THE NORTH East Wales Institute is set to become the University College of Wales, Wrexham, provided that its application for university college status as a member of the University of Wales is accepted.
The 4,500-student institute has already received approval from the University of Wales academic board, which met last week. Its bid will go to the university council next month.
Its reception there will depend on the outcome of NEWI's application to the Quality Assurance agency for degree-awarding powers, to be considered later this month. It will not be applying yet for the power to award research degrees, which it gives under University of Wales accreditation.
NEWI is already affiliated to the University of Wales and awards its degrees, increasingly concentrating its accreditation on the national university rather than other universities.
John Williams, principal of NEWI, said the new status would help in marketing the institution: "The quality of the University of Wales is internationally recognised and there is little doubt that having a university title will give us a considerable marketing edge in the post-Dearing world. Perceptions are very important." The new title cannot be granted in time to be used in literature for 1999-2000 applications.
Professor Williams said both NEWI's emphasis on vocational courses and non-traditional entrants and its location - a catchment area extending from the Irish Sea to the English border counties - would complement other University of Wales institutions.