WALES: Report proposes new universities body

Universities in Wales have shown an "unwillingness to embrace change" and a more radical solution is needed, according to the McCormick Review into higher education governance. The report said there was limited evidence that the sector had shared in the Welsh assembly government's sense of urgency, writes Gareth Evans for the Western Mail.

The report concluded that there has to be a more integrated system of institutional and national governance in Wales to ensure greater focus on priority areas. The review proposes a new "arm's-length" body with increased powers of direction and more clearly defined accountability to the assembly government. Called Universities Wales, it would replace the existing Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and become the nation's overarching funding and regulatory agency.

The report, led by former BBC Scotland controller John McCormick, was commissioned by Andrews to review how Welsh universities utilise public money.
Full report on the Wales Online site

Gareth Evans also writes in the Western Mail that Education Minister Leighton Andrews last week insisted the University of Wales must radically change if it wanted to avoid being wound down and closed. Andrews was responding to claims contained in the McCormick Review that the University of Wales is "ambiguous, poses reputational risk and has to reform radically" if it is to add any value to the nation and its culture.
Full report on the Wales Online site