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125 years of education – Abertay University celebrates its anniversary

15 October 2013

Abertay University today (15 October) celebrates the 125th anniversary of its foundation as Dundee Technical Institute.

The Institute was formally opened on 15th October 1888 by Mr Swire Smith, a woollen manufacturer from Keighley in Yorkshire. At the opening he said: “through the foundation of this Institute…the ladder of learning has been raised aloft in Dundee”.

238 students enrolled in the first session, with classes offered in jute, spinning and applied art. Many of the students went on to management positions in major textile companies here in Dundee and overseas.

Today the anniversary was celebrated with an all-staff photograph in the Main Lecture Theatre and an official Abertay Anniversary Cake, picked in a blind tasting from recipes submitted by staff and students.

Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University, said: “I’m very pleased to be celebrating this anniversary with colleagues from across the university’s schools and services.

“125 years ago we were founded as the Dundee Technical Institute, with the stated aim of giving access to higher education to anyone who would benefit, no matter their background, to improve their life chances.

“The subjects we teach have changed dramatically from those based on the textile industries and maritime trade that first made Dundee an economic and technological powerhouse in the 19th century. But our mission remains the same.

“Today, our graduates, in the fields of science, technology, business and the arts are still contributing directly to the economy and to society at large, not just in Dundee but in communities across the world.”

The University of Abertay Dundee came into being when Dundee Institute of Technology won the right to use the title of ‘university’.

In 1997 Abertay launched the world’s first Computer Games Technology degree, and in 2006 the UK’s first Ethical Hacking degree.


For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Manager) – T: 01382 308522 M: 07837 250284 E:

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