On Wednesday, 2 June a new vision for post-16 education in South West Wales was unveiled at the National Urdd Eisteddfod, Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion.
The vision is to establish a regional educational group comprising two universities and three FE colleges in South West Wales to create a dual sector group structure providing meaningful educational pathways, enhancing student choice and developing joint educational provision which responds to the needs of employers.
A declaration of intent was announced between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (created by 1 September by the merger of Trinity University College and the University of Wales Lampeter), Swansea Metropolitan University, Pembrokeshire College, Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion.
Dr Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor Designate of UW Trinity Saint David, said “In addressing the various policy directives identified by the Welsh Assembly Government, the higher education sector in Wales faces major strategic challenges. The For Our Future strategy identifies the necessity to consider the implications of strategic partnerships and new reconfiguration models. This proposal builds upon the current reconfiguration already approved by the Welsh Assembly Government within the region with the creation of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David”.
He continued “The time is right to establish new educational structures which will transform the educational landscape. Wales needs to be innovative in its educational system and delivery frameworks in order to establish regional groupings which will enhance economic delivery, support social capital and drive forward greater regional post 16 educational pathways. In doing so, we will secure greater synergy in our skills delivery and establish far stronger strategic partnerships with business, employers and work-based learning providers”.
Professor David Warner, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea Metropolitan University, said “The possibility of both Swansea Metropolitan University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David coming together within a new unified educational infrastructure is based upon a long standing tradition of collaboration and of sharing common values, mission and educational provision. Both universities focus upon a clear regional mission and deliver quality provision which enhances regional progression.”
The Statement of Intent between the two universities, Coleg Sir Gâr, Pembrokeshire College and Coleg Ceredigion proposes to establish a new Post-16 regional strategic alliance for the South West within a collegiate structure.