The system of higher education in Wales comprises 12 universities and colleges, including the British Open University, a distance-education institution.
Throughout its history, Wales has fought against wave upon wave of invaders. From the Celts to the Romans to the Vikings to the Saxons, the 20,000-square-kilometer territory west of England has been bent, but not broken. One of the qualities with which the Welsh identify is resilience. One is never far from the sea in Wales. The flat coastal plains of the south give way to valleys, then hills and mountains toward the middle and north. English is the primary language, but one in five people also speaks Welsh. In 1997, Wales voted to establish a national assembly, paving the way for it to become a distinct constitutional entity within Britain.
Wales has warmer temperatures throughout the year than Scotland, and has milder winter minimums than England, but cooler winter maximums than Northern Ireland. Wales is wetter throughout the year than Northern Ireland and England, but has fewer rainy days than Northern Ireland; meaning that rainfall tends to be more intense. Wales is also drier than Scotland in every month apart from May, June and December, and there are fewer days with rain than in Scotland. Sunshine totals throughout the year are more than that of Scotland and Northern Ireland, but less than that of neighbouring England. May is the sunniest month, averaging 186.8 hours.
3,004,600 (2008 est.)
Overview of Higher Education
The system of higher education in Wales comprises a dozen universities and colleges, including the Open University in Wales, a branch of the British system that is dedicated to distance learning.
Undergraduate degrees generally take three years to complete. Professional courses in medicine, veterinary medicine, and law typically take five years. A master's degree requires about one year of additional study, while a doctorate requires an additional three years.
In 2008 some 10 percent of the postsecondary student body was made up of foreigners from outside the European Union.
(Sources: BBC, British Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Wales.com)
Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes
Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 12
Number of Higher Education Students
Number of students enrolled: 146,465
British Council Wales
Web Site: http://www.britishcouncil.org/wales.htm