University of Wales, Newport

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University of Wales, Newport
Prifysgol Cymru, Casnewydd
Coat of arms
Type Public
Established 1841
Vice-Chancellor Stephen Hagen
Students 9520 (2012) [1]
Location Newport, United Kingdom
Affiliations Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities
Association of Commonwealth Universities
University of Wales
Campaign for Mainstream Universities
A photograph of the front of a large, wide, three-storey building made from light brown bricks. There are approximately thirty windows on each floor, all equally spaced out. There is a clock tower in the centre of the front of the building, which has a flagpole and flag on the top.
Caerleon campus

The University of Wales, Newport (Welsh: Prifysgol Cymru, Casnewydd) was a university based in Newport, South Wales, prior to the merger that formed the University of South Wales in April 2013. The university has two campuses in Newport, Caerleon on the northern outskirts of the city and a £35 million campus on the east bank of the River Usk in the Newport city centre which opened in 2011.[2] In 2012 the university was ranked 111th out of 120 UK universities in the Guardian League Table for university rankings,[3] 105th out of 116 in The Complete University Guide[4] and 104th out of 116 UK universities in the Times Good University Guide.[5]


Newport has been involved in higher education since 1841. Originally a Mechanics Institute, set up to provide further education for workers and tradesmen, the institution was based in Newport’s Town Hall on Commercial Street. Working men and women were able to attend a variety of lectures for two shilling per quarter to study subjects including "The Pursuit of Attainment and Knowledge" and "Popular Superstition".[6]

The institution was later formed as Gwent College of Higher Education by a merger of the Caerleon College of Education (the former Monmouthshire Training College), the Newport College of Art and Design and the Gwent College of Technology in 1975. All three former institutions had established regional and national reputations, most notably the College of Art with many of its students gaining commissions from the BBC and other major organisations in light of the College being amongst a select number of art colleges in the country awarded Diploma in Art and Design status.

The college became an affiliated institution of the University of Wales in 1992, being admitted as a university college in 1996 where there was a ceremony at which trumpeters of the Prince of Wales Division played a fanfare from the top of the university clocktower and balloons were released in the faculty colours.

In May 2004 the University of Wales College, Newport secured Privy Council Approval to use the title University of Wales, Newport, as a full constituent of the federal university.

As of 1 August 2011, the university has a new academic structure. There are now two faculties which each contain three schools each:

The Faculty of Arts and Business

  • School of Design, Engineering, Fashion and Technology
  • School of Film, Photography and Digital Media
  • Newport Business School

The Faculty of Education and Social Sciences

  • School of Education
  • School of Humanities and Lifelong Learning
  • School of Sport, Health and Applied Social Sciences

The Centre for Community and Lifelong Learning (CCLL) will continue to be based in Tredegar and focus on the university’s work to widen participation within the Heads of the Valleys and the wider Gwent region. CCLL is also a key deliverer of the UHOVI (Universities, Heads of the Valleys Institute) project in partnership with the University of Glamorgan and Further Education Colleges.[7]


Along with the University of Glamorgan and Cardiff Metropolitan University, Newport is at the centre of plans by the Welsh Government to create a single university in South East Wales.

These plans have proven highly controversial, with Cardiff Metropolitan opposing any merger, citing the lack of a business case, concerns that the new institution (which would be the largest campus university in Britain) would simply be too big to manage properly, and the 'predatory' attitude of Glamorgan.[8] Newport however, welcomed the plans, providing they created a genuinely new institution.[9]

In July 2012, Newport and Glamorgan announced talks to create a new University for South Wales, citing the opportunity to: "build on their respective strengths to develop a new, entrepreneurial model of higher education across south Wales".[10] The university was dissolved on 11 April 2013 and merged with the University of Glamorgan to form the new University of South Wales.[11]

In response to Cardiff Metropolitan’s opposition to their involvement in any merger plans, Leighton Andrews (a strong supporter of mergers) threatened to forcibly dissolve Cardiff Metropolitan and hand its assets over to the University formed by Glamorgan and Newport's merger.[12] Cardiff Metropolitan still demanded more evidence before committing to further talks and in November 2012, Leighton Andrews withdrew a consultation on plans to force a merger.[13] Subsequently Cardiff Metropolitan has gone from strength to strength and remains the top New University in Wales.

