The Journey So Far

The ARCH partners came together in early 2015 to address - in a new and innovative way - the unprecedented financial, service and workforce pressures facing the NHS as well identifying an opportunity to expand life sciences as a key economic driver for the region.

Both health boards recognised the urgent need to create a transformative plan for an integrated health service which reflects the current and future needs of the region and saw a regional collaboration as a
pro-active solution to seemingly unsolvable issues.


An already established partnership between ABMU and Swansea University through the Partnership Board, set up in 2012, had already delivered a Joint Clinical Research Facility (J-CRF), a common Intellectual Policy (IP) and Commercialisation Policy and collaborative education and skills development and following a decade of success in research, enterprise and innovation built by Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science (ILS) - the health boards’ collaboration with Wales’s now number one Higher Education institution has created a power horse partnership designed to tackle regional challenges at scale and at pace.

Power of partnership:

Swansea University’s Medical School, College of Human and Health Science, ILS and School of Management are all delivering world-class research, impact and education and ABMU and Hywel Dda saw the huge value a collaboration with a university of this calibre could bring.

In 2016, Swansea University was named the top university in Wales in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 league table – and has also won the inaugural Welsh University of the Year title.

Swansea’s top ranking reflects the university’s ambitious campus development programme, with a £60million upgrade of the Singleton Campus less than a year after opening the spectacular new
multi-million pound Bay Campus last September.

Applications to the university have risen dramatically by more than 60% in three years and the intake of undergraduate students is up 1,600 over the same period. The university’s phenomenal achievement in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) is also recognised, where four-fifths of the work submitted for was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent, with health subjects excelling.

Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “Swansea made a compelling case to be our first Welsh University of the Year. The opening of the Bay Campus has had a transformational effect on the university, offering students first-rate facilities in a great location – and attracting huge inward investment in the form of research projects. The new campus has also fuelled a considerable expansion of student numbers, making Swansea a hugely attractive options for students.

Download a summary of the Portfolio Delivery Plan here

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