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Voluntary merger of HE institutions welcome but lessons to be learned - Roberts

November 6, 2012 4:09 PM

Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Education in the National Assembly, has welcomed the news that a consultation on the possible dissolution of either or both of the University of Wales, Newport and Cardiff Metropolitan University has been cancelled.

The news was announced by an Oral Statement from Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, this afternoon.

Commenting, Aled Roberts said:

"I have always made it absolutely clear that my favoured way forward is one of voluntary mergers based on discussion and consensus.

"The Minister's statement recognises the progress made by University of Wales, Newport and the University of Glamorgan in reaching agreement on their intended merger and is a welcome u-turn from the stance being taken just a couple of weeks ago.

"The Minister will obviously need to consider the business case for the merger when it is received, but it is also crucial that any financial support given by the Welsh Government is not made at the expense of other education institutions.

"There are lessons to be learned from this whole process, and it is crucial that the sector is allowed to continue to build positive new relationships without excessive Ministerial interference.

"What we all need to do now is to support Wales's HE institutions and not engage in "tit-for-tat" exchanges in the media. Welsh students are not best served by this sort of policy making and it is no way to reach a calm and moderate conclusion".