgan, to the east by the city of Newport, to the north by the South Wales Valleys, and to the south by the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. The River Taff winds through the centre of the city and, together with the River Ely, flows into the freshwater lake of Cardiff Bay. A third river, the Rhymney, flows through the east of the city to the estuary.
Cardiff has an essentially maritime climate, with mild weather that is often cloudy, wet and windy. Summers tend to be warm and sunny. Winters are fairly wet, though rainfall is rarely heavy for long periods and the temperature seldom drops below freezing. The average minimum temperature is 7.0°C (44.6°F) and average maximum is 14.7°C (58.5°F).
Accommodation in Cardiff is very affordable. Apart from private accommodation, the universities guarantee first-year students placements in student halls or houses.
Cardiff University has fourteen student halls and a number of student houses throughout the city, providing a total of 5,362 places. Rooms in residential halls start from as low as £3,207 for 40 weeks.
Cardiff Railway StationCardiff has efficient transport networks for getting around the city as well as for inter-city travel.
Within the city, most students catch buses. Cycling and walking are also popular due to the flat terrain and compact size of the inner city areas.
The city is also accessible by car and offers plenty of parking spaces, albeit at high prices.
Cardiff Central railway station is the largest in Wales and one of the busiest in the UK, with services to many other major cities. Cardiff Queen Street station is the hub for Cardiff's Valley Lines services, which connect the city centre to suburbs and commuter towns.
Cardiff International Airport, which is 12 miles from the city centre, is the only major airport in Wales.
As a growing city that receives tourists and student visitors in large numbers, Cardiff has added many modern attractions to its established ones.
The city has an array of interesting and unusual venues and, possibly, has more pubs per square foot than anywhere else in Britain. Most clubs and bars are situated in the city centre or at Cardiff Bay.
Summer is the best time for entertainment when the city hosts large festivals. Al fresco dining and drinking are also popular, with large sections of the city closed to road traffic.
Cardiff has many landmark buildings, including the Millennium Stadium, Pierhead Building, the Welsh National Museum and the Senedd (home of the National Assembly for Wales). The city is also famous for Cardiff Castle, St David's Hall and Llandaff Cathedral.
Cardiff University students - Korfball clubCardiff is an especially green city, with the most green space per person in the UK. Bute Park in the heart of the city is a major draw during the warmer months for people wanting to exercise or otherwise spend time outdoors.
Cardiff has a strong sporting culture and hosts major Welsh sporting events, often at Millennium Stadium in the city centre. It is the largest covered stadium in Europe and the venue for international rugby and football matches. Major events tend to generate a sweeping party atmosphere in the city centre as crowds swell and move about the streets, pubs and clubs.
Cardiff University entranceCardiff has three universities of different sizes that have a combined student enrolment of 44,000. In addition, the University of South Wales, which is based outside Cardiff, has a city campus.
The university's disciplines are organised into three streams: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences and Engineering. The university scores a strong 4.0 / 5.0 on course satisfaction and charges international students around £12,700 in annual tuition fees.
Cardiff Metropolitan University has four campuses, all within a few miles of the city centre, that provide instruction for more than 13,000 students. Students report low levels of course satisfaction compared to other UK universities, with an overall rating of 1.8 / 5.0.
The University of South Wales also has a large campus in Cardiff city centre. It focuses on media, broadcasting and creative industries.