Council sends out hard-hitting message to education minister

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

PLANS to strip Glyndwr University of its independence are not based on robust evidence and should not go ahead.

That is the strong message Wrexham councillors will send out to Welsh education minister Leighton Andrews next week.

At their meeting on Tuesday, members of the powerful executive board will give their official response to proposals for a radical education shake-up.

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) recommends Glyndwr loses its independence and becomes part of a group led by Bangor and Aberystwyth.

The suggestion has caused a storm of protest from residents, business leaders, students and politicians.

Hundreds of people have backed the Leader’s Hands Off Our Uni campaign, sending in coupons that will be passed to Mr Andrews next week.

John Davies, Wrexham Council’s head of lifelong learning, said of the HEFCW proposal: “Overall, members do not think it is a good idea.

“They are supportive of Glyndwr’s strategy of independence. They are also very concerned the proposals are not based on robust evidence.

“They feel Glyndwr is important not just to Wrexham but the whole of the wider region, and that the needs of the region would not be effectively met by a management arrangement based up in the North West.”

The executive board’s response will be sent to Mr Andrews in time to meet next Wednesday’s consultation deadline.

Council leader Cllr Ron Davies said: “When the board last discussed this matter there was unanimous opposition to the proposal.

“The corridor served by Glyndwr is not just important to Wrexham but to the whole of North Wales.”

See full story in the Leader

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