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About higher education in Wales

Higher education (HE) in Wales is offered mainly through Wales's 8 universities - higher education institutions - plus the Open University in Wales. It is also offered at a number of further education colleges.

  • Higher education is a devolved area, which means that most decisions that are made about HE in Wales are taken by the Welsh Government.
  • Universities are charities, private bodies and independent of government. They receive their income from a number of sources, including student fees, through research projects and by generating business. They also receive a portion of their income from public funds. In HEFCW, we distribute some of these funds from the Welsh Government and act as an intermediary between the HE sector and government.
  • We regulate areas including: the student fees received by institutions providing higher education; and the quality of education provided by, and on behalf, of those institutions.
  • The Welsh Government provides the context for developing higher education in Wales through, for example, setting up the student fees and finance framework, and devising strategies for HE in Wales.
  • The financial support for students from Wales is different to other countries of the UK.
  • Wales works on an England and Wales or UK-wide basis in areas such as the annual survey of student satisfaction (National Student Survey), assessments of the quality of research in higher education (Research Excellence Framework) and applying to university (though UCAS).

This section gives some key facts about higher education in Wales, including an overview of each higher education institution and provides links to follow for further information.

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