Illogical principles

December 8, 2011

Regarding "Welsh government rules on Glyndwr merger proposals": while I am pleased for Glyndwr University that it has avoided a forced merger, I fear this may only be a stay of execution.

However, I was disappointed to note that there was little reference to what is perhaps the most significant story behind the headline: the proposed merger of Glamorgan and Cardiff Metropolitan universities and the University of Wales, Newport. This plan defies logic and business sense.

I would ask the following questions: does the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales make a strong business case for such a merger? No. Is it backed up by clear benefits and financial savings? No. Has it made any concession to the fact that all three institutions have differing missions, vary by more than 60 places in most league tables, and have various entry expectations plus student retention and employability records? No.

Does HEFCW explain how merging these institutions is going to benefit learners and the Welsh economy? No.

Perhaps Leighton Andrews, the Welsh education minister, should spend some time answering these questions and offering a persuasive case that may convince at least one highly successful institution to join the party.

Greg Bearing, Newport, South Wales

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