University of South Wales

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University of South Wales
Prifysgol De Cymru
University of Glamorgan arms.png
Former names
University of Glamorgan, University of Wales, Newport
Type Public
Established 11 April 2013 (origins 1841)
Chancellor Rowan Williams[1]
Vice-Chancellor Julie Lydon
Administrative staff
3,234 [2]
Students 25,265 (2015/16)[3]
Undergraduates 20,840 (2015/16)[3]
Postgraduates 4,425 (2015/16)[3]
Location Wales
Campus Cardiff, Newport and Pontypridd
Affiliations University Alliance
University of South Wales Logo.png.jpg

The University of South Wales (Welsh: Prifysgol De Cymru) is a university in Wales, with campuses in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypridd. It was formed on 11 April 2013 from the merger of the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport.[4]


The university can trace its roots to the founding of the Newport Mechanics' Institute in 1841. The Newport Mechanics' Institute later become the University of Wales, Newport. In 1913 the South Wales and Monmouthshire School of Mines was formed.[5] The school of mines was later to become the Polytechnic of Wales, before gaining the status of University of Glamorgan in 1992. The name for the new merged university was chosen following a research exercise amongst interested parties and announced in December 2012 by the prospective vice-chancellor of the university, Julie Lydon.[6]

Notable dates[edit]

  • 1841 Opening of Mechanics Institute, Newport
  • 1913 Opening of South Wales and Monmouthshire School of Mines, Treforest
  • 2013 Merger between the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport
  • 2014 Rowan Williams appointed Chancellor
  • 2015 London Campus closes
  • 2016 Caerleon Campus closes

Student numbers[edit]

At formation it was reported that the university had more than 33,500 students from 122 countries and was then the sixth largest in the United Kingdom and the largest in Wales.[7][8][9] However the Office of the Independent Adjudicator stated that, in 2013, the number of students was 29,875.[10] The Higher Education Statistics Agency reported student total numbers of 27,710 for the 2014/15 academic year. Therefore during the 2014/15 academic year University was the 16th largest in the UK and the 2nd largest in Wales, after Cardiff University, when measured by the number of enrolled students. However following the decline in student numbers reported by the HESA for the academic year 2015/16 the University ranking declined to the 19th largest in the UK and the 2nd largest in Wales when measured by student numbers.[11]

University 00-01 01-02 02-03 03-04 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10
Glamorgan 17,530 Increase 18,875 Increase 19,820 Increase 20,595 Increase 21,325 Decrease20,825 Increase 21,535 Increase 22,710 Decrease20,900 Increase 21,070
Newport 8,185 Increase 8,505 Increase 8,980 Increase 9,065 9,065 Increase 9,380 Increase 9,535 Decrease 9,120 Decrease 9,065 Increase 9,290
Total 25,715 Increase 27,380 Increase 28,800 Increase 29,660 Increase 30,390 Decrease30,205 Increase 31,070 Increase 31,830 Decrease29,965 Increase 30,360
University 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16
Glamorgan Decrease20,210 Increase21,190 Decrease20,345 n/a n/a n/a
Newport Increase 10,040 Decrease 9,990 Decrease 9,780 n/a n/a n/a
South Wales Decrease 30,250 Increase 31,180 Decrease 30,125 Decrease29,195 Decrease27,710 Decrease25,265

Source:- The Higher Education Statistics Agency [12]


Associated organisations[edit]

The university is part of the University of South Wales Group comprising the university, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Merthyr Tydfil College.

The university has a band of 106 partner colleges, universities, FE institutions or organisations, who deliver University of South Wales's higher education programmes or access courses in the UK and 18 other countries.[13]


The university has four faculties [14] spread over its campuses in South East Wales.

