Globalisation, mergers and ‘inadvertent multi-campus universities’: reflections from Wales

Nadine Zeeman, Paul Benneworth

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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Multi-site universities face the challenge of integrating campuses that may have different profiles and orientations arising from place-specific attachments. Multi-campus universities created via mergers seeking to ensure long-term financial sustainability, and increasing their attractiveness to students, create a tension in campuses’ purposes. We explore how mergers in Wales created ‘inadvertent’ multi-campus universities whilst attempting to increase their overall competitiveness. We highlight three tensions that mergers created for contributing to local places, firstly a tendency for internal concentration, investing for growth in metropolitan not peripheral campuses; secondly, to looking beyond traditional local campuses and creating external campuses (in this case in London); and thirdly, to specialise campuses on the basis of attracting external students not local needs. This creates a substantial challenge for managing multi-campus universities if they are to continue to be able to support the prosperity of more remote regions in an increasingly knowledge-based economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
JournalTertiary education and management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Efficiency vs equity debate
  • Multi-campus universities
  • University mergers
  • University third mission
  • Widening participation


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