UCU branch chair voted for Cardiff Met merger

The governor who represents academic staff at Cardiff Metropolitan University voted for the institution to merge in a crucial ballot on independence, it has emerged.

July 13, 2012

At a meeting of the university’s governing council on Monday, the board voted 13-1 in favour of remaining independent, defying Leighton Andrews, the education minister, who wants Cardiff Metropolitan to join with the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport.

Matthew Waring, who is the academic representative at the university and chair of the University and College Union branch, voted for an immediate merger, it is understood.

Last week Glamorgan and Newport confirmed that they would be merging, although they said they would be “open for further expansion with potential partners in the future”.

Mr Andrews has previously threatened to use his legal power to dissolve universities to force mergers between institutions.

Yesterday, the UCU confirmed its support for a merger of the three universities.

But in a document summarising its proposals, it says the merger must be on the basis that a “genuinely ‘new’ university be established” with a “new corporate identity”.

The UCU proposal says that the “composition of the governing body has to accommodate representatives of those stakeholder groups and not just the business community – which is the current dominant model”.

“The focus of the decision-making should be, first and foremost, based on academic values rather than the current focus on managerialism and cost base,” it says.

It adds that the new university should be “first and foremost” a university rather than “merely a business operating for profit”.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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