Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 15:28 UK

Newi closer to university status

NEWI campus sign
The Privy Council will decide if NEWI can award taught degrees

The North East Wales Institute (Newi) has taken another step towards winning university status after being recommended for degree-awarding powers.

Education Minister Jane Hutt announced that the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has approved the Wrexham institute's application for such powers.

The application will be submitted to the Privy Council for a final decision.

If it is granted taught degree-awarding powers, Newi can petition the Privy Council for university title.

Newi principal, Professor Michael Scott, said he was looking forward to the final decision by the Privy Council.

He added: "The institution offers a broad range of higher education opportunities to the community of north east Wales and beyond and it makes a significant contribution to the social and economic development of the region."

'Historic day'

Last year, Newi unveiled plans for an 8m development including a 3m conference and performing arts centre.

The institute was formed in 1975 following a merger of other colleges, but its history can be traced back to 1887.

It has around 6,000 students and became a full member of the University of Wales in 2004.

It already offers University of Wales honours degrees.

Wrexham assembly member, Lesley Griffiths called it an "historic day" for the town.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: "I am absolutely delighted that what has been a long hard campaign has paid off.

"The route towards securing university status was long and hard, but persistence pays off in the end."

Arts venue in 8m college plans
14 Dec 07 |  North East Wales
Job loss fears at college
18 Jun 04 |  North East Wales
College's 20m expansion
21 Nov 03 |  North East Wales
Kids' science centre heads north
09 Apr 03 |  North East Wales

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