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University Chancellor hails successful year

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Glyndŵr University is ready to start the next chapter in its evolution following a “tough but successful” year.

Those were the words of Glyndŵr’s Chancellor, Sir Jon Shortridge, who addressed up to a hundred guests at the University’s Annual Review event on Friday.

By September, the Wrexham-based institution will have completed a major restructuring exercise and received the results of the review of Higher Education in North East Wales, conducted by Sir Adrian Webb.

It has been a year in which Glyndŵr was under “intense external scrutiny” but Sir Jon is confident the future looks bright, particularly as its undergraduate intake increased by up to by 40%.

Speaking at the £6million Centre for the Creative Industries, he said: “The last year was a tough one for the University, but I am delighted to tell you we are putting those problems behind us.

“This year our undergraduate intake increased by nearly 40% on the year before, and by the beginning of the new academic year we will have completed a major restructuring exercise which will modernise the way in which we operate, and, most importantly, substantially enhance the quality of the student educational experience.”

Sir Jon added: “I prefer to remember last year not as a tough year, but as a very successful year.

“It was a year in which we were under intense external scrutiny. Through a coincidence we faced four major reviews within a couple of months of each other but we passed them all with flying colours, with some of the best results in the UK.”

Sir Jon went on to explain how the reviews, including examination of the University’s Journalism and Engineering programmes, coincided with the Webb Review.

He said: “The great thing about the Review is that it recognised unambiguously that north east Wales needs a Welsh university based in this region.

“It also recognised the important contribution Glyndŵr is making to the economic development of this area and the exemplary role it plays as a widening participation university.

“It made a number of recommendations to ensure the smooth transition of students from school through further and higher education and stressed there is a need for further investment in higher education here in north east Wales.”

Sir Jon added: “We now await the Minister’s response to the review, but what I can say is that Glyndŵr, with its commitment to the local community, stands ready to play its part in strengthening the ties between higher and further education – though we recognise that such a strengthening can only be achieved with the consent of all of those institutions that would be involved.

“With our world-leading research – including the ESO telescope project at St Asaph – and our work with Airbus and in pursuing an application for research degree awarding powers, Glyndŵr University looks forward to moving ahead as a centre of local, national and international significance, both academically and commercially.”

The event also included interactive sessions in the University’s immersive learning environment with Nathan Roberts and Computing students, a demonstration of Occulus Rif technology, and talks on Welsh medium education and consumer psychology, with Dr Gareth Harvey.

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