Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Uni and college in merger talks

Trinity College Carmarthen and Lampeter university
Discussions about a merger have been going on for some time

Two of Wales' oldest higher education institutions are meeting later to decide whether or not to merge.

The University of Lampeter has been in talks with Trinity College Carmarthen for weeks.

At the meeting officials could decide to create a new university or work together to just form closer ties.

Meanwhile, Trinity has been informed it has been awarded university status. Officials are expected to comment later about the news.

Earlier this year, there were strike threats over redundancies at Lampeter university, and there was a review of its management and future.

In September, the university's vice-chancellor Robert Pearce retired after being on sick leave since July.

He was replaced by Alfred Morris, an ex-chairman of an NHS trust in Bristol and a former vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England.

Closer collaboration

On Thursday, governing bodies of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity College Carmarthen will decide whether the institutions should come together to form a new university in Wales.

During meetings in Carmarthen and Lampeter the governors will consider a report into the benefits of closer collaboration between the two institutions and the possible formation of a new university.

If the recommendations of the report are accepted, the governors will make a statement of intent and establish a formation committee which will report back in March 2009.

Lampeter's president Dr R Brinley Jones has confirmed last month a working group had been formed to debate the issue.

Trinity College Carmarthen said last month it was engaged in "detailed discussions" regarding the possibility of creating a new university in west Wales.

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