Wrexham Glyndŵr University

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Wrexham Glyndŵr University
Prifysgol Glyndŵr Wrecsam
Motto Hyder trwy Addysg (Welsh)
Motto in English
Confidence through Education
Established 1887, as Wrexham School of Science and Art,
2008 as Glyndŵr University,
2016 as Wrexham Glyndŵr University
Endowment £18,000 (2013)[1]
Chancellor Trefor Jones CBE
Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar
Students 6,660 (2015/16)[2]
Undergraduates 6,010 (2015/16)[2]
Postgraduates 650 (2015/16)[2]
Location Wrexham, Wales, UK
53°03′14″N 3°00′22″W / 53.054°N 3.006°W / 53.054; -3.006Coordinates: 53°03′14″N 3°00′22″W / 53.054°N 3.006°W / 53.054; -3.006
Campus Urban
Colours Scarlet red      and Gold     
Website www.glyndwr.ac.uk
Wrexham Glyndwr University.jpg

Wrexham Glyndŵr University (Welsh: Prifysgol Glyndŵr, Welsh pronunciation: [priːvˈəsɡɔl ɡlɨnˈduːr]) is a British university with campuses at Wrexham, Northop and St Asaph in north-east Wales; and at Kingston upon Thames, London. It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as professional courses. GU had 6,660 students in 2015/16.

Formerly known as the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), it was granted full university status in 2008 after being a member of the University of Wales since 2003. The university is named after the medieval Welsh prince Owain Glyndŵr,[3] who first suggested the establishment of universities throughout Wales in the early 15th century.[4]


The university's origins date back to the opening of Wrexham School of Science and Art (WSSA) in 1887. At this time Viriamu Jones called for a University of Wales.[citation needed] The WSSA began offering University of London-validated degrees in science in 1924. The original name of Wrexham School of Science and Art was changed several times. In 1927, it became Denbighshire Technical Institute, becoming Denbighshire Technical College in 1939 and North East Wales Institute of Higher Education in 1975 by the merger of Denbighshire Technical College, Cartrefle Teacher Training College and Kelsterton College of Connah's Quay, Deeside. Initially, its degrees were validated by the University of Salford. Some famous alumni include William Roberts, Srinjoy Guha and Rupert Humphrey among others.

In 1993, NEWI became an associate member of the University of Wales and all further education courses in Wrexham were moved to Yale College, Wrexham. In 2004, NEWI became a full member of the University of Wales and in 2006 became accredited by the University of Wales and exercised devolved powers to validate and deliver its own degrees. The university was officially renamed "Glyndŵr University" in July 2008 after being granted degree awarding powers. The name was chosen in favour of other suggestions such as "University of Wrexham", "University of Wales, Wrexham", and "North East Wales University (NEWU)" amongst others. The university was visited by the Queen in 2003[5] and by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester in 2005.[5]

In June 2014, the Home Office suspended the University's authorisation to sponsor international students.[6] On 24 November 2014 Glyndŵr University has had its right to sponsor international students reinstated by the Home Office.

In 2016, the University underwent a minor name change and is now called "Wrexham Glyndŵr University".


The university has various sites in Wrexham and north east Wales and also a site in Kingston upon Thames, London to develop the university at an academic and professional level.


The university has two sites in Wrexham. The main site at Plas Coch covers 93 acres (380,000 m2), and was inherited from the former Cartrefle TTC which moved there in 1953. It houses over 70 seminar suites, conference suites, lecture theatres, workshops and laboratories, complemented with a library (the Edward Llwyd Centre) and learning resource facilities, as well as a fair sized sports centre (the Plas Coch Sports Centre), a Centre for the Creative Industries, the Centre for the Child, Family and Society, the Glyndŵr University Racecourse Stadium, a human performance lab, the Terry Hands studio, the Catrin Finch Centre, William Aston Hall, the Oriel Sycharth Gallery, the Welsh international hockey team, and Techniquest, a science discovery centre which is open to the public.

The other Wrexham site on Regent Street, is near to Wrexham town centre and is home to courses in Art and Design. It formerly housed the Denbighshire Technical College, who moved to the site in 1927 (under their previous name of Denbighshire Technical Institute).

In 2011 the university acquired the Racecourse Ground, the home of Wrexham FC, renaming it the Glyndŵr University Racecourse Stadium.

The university has its own music recording facilities, notably The Wall Recording Studio.


In 2008, the university took over the higher education provision of the Welsh College of Horticulture in Northop, Flintshire, and now has a full campus based at Northop on 96 acres of rural land. There is dedicated student accommodation with communal facilities including a common room with pool table, dart board, and TV, and an outdoor patio area with BBQ.

Academic profile[edit]

(2017, national)
The Guardian[8]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[9]
(2017, national)

The university runs 150 programmes, offering foundation, HND/Cs, honours and master's degrees and doctorates over a broad variety of qualifications. In addition to professional courses such as nursing and social work, the university offers a range of postgraduate and undergraduate qualifications in Art & Design, Engineering, Science, Humanities, Health and Social Care, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Sports Sciences, Computing and Communication Technology, Music technology and Business. Although all courses are offered in English there are options to study or to be assessed in Welsh. A foundation degree in professional Welsh is also available.

