The Wales Centre for Equity in Education is being launched this evening in Cardiff by the Welsh minister for education and skills, Huw Lewis.
It will try to develop policy, research and practice to improve equity in Welsh education.
David Egan, director of the new centre, said in a statement: “Currently…one of the strong features of education in Wales is its inequity. Boys tend to do less well than girls, some ethnic groups have far lower success rates than others and, in particular, children who grow up in poverty do less well in school.”
He said that education had a “major role” to play in addressing the fact that one in three people in Wales officially live in poverty, “providing people, particularly young people, with the skills and qualifications that will enable them to enter the labour market and to earn wage levels that give them and their families a chance to avoid poverty.”
Educational equity would also become a “central theme” of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the two universities said in a statement.
The two universities are set to merge together in the “near future”.