The University of Wales (Prifysgol Cymru in Welsh) is a confederal university founded in 1893. It has accredited institutions throughout Wales, ranging from nineteenth-century establishments like Aberystywth and Bangor to post-1992 universities like Newport and institutes of higher education such as UWIC and NEWI. Indeed, the only institution in Wales with no historical tie to the University is the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd. It also accredits courses abroad and has over 100,000 students.
The University was composed of colleges until 1996, when the University was reorganised with a two-tier structure of member institutions in order to absorb the Cardiff Institute of Higher Education (which became the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC)) and the Gwent College of Higher Education (which became University of Wales College, Newport (UWCN)). The existing colleges became constituent institutions and the two new member institutions became university colleges. In 2003, both of these colleges became full constituent institutions and in 2004 UWCN received permission from the Privy Council to change its name to the University of Wales, Newport.
Cardiff University and the University of Wales College of Medicine (UWCM) merged on August 1 2004. The merged institution, known as Cardiff University, ceased to be a constituent institution and became a new category of 'Affiliated/Linked Institutions'. While the new institution will continue to award University of Wales degrees in medicine and related subjects, students joining Cardiff from 2005 to study other subjects will be awarded Cardiff University degrees.
At the same time, the University admitted four new institutions, helping to fill the void left by the loss of Cardiff and UWCM. Thus, North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), Swansea Institute of Higher Education and Trinity College, Carmarthen (who were all previously Associated Institutions) along with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (which was previously a Validated Institution) were admitted as full members of the University on July 27 2004.
The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama subsequently left the University in January 2007 to become an independent college once again. It retains no ties to the University (expect for students completing legacy Wales courses) and now has its degrees awarded by the University of Glamorgan. More changes followed in September 2007 when the university changed from a federal structure to a confederation of independent institutions. At the same time, Swansea changed its name to 'Swansea University' (a name it had been using publicly for some time) and Bangor to 'Bangor University'. Aberystwyth changed its name to 'Aberystwyth University' in October of the same year. All former member institutions are now independent universities, but all still have their degrees awarded by the University of Wales.
|College||Established||Undergraduate students||Postgraduate students||Location||Vice-Chancellor|
|Aberystwyth University||1872||8,450||2,570||Aberystwyth||Noel G. Lloyd|
|Bangor University||1884||9,500||Bangor||Professor Merfyn Jones|
|Swansea University||1920||11,355||2,470||Swansea||Prof. Richard B. Davies|
|Glyndwr University||2008||6,000||Wrexham||Professor Michael Scott|
|University of Wales, Newport||1975||7,525||1,850||Newport||Peter Noyes|
|University of Wales Institute, Cardiff||1996||9,275||Cardiff||Professor Antony J Chapman|
|University of Wales, Lampeter||1822||7,455||1,035||Lampeter||Professor Robert A Pearce|
|Swansea Metropolitan University||2008||Swansea||Professor David Warner|
|Trinity College, Carmarthen||1848||2,200||Carmarthen||Medwin Hughes|
Cardiff was once a full member of the University but has now left (though it retains some ties). When Cardiff left, it merged with the University of Wales College of Medicine (which was also a former member). Currently Cardiff still awards University of Wales degrees, but awards its own degrees to students admitted from 2005 (except in Medicine and related subjects where University of Wales degrees continue to be awarded).
These institutions are not accredited by the University, but do have some of their courses validated by them.Institutions such as Imperial are validated by University of Wales.