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[Cardiff University main building]

Welsh universities are part of a world-leading UK science base and have particular strengths in engineering, computer science, plant and animal science, and social sciences.


The results of the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) cemented Welsh universities’ position as a leading academic destination for world-class research. The REF showed that more than three quarters of the research submitted was judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. In addition, Welsh universities were found to have the highest percentage of ‘world-leading’ research in terms of its impact of any part of the UK.

Welsh universities have long established relationships with some of the leading companies in the world from NASA and Hewlett-Packard, through to Rolls Royce and British Aerospace. Their performance is reflected by the increase in total research funding capture and the number of Welsh academics elected to prestigious UK Learned Societies such as the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy and the Academy of Social Sciences.

There are currently 9 universities in Wales (8 plus the Open University). Learn more about them on our study pages. Each University has collaborations and or formal partnerships with Universities across America, which have delivered joint research programmes and publications. They all have dedicated USA pages (linked below) with information about collaborations and testimonials.

Scholarship Schemes

Wales also participates in several US/UK scholarship schemes, details of which can be found below:

Fulbright Scholars Fulbright Scholarships were conceived in 1948 by Senator J William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II, to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. In January 2010, 40 Fulbright Scholars visited Wales to learn about devolution and Welsh culture.

Marshall Scholars
Created by the UK Parliament in 1953, Marshall Scholarships serve as a living gift to the USA in recognition of the post-World War II European Recovery Plan, commonly known as the Marshall Plan. Each year, Marshall Scholarships are awarded, through the FCO, to the most outstanding graduates in the United States. Those selected can then further their studies in the UK for up to three years. Wales have recognised the benefits. Below are a few examples over the years:

  • Christina Thatcher - Marshall Scholar - A native of Bucks County, PA, Christina Thatcher pursued an MA in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing at Cardiff University. She decided to stay and now teaches creative writing at Cardiff University. She also works on many projects across south Wales whilst writing poetry. She said, “Cardiff exposed me to things I may not have otherwise discovered, like the joys of prose poetry, Latin American literature, and Welsh cakes.”
  • Sandra Shumway - Marshall Scholar (PhD, D.Sc) - Sandra came to Wales to for her PhD in Marine Science, which she attained at the Bangor University and she then chose to return to Bangor to study and become a doctor of Science. Sandra has gone on to become a world-leading expert in Marine Science publishing numerous books.

[Bangor University]

  • Tracy Williams - Marshall Scholar - A scholar at the University of Aberystwyth and the University of Sussex, Tracey said her experience at Aberystwyth University “was a unique and wonderful experience which I was completely happy with. From being part of a Welsh folk dancing group to watching rugby with some of the most avid fans in the world, I got a real feel for the Welsh identity and culture. Studying at this top-rated International Politics department in the UK was also a great experience through which I got to look at the world - and especially the United States - through entirely new academic and theoretical perspectives.

For scholarships, if you know where you would like to study the best place to look is on the institution’s website. Alternatively, you can search for scholarships on the EducationUK website to see what scholarships different universities have to offer.

As you can see there are many possibilities to attain excellence in Wales, whilst being close to stunning scenery and a culture that we feel is hard to beat. Learn about life outside of the classroom for students in Wales.

[Brecon Beacons – an hour from Cardiff and Swansea]