The North Wales School of Art and Design at Wrexham Glyndŵr University was named as the best place to study Art in Wales in the Guardian University League Tables 2017 and also ranked 12th out of all UK universities.[10]

Wrexham Glyndwr University is also number one in North Wales for getting its students jobs after graduation. The institution achieved an employability figure of 92.1% and is also above the sector average for graduate level employment, according to the latest Destination of Leavers Survey (DLHE).[11]

Wrexham Glyndŵr University is highly active in postgraduate research. The institution entered the RAE 2008 and received several rankings of "international significance".

International links[edit]

WGU commenced a number of international projects in the 1980s, forming Khartoum Polytechnic, Westbank University, Lerothli Polytechnic and developed more networks of Universities in Africa and Asia. There are currently links with the British Hellenic College and TEG Singapore. WGU is a member of the Fair Trade Coalition.


WGU's first principal (then as NEWI) was Glyn O Phillips. He retired in 1991 and was replaced by John O Williams. Following the retirement of Williams in 2000, NEWI appointed Michael Scott, a former student of the University of Wales, Lampeter in 2001. He was succeeded by Professor Graham Upton in January 2015 who served as interim Vice-Chancellor until 31 March 2016.[12] The current Vice-Chancellor is Professor Maria Hinfelaar who was the President of the Limerick Institute of Technology.


WGU has two subsidiary companies: Glyndŵr Innovations Ltd and North Wales Science (Techniquest Glyndŵr – "TQG").

Collaborative partners include: Yale College, Deeside College, Coleg Menai, Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Coleg Powys

Student life[edit]

WGU's students come from all over the UK and the European Union. WGU is also popular with mature students. Around 54% of WGU students are over twenty-one with 17% over the age of forty.[13]


There are three main halls of residence in Wrexham, namely the Student village, Wrexham Village and Snowdon Hall as well as Corbishley Hall at Northop. The main student village is separated into houses and the houses into flats. Snowdon Hall, Bath Road and Clwyd House are near Wrexham town. The student village and Snowdon Hall are en suite and the rest are shared facilities. All of WGU's accommodation is self-catering. Snowdon Hall is separated into five separate blocks of lockable flats and is currently leased from and run by the Opal Group.

Sports, clubs and traditions[edit]

Wrexham Glyndŵr University sport teams compete in British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS). In the 2013 – 14 academic year, Glyndŵr University entered 9 teams into BUCS leagues. Team sports played at the university are; Men's Rugby Union, Women's Netball (2 teams), Men's Basketball, Women's and Men's Hockey, Men's Soccer, Men's Futsal and Men's Badminton.

Honours include BUCS 4A Men's Rugby champions 2010/11 and 2013/14.

GU has a large sports centre, a radio studio, sound recording studio, engineering laboratories, art gallery, IT facilities, theatre studios, motor racing team, a dedicated scene of crime lab and notably the unusual asset of a Chinese medicine clinic.

The Plas Coch site hosts an active student union as well as the student union bar, now housed in the football stadium's Centenary Club. WGU has its own car racing team which is run by the engineering school's Car Performance degree course students. The North Wales Clinical School opened in 2007 at Wrexham Glyndŵr University's Plas Coch campus.

The sports centre on campus has a wide range of facilities for local sports clubs and offers a variety of fitness classes and training including badminton, netball, basketball, volleyball, futsal, roller derby and handball.

Also in the Plas Coch area of Wrexham are Wrexham A.F.C., North Wales Crusaders and the North Wales Regional Hockey Stadium. In August 2011, the university agreed a deal to buy Wrexham FC's Racecourse Ground.[14]

WGU acquired its North Wales regional hockey stadium after a £1 million investment from Sport@NEWI and Sport Wales. It is a water-based, astroturf floodlit stadium with room for 200 spectators.

WGU also has close ties with the North East Wales Mountaineering Club.

In October 2014, former Welsh international footballer Robbie Savage was given an honorary fellowship at the university for services to sport.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Reports and Financial Statements 2012–2013" (PDF). Glyndŵr University. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  2. ^ a b c "2015/16 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "University's medieval rebel name". BBC News. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Owain Glyndŵr – The Scholar
  5. ^ a b Royal Visit 2003: 7587
  6. ^ Jack Grove (24 June 2014). "Glyndŵr visa licence suspended amid Home Office crackdown". Times Educational Supplement. 
  7. ^ "University League Table 2017". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "University league tables 2017". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Guardian University league tables 2017". Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "Wrexham Glyndwr University Press Releases 2016". Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  12. ^ Glyndŵr University. "Dr Maria Hinfelaar appointed as new Glyndŵr University Vice-Chancellor". Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  13. ^ Wrexham Glyndŵr University. "Glyndŵr University – Why choose Glyndŵr University". Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Glyndŵr university 'can afford' Wrexham's Racecourse". BBC News. 3 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Robbie Savage gets honorary fellowship from Wrexham Glyndŵr Uni". BBC News. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 

External links[edit]