A passion for education
Wales is a nation where learning is valued and academic standards are high. As part of the UK higher-education and further-education systems, our universities and colleges offer qualifications that are respected by academics and employers across the world.
Our universities are modern and innovative, but our history goes back a long way. Higher education in Wales began in 1822, when St David’s College, Lampeter, opened its doors. We now have eight universities, with campuses located throughout the country.
Around 136,000 students are enrolled at Welsh universities, including around 22,000 international students, drawn from 132 countries. They’re attracted by a culture of excellence in both teaching and research. In the UK’s last Research Excellence Framework, more than three quarters of the work taking place at our universities was judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally significant’.
Four of our eight universities feature in the top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. And student satisfaction is vital. In the last Whatuni Student Choice Awards, four of the places in the UK top 10 – including the number-one spot – were taken by Welsh universities.
Further education colleges in Wales focus on education and training opportunities for people of all backgrounds who are aged 16+. Further education colleges are at the heart of their communities with excellent links to industry and clear progression routes to universities in the UK.
They have an excellent reputation for integrating international students into the culture, language and life of Wales.
We may have plenty of castles in Wales, but we don’t have ivory towers. Our universities have tight links with their local communities and the worlds of business and technology. Within six months of leaving, 92% of graduates are in employment.
In recognition of the importance of Welsh universities’ and colleges' international activities, Global Wales was set up. It’s a partnership between Universities Wales and the Welsh Government, British Council Wales, Colleges Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).
The Global Wales programme provides a strategic, collaborative approach to international higher and further education education in Wales. It also aims to raise awareness about Wales, build on international partnerships with universities and colleges, and to promote them in key overseas markets. See the Universities Wales website for more information.