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I want to describe that I joined a newly opened college (it was new a decade ago, but no longer new). How to describe this to warn the reader that it is no longer new?

In 2000, I joined the newly (at that time) opened university XYZ.

Is the phrase [at that time] correctly placed? Is there any better alternative to warn the reader?

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Then is your saviour here.

In 2000, I joined the then newly opened university XYZ.

then - at that time; at the time in question.

It points to a specific time/event in the past.

More examples:

I was still in school then when the attacks happened.

The play rules were different then.

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In this case, I think your sentence is ok without the parenthetical clarification. Simply:

In 2000, I joined the newly opened university XYZ.

In more complex cases, you could clarify with a dependent clause:

In 2000, I joined the university XYZ, which had just received a 1st place ranking by AAA Reports.

(Note if you replace "had" with "has", the timeframe would change from 2000 to now)

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