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New era for education as Swansea Metropolitan and Trinity Saint David merge

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

Dr Gerald Lewis, chairman of governors at Swansea Met with professor Medwin Hughes, vice-chancellor of the new university, professor David Warner, senior provost at Swansea Met and Dr Geoffrey Thomas, chairman of council.

Dr Gerald Lewis, chairman of governors at Swansea Met with professor Medwin Hughes, vice-chancellor of the new university, professor David Warner, senior provost at Swansea Met and Dr Geoffrey Thomas, chairman of council.

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SWANSEA'S Metropolitan University has merged with the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David, creating a "historic moment" for higher education in Wales.

The announcement does not affect current or future students and the 'Swansea Metropolitan' brand will remain.

A spokesman for Swansea Met said the deal will allow the transformed university to enhance the student experience offered by its predecessor institutions.

The merger has taken place under the 1828 Royal Charter of the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David following the sealing of a supplemental charter.

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The University of Wales: Trinity Saint David was formed through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College Carmarthen in 2010.

It has the oldest Royal Charter in Wales and England outside the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The new institution has been created under this charter.

Swansea Met has been a major centre for the delivery of vocational higher education for almost 160 years. A spokesman for the university said it was firmly rooted in the community it serves, and maintains close links with industry, commerce and the public services.

Swansea Met is often credited with producing significantly more successful graduate start-up business than most other higher education institutions in Wales.

Figures sourced from the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS) show that more than 370 new companies have spun out from Welsh Universities over the last few years.

Almost a quarter of those came from Swansea Met.

Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of the new unified University, said today's merger is a historic moment for both Swansea Metropolitan and University of Wales: Trinity Saint David.

Professor Hughes added: "We have formally started the process of creating a transformed University which will build upon the traditional strengths and values of both academic institutions.

"The merger also meets the Welsh Government's priority for greater critical mass building and radical structural change."

Professor David Warner, who becomes Senior Provost at Swansea Met, said: "This exciting new development builds on the excellent track record both universities had of working together.

"It is based on a partnership of equals and will free up greater resources for front-line delivery."

Dr Gerald Lewis, chairman of the board of governors at Swansea Met, said: "This is a momentous occasion and a new beginning for both institutions and for higher education in South West Wales."

Dr Geoffrey Thomas, Chairman of Council at University of Wales: Trinity Saint David, said: "We look forward to a successful future as an institution which fulfils the aspirations of the Welsh Government and education in the region."

Swansea Met is now in the process of transforming the city's former library building on Alexandra Road into a an international institute of sustainable design.

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  • Lezz_T  |  October 12 2012, 4:06PM

    Yep, too many universities offering totally useless degrees.

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  • Dan01  |  October 12 2012, 3:39PM

    Can't say that I know the answer to your question but as we all know, money rules. Trouble is that we have far too many universities. Swansea Met should have stayed as a college and focussed on what it did well,- providing quality further education on a practical level which turned out people who were of use to employers rather than the volume of graduates now being churned out with useless degrees which do not satisfy employer or economic needs. Too many institutions sought status (for its hierarchy) and lost sight of purpose. Just as apprenticeships are slowly coming back into fashion, some bright spark will come up with the innovative idea of technical colleges etc . It seems to be the way of the world nowadays.

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  • GorsseinonJoe  |  October 12 2012, 9:39AM

    I don't fully understand the need to merge these Universities, other than for financial reasons but the one thing that does baffle me is that Carmarthen and Lampeter merged a year or two back and logistically this seemed to make sense, but Swansea, Carmarthen and Lampeter? Why doesn't Swansea Met. and Swansea University merge, surely this would make more sense unless there is a need to bolster Carmarthen and Lampeter's chances of survival or Swansea Met will disappear into West Wales in a few years time. Anyone out there have an answer?