University 'brought Wales into disrepute' says minister
The University of Wales has let down higher education in Wales and brought the nation 'into disrepute' according to Education Minister Leighton Andrews, reports the BBC.
The criticism came after a watchdog report told the university to review its worldwide college links, and BBC Wales said it had found the University of Wales's links included a Malaysian pop star called Fazley Yaakob, with bogus degrees, also a college in Bangkok which was said to be operating illegally.
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) delayed its publication of the university's six-year review while it conducted investigations. That review had been completed before BBC Wales' revelations were broadcast and expressed 'confidence' in the university, though it found weaknesses in its external validation processes.
The university must now draw up a plan to address the issues and has said it is developing a new international strategy.
An earlier report in March, commissioned by the Welsh Government, said the university should be wound down and closed if other plans for its future fail as it had become too reliant on income from validating courses in overseas colleges.
The University of Wales is the degree awarding body for five institutions - UWIC, Trinity Saint David, Glyndwr University, Swansea Metropolitan and Newport, though according to the QAA, students at these universities are 'commonly unaware of the university (of Wales) and believe themselves to be acquiring their degrees from the institution they have attended.'
Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor and Aberystwyth have withdrawn from the university in recent years.