Saturday, July 3, 2010


Earlier this week, as the fallout from the Education Minister's announcement was being painfully absorbed by Vice-Chancellors across Wales's universities, I speculated that one of the potential mergers could be between Bangor and Aberystwyth.

I noted that

"this would make sense in terms of establishing a rival research led institution to Swansea and Cardiff but this would only work if there was a clear delineation in subject areas across the two campuses as the distance is too great for any meaningful interaction i.e. science and business at Bangor; arts, humanities and social sciences at Aberystwyth".

Ironically, the current Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Noel Lloyd, has suddenly announced that he will retire at the end of the next academic year.

Given that a new Vice Chancellor has already been appointed for Bangor, isn't this now the perfect opportunity for both institutions to merge their senior management, especially given the fact that the deputy vice-chancellor at Bangor is also rumoured to be retiring?

At the moment, Aber's council don't think so, as they have already announced that they have

"moved to begin the process to appoint Professor Lloyd’s successor, which is expected to be completed in time for the 2011/12 academic year".

Is this a wise move given the Minister's recent statements?

One thing is for certain, the response by both Bangor and Aberystwyth to this new development will show whether the Higher Education sector in Wales is taking the Minister seriously or whether they are silently ignoring him.

Over to you, Mr Andrews.