Section 91 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (FHEA 1992) defines what is meant by “institutions within the higher education sector” for the purposes of the Education Acts as:
“(a) universities receiving financial support under section 65 of this Act,
(b) institutions conducted by higher education corporations, and
(c) designated institutions for the purposes of Part II of this Act)”
Universities are funded under section 65 of FHEA 1992 on the basis of the activities they perform. The activities that may receive funding under section 65 include the provision of education and the undertaking of research by higher education institutions (defined in section 65(5) as universities, institutions conducted by higher education corporations and designated institutions) along with the provision of facilities and services to support education and research (see Funding Higher Education for further detail).
An institution is 'designated' for the purposes of Part II of FHEA 1992 (which regulates and provides the mechanism for funding higher education institutions) if it is an institution in relation to which a designation made, or having effect as if made, under section 129 of the Education Reform Act 1988 has effect. If an institution is designated it is eligible for public funding.
There are currently eight designated publicly funded higher education institutions in Wales (or nine counting the Open University in Wales). These are:
- Aberystwyth University
- Bangor University
- Cardiff University
- Cardiff Metropolitan University
- Glyndwr University
- Swansea University
- University of South Wales (including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)
- University of Wales, Trinity St David