South East Wales

University mergers: Glamorgan and Newport name leaders

Prof Julie Lydon and Andrew Wilkinson
Image caption Prof Julie Lydon and Andrew Wilkinson will lead the as-yet unnamed university

Two universities which are merging in south Wales have named the senior figures to lead the new institution.

Andrew Wilkinson, chair of governors at Newport, and Prof Julie Lydon, vice-chancellor of Glamorgan, will fill those posts at the new body in 2013.

The name of the new university is expected to be revealed in December.

Plans were abandoned earlier this month to force a three-way merger with Cardiff Metropolitan University, which opposed the idea.

The announcement from Glamorgan and Newport follows a due diligence exercise to ensure there were no legal or financial barriers to their merger.

It comes after a drive led by the Welsh government to rearrange higher education in Wales to create a smaller number of larger universities.

Officials claim the new institution will rival Cardiff University in terms of size and provide the scale to produce additional benefits for students, staff and the local economy whilst also developing a global profile.

Prof Lydon said: "Our two universities have set in train a plan to create a new and exciting institution for south Wales.

Suitable names

"While both institutions have strong histories in the communities of south Wales, together we will be stronger than the sum of our parts and have an opportunity to enhance significantly the educational and training landscape of south-east Wales for the benefit of its people, communities and businesses."

Independent research on suitable names for the new university is said to be almost complete, with an announcement due in December.

Education Minister Leighton Andrews announced earlier this month that he was dropping consultation on a three-way union, including Cardiff Met, in order to allow Glamorgan and Newport to press ahead with their merger.

But he stressed at the time it was still his desire to see a single "super-university" for south-east Wales combining all the region's post-1992 universities.

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