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About the higher education sector 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.

  • In the 2017/18 academic year, there were around 129,000 enrolments onto HE courses in Wales, of which some 26% were part-time.
  • Around 5% of students from Wales takes some element of their course through the medium of Welsh.
  • Around 1,200 students enter courses to train to be primary or secondary school teachers each year in Wales.
  • Wales welcomes around 21,000 international students annually.
  • More than half of students who study in Wales are from Wales.
  • Some higher education courses are provided through further education colleges.
Furthermore, higher education in Wales is a major economic force:
  • in 2017/18 12,000 students achieved postgraduate qualifications while 29,000 achieved undergraduate qualifications.
  • in 2015-16 Welsh universities generated over £5 billion of output in Wales and nearly 50,000 jobs
  • in 2015/16 Welsh universities brought in over £200 million of research investment into Wales from external sources
  • in 2015/16 international students and their visitors generated £716m of Welsh output. On-campus and off-campus expenditure produced over £372m of Welsh Gross Value Added (GVA), and generated 6850 full-time equivalent jobs.
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