get out of the validation business was therefore one of bewilderment. What else does it do? This is on a par with Apple getting out of the consumer electronics business. You can see from the accounts that over £10 million of the 9/10 revenue (which was only just over £15 million in total) came from this source - more if you count the federal support grants from University of Wales member institutions and the Funding Council grants that presumably relate mostly to this function.
Had I paid as much attention to events in Welsh HE as their importance deserves, I would have understood already that the real picture here is a merger between the University of Wales, Swansea Metropolitan University and the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David. The new VC of the University of Wales was, last week, VC of The University of Wales: Trinity Saint David. Whilst the University of Wales will provide the title and the constitutional shell of the merged institution, the actual organisation that currently goes by that name will virtually cease to exist. This kind of reverse takeover is particularly a Welsh speciality: the University of Cardiff is the seminal example.
For us Londoners, the continued saga of the University of London provides an interesting parallel. When I worked at an institution within the federal university of London structure, the sense was that a break-up of the University would favour the largest colleges - especially UCL. This Welsh example shows that it needn't necessarily be so - Trinity and Swansea Met are two of the smallest institutions in Wales - even put together they are smaller than Aberystwyth. With the VC of the University of London having recently resigned - apparently because the job was too much like hard work - all kinds of possibilities are thrown open.