The Education Minister has revealed plans to dissolve two south-east Wales universities.
Leighton Andrews told that he will start the process of winding up Newport and Cardiff Metropolitan (CMU) universities and form a new institution by merging them with Glamorgan University. His comments came less than 24 hours after a report by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, claiming that Newport and CMU could not survive if they did not join forces.
Mr Andrews said: “The discussions between Glamorgan and Newport focus on a merger likely to utilise the existing vehicle of the University of Glamorgan structure. There would therefore be a need to dissolve the existing University of Wales, Newport HE corporation.
“I have, therefore, decided to commence, as soon as possible, a statutory consultation on the dissolution of the University of Wales, Newport HE corporation. Subject to the outcome of this statutory consultation, I would anticipate seeing real progress on the merger of Newport and Glamorgan by 2013.
“I would also expect to proceed to a similar and concurrent consultation on the dissolution of the Cardiff Metropolitan University HE corporation.
“I would hope to see progress in terms of Cardiff Metropolitan’s involvement in the new merged institution in 2014.”
On Monday a report commissioned by the Welsh Government called for the creation of a new institution. Its author, and Exeter University vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith described Newport, CMU and Glamorgan as “dangerously” small. Newport has already agreed to a merger but CMU, formerly known as Uwic, is determined to stay independent.