Faculty of Business and Society

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science

  • School of Computing and Mathematics
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Applied Sciences

Faculty of Creative Industries

  • School of Drama and Music
  • School of Art and Design
  • School of Media

Faculty of Life Sciences and Education

  • School of Psychology and Therapeutic Studies
  • School of Education, Early Years and Social Work
  • School of Health, Sport & Professional Practice
  • School of Care Sciences

The university has a film school, animation facilities, broadcasting studios, a photography school, a reputation for theatre design, poets, scriptwriters and authors as well as the national music and drama conservatoire, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, as a wholly owned subsidiary. It offers a range of qualifications from further education to degrees to PhD study. As a Post 92 University it delivers a range of STEM subjects.


The university has three main campuses located across South Wales:


The Faculty of Creative Industries is based at the Cardiff Campus, along with a smaller number of courses from the Faculty of Business and Society. The Atrium Building is the main building at the campus, originally opened by the University of Glamorgan in 2007 the building recently extended and re-opening during September 2016. The campus also includes the Atlantic House building.


The university's newest campus. The £35 million campus on the west bank of the River Usk in Newport city centre was opened in 2011, by the University of Wales, Newport. It hosts a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including teaching, business, social work and youth work. The National Cyber Security Academy is based at the Newport campus.

Pontypridd (Treforest and Glyntaff Campuses)[edit]

This was formerly the main campus of the University of Glamorgan. Currently the university's largest campus, with a range of facilities, including an indoor sports centre and students' union. The campus is located in three parts:-

1) Treforest – Which hosts a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses notable in engineering and related subjects.

2) Glyntaff – Where nursing, science and sport courses are based.

3) Tyn y Wern – The location of the University of South Wales' sport park.

Former campuses[edit]


Caerleon is located on the northern outskirts of Newport. Formerly the second largest campus, it hosted a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including education, sports, history, fashion design, art and photography. The campus had extensive sports facilities, library, students' union shop and a students' union bar. It was formerly the main campus of the University of Wales, Newport. In 2014, it was announced by the University of South Wales that the Caerleon campus would close in 2016[15] with courses being integrated into the remaining campuses. The campus opened during 1914 and closed for the last time on 31 July 2016, after 102 years. The University is proposing to sell the campus for housing development but there is strong opposition to the planned re-development from local residents.[16] The Caerleon Civic Society asked Cadw, the body that looks after historic monuments and buildings in Wales, to give the Edwardian main building Grade II Listed building status to save it from demolition.[17] On the 7 August 2016 the Welsh Government announced that they would recommend that the main building, gatehouses and gate-piers be listed as ‘buildings of special architectural and historic interest’. The University of South Wales expressed their continued opposition to the proposed listing but the announcement was welcomed by local politicians and the Caerleon Civic Society.[18] Grade II listing of the Main Building, the Principal’s Residence, Gate Piers and Caretaker’s / Gardener’s Lodge was confirmed on the 3 March 2017 .[19]


In 2014, USW spent an estimated £300,000 developing a campus in the Docklands area of London, but in January 2015 cancelled the project before taking on any students. The university described this as a test of the market, but blamed problems created by new UK visa regulations.[20]

Academic profile[edit]


The University of Wales, Newport received the 2013 Guardian Higher Education Award (with the University of Glamorgan) for widening participation through its Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI) initiative.[21][22] The University of Glamorgan was recognised for providing outstanding student support, winning the 2012 Times Higher Award for Outstanding Support to Students.[23]

The vice-chancellor of the university, Julie Lydon, was appointed an OBE for services to higher education in Wales in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours.[24]


(2018, national)
The Guardian[26]
(2018, national)
Times/Sunday Times[27]
(2017, national)

The Complete University Guide 2016 ranked the university as 99 out of 127 UK universities.[28] The university came 8th in the UK at the WhatUni? Student Choice Awards 2016.[29]

National Cyber Security Academy[edit]

In 2016, the university launched its National Cyber Security Academy. This academy is a joint venture with industrial partners and Welsh Government and has been recognised by the UK's national security organisation GCHQ. [30]


The university is one of Wales’s five major universities and a member of the St David's Day Group.[31] Its precursor institutions have been recognised for producing some world-leading and internationally excellent research in specialist areas, such as mechanical, aeronautical & manufacturing engineering, social work, social policy & administration, education, history, art and design,[32] nursing and midwifery, architecture and the built environment, English language and literature, communication, cultural & media studies, sports-related studies.[33]

The university offers independent advice to government and employers across the UK on health, education, economic growth, social policy and governance[citation needed]. It has provided a partnership platform for think-tanks such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation [34] and NESTA to develop debate on public policy reform in the UK[citation needed].

