End Of An Era For Lampeter, The Oldest University In Wales

The University of Lampeter, which is the oldest university in Wales, has decided to merge with Trinity University College and change its name to the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. However, many unions fear that half of the staff may face redundancy after the merger. The decision was made after both universities began negotiations in December last year, with the merger expected to be completed by July 2010. Dr Medwin Hughes, the current principal of Trinity, will lead the newly merged institution. The loss of identity for Lampeter, which has been operating for 187 years, is a result of the university struggling financially and suffering from a decline in student numbers due to its rural location. A report published in 2007 by the Quality Assurance Agency raised concerns over the academic standards of the institution, while the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales issued a critical report in June 2009 and called for interim management and a merger to save the university. Alfred Morris, former vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England, was appointed to lead the institution and evaluate partnership opportunities. Morris stated that financial difficulties were being faced and that further steps would have to be taken to increase income by offering new options for master’s programmes, for example. Despite the potential job losses, Morris said that it was still too early to discuss a redundancy plan and that the University and College Union’s concerns and claims of a £2m funding shortfall were speculative.


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