University of Wales announces new academic strategy

Posted on 6 October 2011

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The University of Wales is to launch a new academic strategy, which will see the institution only award degrees to students on courses designed and fully controlled by the University.

The announcement was made by Professor Medwin Hughes on his first day as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales, which is in the process of transforming itself through a merger with Swansea Metropolitan University and the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David.

The transformed University will cease to be an accrediting body for other Universities in Wales. It will instigate discussions with these Universities to withdraw from awarding degrees to their students. The University will also bring to a close validated programmes offered at centres in the UK and overseas and introduce a new academic model.

Professor Hughes said today he was carrying forward reviews initiated by his predecessor Professor Marc Clement, who now takes on the role of President of the University of Wales.

It also follows a decision of the University of Wales Council on May 23 2011 not to approve any new centres or initiate the validation of any new programmes.

Professor Hughes said, “In light of HE policy changes in Wales and the creation of a transformed University of Wales, we believe the time is right for us to adopt a new academic strategy and only award University of Wales degrees to students on courses designed and fully controlled by the University of Wales. We are therefore proposing to bring the current validation model to a close.”

"We have a duty of care to all students on existing programmes and will honour our current commitments to them. However, from next year, all Universities in Wales will either have to use their own degree awarding powers or make other arrangements for the courses they run both locally and on a transnational basis.

"And our own international collaboration will now be based solely on courses designed and fully controlled by the University of Wales, embedded in our Faculties and led by our own academic staff. We remain committed to a global role and believe it can serve Wales well.

Universities affected by the introduction of the new strategy will be offered a notice period of one year, before the changes come into effect at the start of the 2012 academic year.

The merger is a response to the Welsh Government’s policy of reshaping higher education, and will create a single, integrated institution with the strategic capacity to help Wales achieve the full potential of its investment in learning, research and innovation and support of the Welsh Government’s Economic strategies.

As President of the University of Wales, Professor Clement will be responsible for extending the role of the University through enterprise and innovation and for enhancing its contribution, through research and through strategic partnerships, to the economic and social regeneration and development in Wales, UK and globally

“Our aim is to create a transformed University with the needs of Wales at the heart of everything we do,” said Professor Clement.

“The transformed University will build on the achievements of the three merger partners to deliver accessible life-long learning, applied research and knowledge transfer, and excellent opportunities for enterprise and innovation.”

Under a single governing body, management structure and new academic strategy, the University will ensure the highest standards of governance and continue to deliver educational research and excellence.


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