An apologetic former student has returned a university sign more than a decade after it first went missing.

The anonymous sender, who works for a large multinational company, has returned the sign misappropriated while they were studying at the University of Bath.

The package containing a large 3ft Derhill Terrace accommodation sign was sent to the university's Claverton Down campus this week after going missing in 2005.

Within the package, an unsigned note read: "Thank you for the loan of your sign for the past 11 years. I promise I have looked after it well. You will be pleased to hear I have grown up a lot since graduating from Bath. I now work in management for a very well known multi-national brand and no longer steal signs. Thank you and apologies again. A sorry former sign thief."

Before the new student year starts this autumn, the missing sign will be returned to its rightful place on the walls of the Westwood accommodation block, which offers 632 bedrooms to first-year undergraduates.

Andrew Monk, deputy director of the university's department of development and alumni relations, said: "Our students take away lots from the university - impressive qualifications and experiences which prepare them for a variety of top jobs across all sectors - as well as occasionally, it seems, the odd sign too.

"As the university prepares for its 50th anniversary in 2016 we're delighted to hear from our alumni wherever they are in the world and of course we're always very grateful whenever they choose to give back - including when it's parts of our fixtures and fittings."

The university is wondering which other former students might be willing to return "borrowed" items, rumoured to include traffic cones, a length of yellow piping and even a few books - all of which can be returned anonymously.