Funding council reaffirms case for Welsh mergers

Plans to merge Welsh universities to cut the total number of institutions from 10 to six have been backed by the education minister Leighton Andrews.

July 13, 2011

Mr Andrews said today that a detailed report published by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales outlining a shakeup of the sector made a “persuasive case for change” and he accepted the “the broad thrust” of the recommendations.

The report recommends that the University of Glamorgan, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, and University of Wales, Newport, should merge.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Swansea Metropolitan University will also come together, possibly also merging into the federal University of Wales.

Aberystwyth and Bangor universities have also been told to “develop a longer-term plan for merger”.

The Hefcw report accuses Welsh universities of being too numerous and too small.

Last December, Mr Andrews told Welsh universities to “adapt or die” and Hefcw has already said that the number of institutions should shrink from 10 to six, with no more than two in each region of the country.

Trinity Saint David and Swansea Metropolitan have been in talks since the beginning of the year, although the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, pulled out of talks to join them earlier this month.

Since February, Bangor and Aberystwyth have been talking about a closer partnership, although John Hughes, Bangor’s vice-chancellor, said that they were too far apart to merge.

Glyndwr University has been asked to develop “strong structural relationships with a range of further education colleges within a group structure led by Aberystwyth and Bangor.”

The report also suggests that Glyndwr could share services with nearby University of Chester.

The Hefcw report also acknowledges that arguments over Welsh universities are far from new. “Debate on the structure of the higher education sector in Wales dates back to 1406, when Owain Glyndwr sought support from the King of France for the rebellion against the English and for a plan to create two universities in Wales,” it says.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns