Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


South West boost for Welsh research

24 January 2013

Known as GW4 (Great Western Four) the collaboration brings together Cardiff with the universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter.

The collaboration will see the universities come together 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.

Cardiff University’s 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 to 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 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."


For further information, please contact:

Chris Jones

Public Relations

Cardiff University

Tel: 029 20 874731


Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.