Leighton Andrews announced yesterday that he was accepting most of the recommendations made by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales following a consultation, including:
• Cardiff and Swansea universities should continue to develop their considerable research and collaborative potential.
• Aberystwyth and Bangor should continue to strengthen their strategic alliance, although they will not be expected to formally merge at this time.
However, Mr Andtrews said that Glyndwr University should not be managed by Bangor and Aberystwyth, proposing instead that a commission be set up to review higher education provision in North East Wales.
In June, a HEFCW report said that the institution’s sustainability was “challenging in the long term”.
It had also suggested Glyndwr could merge with nearby Chester.
Both the minister and the funding council have been pushing for the merger of Welsh universities to give them greater financial resilience and achieve a critical mass of research.
Mr Andrews said: “We have made a commitment to a smaller number of stronger universities, which are more sustainable and better equipped to meet the needs of learners and the Welsh economy.”