Student life[edit]

Student Union[edit]

University of South Wales Students' Union is the students' union of the university. It exists to support and represent the students of the university. It is a member-led organisation and all students are automatically members.[35]


Pontypridd has halls of residence and facilities on its Treforest campus. Students studying at the university's Cardiff campus have access to private halls of residence, which are shared with the city's other universities. The Newport City building has nearby private student halls of residence.

Notable alumni[edit]

Artists and photographers[edit]

Authors and creative writers[edit]

Business and legal[edit]


Healthcare professionals[edit]

  • Sue Bale OBE, Director of South East Wales Academic Health Science Partnership

Media personalities and performers[edit]




Sports people[edit]


  1. ^ "Rowan Williams named as University of South Wales chancellor". 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Freedom of Information request". 7 May 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "2015/16 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "University merger 11 April 2013". 2013-03-21. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  5. ^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg896 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
  6. ^ "Preferred Name Announced For New University (press release)". 17 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  7. ^ "University of South Wales opens for 33,500 students". The BBC. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "University guide 2014: University of South Wales". The Guardian. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  9. ^ USW Annual Review 2013
  10. ^ "Office of the Independent Adjudicator" (PDF). Independent Adjudicator. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Collaborative Registers". A check of the listed documents on the university site yielded total number of partner colleges and their countries. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Campus Changes". University of South Wales Campus Changes. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Campus Changes". Retrieved 18 April 2016. 
  17. ^ "Open Letter". Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "Lifeline for part of Caerleon Campus after minister says building should be listed". Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  19. ^ "Historic Caerleon college campus given listed status by Cadw". Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  20. ^ "USW London campus shut down before taking on any students". South Wales Argus. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI)". Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  22. ^ Tickle, Louise (28 February 2013). "Commitment to widening participation winner: University of Wales, Newport with the University of Glamorgan". Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Glamorgan wins national award for outstanding student support, News Centre". 
  24. ^ Rupert Denholm-Hall (13 June 2014). "Business leaders across Wales recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours". walesonline. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "University League Table 2018". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  26. ^ "University league tables 2018". The Guardian. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017. 
  27. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  28. ^ "Complete University Guide 2008". Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  29. ^ "WhatUni 2016". Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  30. ^ David Williamson (23 May 2016). "Intelligence agency GCHQ gives its seal of approval to Welsh university". walesonline. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  31. ^ "St Davids Day Group". 
  32. ^ "Newport RAE 2008 : Quality profiles". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  33. ^ "Glamorgan RAE 2008 : Quality profiles". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  34. ^ Fred Robinson (12 September 2012). "How can universities support disadvantaged communities?". Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  35. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "biography". Emma Darwin. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  37. ^ a b c "UniLife". 
  38. ^ "About". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  39. ^ "undefined undefined undefined undefined: Executive Profile & Biography – Businessweek". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  40. ^ "‘The Raid’ directed by Glamorgan graduate Gareth Evans released today, News Centre". 
  41. ^ "Philip John / Director & Writer". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  42. ^ "History". documentary newport. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  43. ^ "FIRST PERSON: Film maker Peter Watkins-Hughes, 47, on campaiging to save Brynmawr Market Cinema". documentary newport. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  44. ^ "Scott Barley | Filmmaker & Fine Artist". Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  45. ^ "Behnaz Akhgar". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  46. ^ "Lorna Dunkley • Biography & Pictures". TV Newsroom. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  47. ^ "Ben Green". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  48. ^
  49. ^ "Richard James Burgess". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  50. ^ "Newport pop singer co-writes Union J hit". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  51. ^ "Kevin Brennan MP – Cardiff West". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  52. ^ Suzy Davies AM/AC. "About Suzy". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  53. ^
  54. ^

External links[edit]