|The University of Wales (Welsh: Prifysgol Cymru) is a federal university founded in 1893. It has member institutions throughout Wales, ranging from Red Brick universities such as Lampeter and Aberystwyth, to post-1992 universities such as Newport and institutes of higher education such as UWIC and NEWI. Indeed, the only university in Wales completely separate from the federal University of Wales is the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd. The Chancellor of the University of Wales is HRH the Prince of Wales and the Pro-Chancellor is the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan. The Vice-Chancellor is currently Professor Marc Clement.
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
The University was composed of colleges until 1996, when the University was reorganised with a two-tier structure of member institutions in order to absorb the Cardiff Institute of Higher Education (which became the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC)) and the Gwent College of Higher Education (which became University of Wales College, Newport (UWCN)). The existing colleges became constituent institutions and the two new member institutions became university colleges. In 2003, both of these colleges became full constituent institutions and in 2004 UWCN received permission from the Privy Council to change its name to the University of Wales, Newport.
Cardiff University and the University of Wales College of Medicine (UWCM) merged on August 1, 2004. The merged institution, known as Cardiff University, ceased to be a constitutent institution and became a new category of ‘Affiliated/Linked Institutions’. While the new institution will continue to award University of Wales degrees in medicine and related subjects, students joining Cardiff from 2005 to study other subjects will be awarded Cardiff University degrees.
At the same time, the University admitted four new institutions, helping to fill the void left by the loss of Cardiff and UWCM. Thus, North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), Swansea Institute of Higher Education and Trinity College, Carmarthen (who were all previously Associated Institutions) along with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (which was previously a Validated Institution) were admitted as full members of the University on July 27, 2004.
Cardiff was once a full member of the University but has now left (though it retains some ties). When Cardiff left, it merged with the University of Wales College of Medicine (which was also a former member). Currently Cardiff still awards University of Wales degrees, but will award its own degrees to students admitted from 2005 (except in Medicine and related subjects where University of Wales degrees will continue to be awarded).
- Coleg Sir Gâr
- Greenwich School of Management
- Herefordshire College of Art and Design
- MBA Programme, HUMAN ACADEMY
Neither of the two institutions are members of the University, but do have some of their degrees validated by them.
The University of Wales Registry, in Cardiff’s Civic Centre, is the central administrative centre and the place that actually registers degrees and sends out degree certificates as well as validating the degrees of the University that are offered outside the member institutions. The University also directly runs the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and the Welsh Dictionary Unit, both based alongside the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. The first edition of Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (University of Wales Dictionary), which has the same status for Welsh as the OED does for English, was completed in 2002, eighty-two years after it had been started. The University of Wales Press was founded in 1922 and publishes around sixty books a year in both English and Welsh. The University also runs the Gregynog conference and fieldwork centre in mid-Wales, based around the 150 year-old Gregynog Hall – one of Britain’s oldest concrete buildings.
The Validations Unit based at the Registry in Cathays Park, Cardiff, provides a service in widening participation in Higher Education while maintaining academic standards, by assuring the quality of HE programmes in associated educational institutions not only in Wales, but also elsewhere in the British Isles.
It also has an overseas presence, where institutions might wish to run degrees mainly or wholly through the medium of English and need them to be validated by a British university. For example, a university level institution in a Spanish speaking country might need its International MBA validated in this way.
By administering such arrangements to the highest academic standards, the highly qualified and multilingual staff at the UW Validations Unit are instrumental in raising the academic profile of Wales throughout the world, and in providing Wales (the ‘Learning Country’ as described by its Minister of Education, a ‘Knowledge Economy’ according to its Economic Development Minister) with a highly valuable and often unsung invisible export.