Wrexham Council has said that it will write to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) to oppose proposals for Glyndwr University to be managed by either Bangor or Aberystwyth University.
Representatives from Glyndwr University, including Vice Chancellor Michael Scott and Vice Chair of the University’s Board of Governors Derek Griffin, were at the council’s executive board meeting today to make a representation over HEFCW’s proposals.
Both men made it clear that they believe there is a huge risk that Glyndwr will lose it’s university status if it is “led” by either Bangor or Aberystwyth university, as the HEFCW report proposes, as legally a university cannot be contained within another university.
Mr Griffin said: “I think it means that a mechanism will be found which results in Bangor and Aberystwyth being in control of North East Wales funding and Glyndwr will be downgraded, this is highly unsatisfactory.”
Councillors gave their unanimous backing to the university, Cllr Alun Jenkins, Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management said: “We fought for years and years to have a university in Wrexham, if it slips away now it would be a disaster.”
As well as writing to HEFCW independently, Wrexham Council are seeking to make a joint representation along with Denbighshire and Flintshire Council to show their backing for the university.
Glyndwr has already received the backing of a group Labour AMs and MPs as well as businessman Steve Morgan, owner of Redrow, who has been lobbying for the university.
Michael Scott outlined the fact that Glyndwr holds no debts, loans or mortgages to show the university’s financial strength. He also revealed that they were able to buy the Racecourse Ground and Colliers Park for £1.8million due to the university having an excess of £1.2million for this year.
He highlighted Glyndwr’s industry links with over 1,000 companies and the fact that 94.3% of their graduates are in meaningful employment or further education, well above the national average of 88%.
Cllr Neil Rogers said: “It would have a detrimental effect on this region if Glyndwr was to lose it’s university status. What we should be doing today is to make it clear that we are on the university’s side.”
A report will now be made to the executive board on October 4th regarding a response to the proposals with HEFCW’s consultation due to end on the 5th.