Education merger breaks new ground
EDUCATION in Carmarthenshire is set to be transformed following a major education merger.
Coleg Sir Gâr joined the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David Group (UWTSD) earlier this month, following Swansea Metropolitan University who joined the group in October 2012.
The new group is part of the Welsh Government's post-14 education plan and is expected to transform the educational landscape of Carmarthenshire and South West Wales.
But the identity of Coleg Sir Gâr will not lost in the new partnership.
Professor Medwin Hughes, vice-chancellor of UWTSD, welcomed Coleg Sir Gâr into the group.
He said: "We are creating a radical new system of education for Wales that will transform, shape and develop the communities we serve.
"The UWTSD system is comprised of universities and colleges committed to educating students of all ages and backgrounds and stimulating economic development in our region."
Mr Hughes said the new UWTSD system will have more than 25,000 learners spread across 15 campuses in rural and city locations.
"Collectively we are delivering clear, tangible benefits for learners, employers, industry and communities through an innovative portfolio ranging from further education to doctoral studies," he added.
Coleg Sir Gâr principal, Barry Liles said: "This historical and ground-breaking merger has been completed from a position of great strength, with both institutions having very good quality profiles and sound financial health.
"The merger has created a strong and innovative educational group structure for South West Wales, incorporating both further and higher education.
"This group structure can be termed a 'dual sector university' and at the heart of this development is a strategy to improve opportunities for learners at all levels across the region."
Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills, welcomed the new group.
He said: "This merger represents a major step forwards for UWTSD. By bringing together further and higher education in this way, this new institution will be able to offer learners a whole range of different opportunities and build on vital partnerships within the business community.
"This is good news for the learners and the economy of South West Wales. I'd like to congratulate everyone involved in this process for their vision and commitment in seeing through the merger."
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