THE people of Wrexham hope Glyndwr University’s identity will be preserved if a major education shake-up goes ahead.

Residents say they appreciate the presence of the university and would have concerns about a possible ‘merger’ with Aberystwyth and Bangor.

As the Leader reported yesterday, the Higher Education Funding Council of Wales is proposing a restructure of the Welsh higher education system.

The plan could lead to Glyndwr losing its autonomy.

Wrexham resident Carol Coates, 58, is a keen supporter of the university and believes it has had a positive impact for the area.

She said: “I think Wrexham should stay autonomous, rather than being in the hands of people outside the area.

“It has taken a long time to establish a university here and it is a positive asset for Wrexham.

“We have enjoyed seeing the students come here.”

Her husband, Philip, 60, said the couple’s four children had all attended university prior to Glyndwr being established and had to go outside the town.

He said: “We are keen supporters of the Wrexham education system.

“Having a university here allows students to complete their studying in Wrexham and I hope things can stay as they are.”

David Jones, 24, shared the couple’s hopes for the current system to remain.

He said: “Friends of mine have gone to Glyndwr and spoken positively about their time there.

“We will have to wait and see what happens, I guess.

“But I hope any changes made do not have an impact on the university’s individual identity.”

Dave Hopkins, 62, of DA Hopkins Chartered Accountants on King Street, said he believed population issues may be a factor in any shake-up.

He said: “I think it’s important to keep a university in Wrexham.

“But when you compare the size of Wrexham, Bangor and Aberystwyth to the big cities you can see why there could be talks of mergers.”

Julie Cotgreave, 62, was visiting the town from Chester.

She said: “I think it’s important for places to have a university where possible.

“If there were to be mergers I would hope the resources are pooled correctly.”

On our website, Leaderlive, ‘zyfile13’ wrote: “Relinquishing local control of this institution will inevitably downgrade its recently acquired status.

“Absorption into the anonymity of an ‘education’ conglomerate would sacrifice whatever individuality it has managed to achieve, to the detriment of Wrexham and
North East Wales as a whole.”

And user ‘mypoint’ said: “We should be proud of the achievements of our local university and do everything we can to prevent this being taken over by a distant organisation run by people with little or no interest in Wrexham, its business or people.

“If we want Wrexham to thrive we must fight to promote its identity.”

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