The University of Wales (a very brief background)
The University of Wales has never been a teaching institution. It was founded under charter in 1893 as a federal University with three constituent colleges, Aberystwyth, Bangor and Cardiff and soon became one of the iconic national institutions of Wales. In 1920 Swansea joined and the Welsh National School of Medicine became the fifth constituent college in 1931. Students like myself would enrol as students at the individual college and, when successful in the degree examinations, would be awarded a University of Wales Degree. We then became University of Wales Graduates.
From the 1970s a number of colleges came under the banner of the University of Wales and by the 1990s there were 10 constituent members. In 2001 the Education Committee of the Welsh Government recommended that all the university colleges should award their own degrees and by 2007 they had all left the federation. So how was the University of Wales now to generate income? The answer was to validate degree courses at numerous overseas educational establishments and private colleges in the UK.
This strategy flourished and by the end of 2008 more than 20,000 students registered on University of Wales courses in 30 countries. This activity continued but clearly there were weaknesses in the management of the collaborative arrangements and on 9 November 2010 BBC Wales’ “Week In Week Out” investigative programme revealed a scandal involving Fazley International College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, run by pop star Fazeley Yaakob.
On 21 June 2011 the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) published 3 highly critical reports on the University of Wales.
On 5 October 2011 “Week In Weeks Out” again exposed a visa scam concerning students studying University of Wales validated MBAs at the Rayat College London.
There was clearly a lack of effective management within the University. The University that had once been a highly respected iconic institution was now consider to be a disgrace and there had been many calls during 2011for it to be abolished.
The University Council
The University Council of the University of Wales is the “supreme governing body of the University with responsibility for overseeing the way the University carries out its work”. The members of the University Council had clearly failed in carrying out this responsibility. They had totally failed to ensure the existence of an efficient management system to manage the huge number of collaborative partnerships. They had totally failed to ensure the competence of the University’s management staff to manage effectively.
On 21 October 2011 the University Council made the decision that the University be dissolved and that it should merge with the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David. A momentous decision by an incompetent body which had clearly totally failed to carry out its responsibility “for overseeing the way the University carries out its work”!
The Vice-chancellor and University Council have proceeded to act on the basis of this decision. In September 2012 the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David (TSD) merged with the Swansea Metropolitan University. In practice, however, it would appear that TSD has absorbed Swansea Met as the name of the new merged university is “University of Wales: Trinity Saint David”!
The objective of the University Council is for the University of Wales to be united with this new University.
As a Graduate of the University of Wales I’m extreemly concern about the situation. The objective of this Blog is to publish information on what has been, and what is currently, going on at the University of Wales. Future Blogs coming soon will start revealing information.