Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 16:52 UK

University's medieval rebel name

Owain Glyndwr statue at Corwen
Owain Glyndwr has connections with north east Wales

A college in Wrexham has been granted university status and will be called Glyndwr University.

The principal of North East Wales Institute (Newi) said the new university would take "great pride" in being named after Welsh rebel prince Owain Glyndwr.

The leader of a Welsh rebellion in the 15th Century had links to the area.

With 8,000 students, Glyndwr University will become the 10th university in Wales.

The name was due to be revealed on Friday during a visit by First Minister Rhodri Morgan, but the college principal Professor Mike Scott unwittingly let it slip on Tuesday.

A university spokeswoman confirmed Prof Scott had let the news slip during a meeting with the Welsh Affairs Select Committee in London on Tuesday, where journalists had been present.

I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone in Wrexham, when I say this is a proud day for our town
Lesley Griffiths AM

Later, Prof Scott said: "We can take great pride in our association with Owain Glyndwr.

"I believe for many Welsh people he is the single most important historical and cultural figure."

Prof Scott, who was principal of Newi will maintain the role of principal and will also become vice-chancellor.

Former MP for Alyn and Deeside, Lord Barry Jones, will become chancellor.

He said: "Today's news is recognition of 120 years delivering high standards of higher education in Wrexham, and I am proud to become chancellor of Glyndwr University."

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.

'Proud day'

It already offers University of Wales honours degrees, and in April was recommended for taught degree-awarding powers.

Owain Glyndwr led a revolt against the English crown in the early 1400s and set up Wales' first parliament 600 years ago in Machynlleth, Powys.

Glyndwr is thought to have been born at Glyndyfrdwy near Corwen, Denbigshire and brought up in the Wrexham area at Hanmer, where he married a local nobleman's daughter.

NEWI campus sign
The new status award has been called a 'landmark' for the town

There is a statue of Glyndwr in Corwen and the former local council Ruthin also included his name.

Wrexham's MP, Ian Lucas described it as a "landmark day" for Newi staff, adding: "I am absolutely delighted that what has been a long hard campaign to secure full university status has finally paid off."

The town's AM, Lesley Griffiths, said: "I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone in Wrexham, when I say this is a proud day for our town.

"I am sure Glyndwr University will not just be a centre of learning excellence within Wales and the UK but it will make its academic mark right across the world."

The Privy Council - the body which approves university status - confirmed Newi had been granted degree-awarding powers as well as permission to change its name.

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