Cardiff Metropolitan no longer retains an 'open mind' on the subject of a merger, and has ruled out moving to the private sector.[14]

City Campus[edit]

The University opened a new £35 million campus in Newport's City Centre formally on 10 January 2011. The project was a collaboration between the University, Newport City Council and the Welsh Assembly Government operating through Newport Unlimited, the urban regeneration company for the City.[15]

The campus is situated on the east bank of the River Usk in the City Centre and is the first phase of an intended £50m development for the University. It houses the Faculty of Arts and Business whilst the Caerleon Campus houses the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences. The campus is part of a major redevelopment of Newport City Centre.[16] The old city campus at Allt-yr-yn was closed and demolished.[2]


The University has been involved in higher education since 1841. In 2009 It was rated the number one university in Wales for enterprise education by the Knowledge Exploitation Fund.[17]

The School of Film, Photography and Digital Media teaches a documentary photography degree programme as well as housing the Newport Film School, originally founded by John Grierson in 1966 and producing many award-winning film-makers since then.[18]

The 2010 CILECT Congress (the international association for film and television schools around the world) unanimously voted in Newport Film School as a full member – only two of the ten new applicant schools for full membership were given this accolade.[19]


The accommodation facilities on the Caerleon Campus consist of 661 self-catered, single study bedrooms with a choice of standard or en-suite facilities. En-suite halls are arranged into flats of five rooms whilst the standard halls have approximately 15 residents per floor. Bedrooms are centrally heated and equipped with furniture, whilst hall kitchens are equipped with standard kitchen appliances.

The university has a sports centre housing a large sports hall, a gym/fitness suite and outdoor pitches and courts. The University Library is open seven days a week and computer suites are open 24 hours a day.

Students' Union[edit]

Newport Students' Union is the union representing all students at the University. From the moment students enrol they are automatically a member of the Students’ Union.[20] Every year of every course should have at least one course rep. The union is run day-to-day by a team of sabbatical officers – students who are taking an extra year or year out from their studies to develop the union. Alongside this sabbatical team are full-time and part-time staff employed to assist in the operation of the union and part-time officers, team captains, society presidents and student managers who all work alongside their studies to assist the union.

Newport Students Union provides a range of sports teams, societies and entertainment for students to get involved in. The union also houses a student newspaper, NewsPort, student magazine, newtwo, student TV station, NTV and radio station, Radio Noize, all of which students manage and run.

As well as weekly social events and club nights, the union organises Freshers' Fortnight, Freshers' Fayre, Re: Freshers Week, RAG (Raising and Giving Week) and the May Ball which has previously had headline acts including Supergrass, Girls Aloud, Electric Six, Scouting for Girls, The Zutons and Feeder.[21]

Notable alumni[edit]

(View University of South Wales for further alumni ) [22]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b University of Wales, Newport
  3. ^ "University guide 2013: University league table". Guardian. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top UK University League Tables and Rankings 2013". Complete University Guide. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "University Guide" (PDF). AEITW. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Brown, Peter (2009). No More Worlds to Conquer: The Story of Newport's University. Swansea: University of Wales. ISBN 978-1-899274-41-3. 
  7. ^ University of Wales, Newport
  8. ^ "UWIC attacks University of Glamorgan for ‘predatory attitude’ over merger". Wales Online. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "University of Wales Newport's plan for new institution". BBC. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Super-university merger plans unveiled for Glamorgan and Newport". Wales Online. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  11. ^ University merger 11 April 2013
  12. ^ Matthews, David (17 July 2012). "Merge or dissolve - Andrews plays his cards in Cardiff Met row". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Cardiff Met reprieve on south east Wales uni merger". BBC. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "University rules out privatisation as alternative to merger". Wales Online. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Newport celebrates historic day as University returns to City Centre". University of Wales, Newport. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  16. ^ Newport City Council Redevelopment
  17. ^ "Profile Newport University of Wales". The Times (London). 27 May 2009. 
  18. ^ "Film, Photography and Digital Media". Newport. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Newport film school joins international elite
  20. ^ Newport Students' Union
  21. ^ Newport Students Union
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