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Statement on higher education in Wales

29 November 2011

Glyndŵr University has welcomed an announcement on the future of higher education in Wales.

Welsh Government Minister for Education and Skills Leighton Andrews AM today (Tuesday, November 28) said he would not accept a recommendation from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) that Glyndŵr University be governed as part of a group structure with Bangor and Aberystwyth Universities.

Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Glyndŵr University said: “We welcome today’s statement from the minister.

"During the consultation process it has been encouraging and pleasing to see recognised the importance of Glyndŵr University to the people and economy of North East Wales, as well as to the country as a whole. This is clearly demonstrated by the University’s curriculum and also its research strategy, both of which are directed towards economic and social development.

“Since the recommendations were originally made by HEFCW we have been delighted at the huge number of responses we have received from employers, students and the general public. Their support has reinforced our conviction that Glyndŵr University is a focal point for the region and is growing in stature day by day.

“Our purchase of the Glyndŵr University Racecourse Stadium earlier this year reflected our commitment to the community, while our groundbreaking partnership with social purpose company A4e is set to extend the opportunities higher education offers to more people than ever.

“The agreement with A4e is intended to develop further our already strong links with further education colleges. Partnership working is essential for education in Wales as a whole.

“Our students are at the heart of everything we do, but we do not just prepare them for university life and academic studies – we prepare them for the world of work and entrepreneurship, to be wealth creators and to take forward and share Glyndŵr University values both nationally and internationally.”

Mr Andrews has indicated he will look more widely at the provision of higher education in North East Wales, in particular the links between higher and further education.

Prof Scott said: “We look forward to engaging with any future process to look at the overall picture in North Wales, and believe it will offer us the opportunity to build on our many achievements so far, and to go even further in demonstrating our commitment to leading economic growth as a strong, independent university and to increasing the opportunities.”

Speaking in the Senedd, Mr Andrews said: “HEFCW advised that Glyndŵr University should develop strong structural relationships with a range of further education colleges within a group structure led by Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities.

“I have not accepted this advice. After considering representations made, it appears to me that there is a case for considering more closely the existing pattern of HE provision in North East Wales and for examining further the options for securing greater regional coherence in the delivery of further and higher education.  I shall make a further announcement on this in due course.” 

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