South East Wales

University mergers: Cardiff Met board in stand alone vote

Cardiff Metropolitan University, Management School
Image caption The education minister has said he wants Cardiff Met to merge with two other universities

Cardiff Metropolitan University has confirmed it will shun a merger with Newport and Glamorgan universities.

The board of the university, formerly Uwic, voted 13-1 in favour of staying as an independent institution.

The merger proposals were supported by education minister Leighton Andrews after a review of higher education in Wales.

But the board said it aims to be in the top 10 of new UK universities within five years.

Cardiff Met had already made clear its opposition to a merger.

In November last year the National Union of Students voiced its concern at suggestions a merger of universities could be "forced" to create a new "super" institution in south east Wales.

And in March Cardiff councillors backed the university's campaign to preserve its independence in the face of merger plans.

Members passed a motion proposed by leader Rodney Berman recognising the university's "distinct identity".

'Extensive discussion'

In a statement on Tuesday Cardiff Met's board of governors said it had considered last week's announcement by Glamorgan and Newport that they would begin discussions on a merger.

After "an extensive discussion", the board said it voted overwhelmingly in favour of the university retaining its current constitutional position, said the statement.

"This overwhelming outcome was because the governors know that Cardiff Metropolitan University remains a highly successful and financially sound institution giving the very best possible student experience," said board chair Barbara Wilding.

Ms Wilding described Cardiff Met as "the number one 'new' university in Wales".

She added: "We have exciting and dynamic aspirations for our future, and firmly believe that in the next five years, Cardiff Metropolitan University will be in the top ten post-1992 universities in the UK, which will be of increasing benefit to Wales."

Formerly known as the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (Uwic), the university revealed its rebranding as Cardiff Met in November 2011.

Mr Andrews had said a merger between the three institutions would create one of the most powerful higher education bodies in the UK.

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