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A new collaboration with three of the South West of England’s leading research-intensive universities will create a ‘critical mass of knowledge’ and help Cardiff and Wales ‘better compete for more research income’ according to Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan.

Known as GW4, the collaboration brings together Cardiff with the universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter.

The universities will seek to work across all academic activity opening up more opportunities to collaborate in common areas of research and research infrastructure, resources and funding, joint capital investment, doctoral training and joint staff appointments.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said:

We want to enhance Cardiff’s world-leading research and reputation by creating a critical mass of research excellence with other UK universities. In a competitive higher education sector we need to find new ways for Wales to compete for research income.

Working in collaboration with fellow Russell Group and research-intensive Universities will help us to succeed in research and tackle some of society’s biggest research challenges.

Critical mass is the key to success and the combined research excellence of Bath, Bristol and Exeter will give Cardiff – and Wales – a new and competitive edge that will place us at the forefront not only in the UK, but internationally.

The primary objective is to build research mass and undertake research which addresses key societal challenges, enhance research capability and capacity to ensure the best return from investments.

It will also help advance the student experience. We want to use the collaboration to strengthen the quality of their educational offering to students – by exploring opportunities for cross-institution studentships, share PhD and joint doctoral training.

Internationally it will also help put Cardiff University – and Wales – firmly on the world map. The collaboration will work to develop linked international partnerships across the world that will enable all four universities to have a global presence on a larger scale.

The new collaboration will work alongside existing collaborations between Cardiff and fellow Welsh Universities.

As a key member of the St David’s Day Group of Welsh Universities the Group brings Cardiff alongside Aberystwyth, Bangor, Glamorgan and Swansea work on collaborative projects.

Professor Riordan adds:

We want to enhance and improve Wales’ research expertise by creating a critical mass of expertise with other research intensive Universities.

‘As Wales’ only Russell Group University, it’s natural to look to fellow Russell Group and leading Universities on our doorstep. This collaboration is designed to boost the research capacity in Wales and the South West.

In an ever increasing competitive market for students and research income, having a critical mass of research excellence is essential.

In some areas the combined research excellence of us working together offers a powerful collaboration to compete for research income and boost Wales’ presence internationally.

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter