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Ten Famous Ex Aberystwyth Students

Famous Ex Aberystwyth University StudentsFor several thousand people this month will be their first term at the University of Aberystwyth.

Now we all know that Aberystwyth is a university of distinction, with an excellent reputation.

But did you know some of these distinguished people studied here before going on to greater things?




1. HRH Prince Charles:

In the spring of 1969 the future Prince of Wales spent a whole term at Aberystwyth University, in a plan by official to make him seem more in touch with the people of Wales before his actual investiture. During his time in Aber, not only did he learn a bit of the Welsh language, but he also had his bodyguards secure a private section of Borth Beach so that he could enjoy a dip in peace!


2. Neil Hamilton:

The ex Tory MP for the safe seat of Tatton studied Economics at the University of Aberystwyth in the 1960′s before becoming a junior minister in the Department of Trade and Industry. Unfortunately things didn’t go so well for Mr Hamilton after he became snared in the cash for questions scandal, although he and his wife Christine have appeared on a number of reality programmes in the more recent past.


3. Tom Singh:

High street business mogul Tom Singh studied at Aberystwyth University before going on to found low cost womenswear shop New Look. The company now has over 500 stores in the UK, and in 2003 Singh was recognised at the 5th richest Asian in the UK, worth around £200,000,000 after floating his company on the stock market in 1998.


4. Sharon Maguire:

Director of the blockbusting film ‘Bridget Jones Diary’, Sharon Maguire studied English Literature at Aberystwyth between 1979 and 1983. Now, there aren’t many people who are lucky enough to be able to say that they’ve studied English Literature in the same place as the woman who was involved in picking those giant knickers are there?


5. Chris Leek:

Clever cloggs Chris Leek graduated from Aberystwyth in 1979 after studying zoology. In 2003 Chris was elected as head of International MENSA, the organisation for people with a high I.Q. across the world. Before this he served as head of the British MENSA for a total of four years.


6. Carwyn James:

Twice capped by Wales, Carwyn James is best remembered for his rugby union coaching qualities. In the early 1970′s he coached both Llanelli and the British and Irish Lions sides who both managed to beat the All Blacks of New Zealand, who are one of the best rugby teams in the world. Carwyn graduated from the university’s Welsh Department, as well as playing rugby for the Aberystwyth University team.


7. Belinda Earl:

Debenhams department store Chief Executive Belinda Earl was the only woman to be leading a major highstreet store in 1999 when she was appointed as head of the high street giant. In 2001 she also became the first chief executive to ever take maternity leave in the UK. Belinda Earl graduated from Aberystwyth University in 1983 with a degree in Business and Economics, and went on to work at Harrods under their graduate programme at the time.


8. Ahmad Tegan Kabbah:

Ahmad Tegan Kabbah graduated from Aberystwyth in 1959 with a degree in Economics and went on to become president of the African nation of Sierra Leone. He served his first term in 1996 after ending military rule in the country and was re-elected in 2002, promising major improvements for the country by 2007. President Kabbah stood down in 2007, after completing a maximum of two terms in goverment, and went on to oversee the elections in Kenya in 2007, and Zimbabwe in 2008 for the Commonwealth and African Union.


9. Angela Tooby-Smith:

After completing a Bachelors Degree in Geography, and a Masters in Geography and PE Angela Tooby-Smith went on to become an accomplished international athlete. Notable achievements include winning bronze medal in the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in 1986 and silver medal in the World Cross Country in Auckland. She also completed in the Olympic Games for Britain, and still holds a number of Welsh track records.


10. Queen Alexandra:

Queen Alexandra never actually studied at Aberystwyth University. However, she was awarded an honorary degree. This was also the first degree ever issued by the University of Aberystwyth. Queen Alexandra was awarded a Doctorate in Music on 26th June 1896. On this same day she also opened Alexandra Halls on the North Promenade, which was of course named after her.

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3 Responses to “Ten Famous Ex Aberystwyth Students”

  • Paul says:

    ‘Neil Hamilton’ – Prob best not to brag about that.

    The Current First Minister of Wales – Carwyn Jones, might be better.

    Also there are 12 sitting MPs (and countless former) in Westminster all attended Aber.

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  • EverythingAberystwyth.co.uk says:

    Probably not one to brag about, but interesting to know none the less!

    I didnt know about Carwyn Jones, but I did read about the MPs. Thanks for sharing that one!

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