HEW Weekly Wrap Up 1 August 2014

News – British Council Triennial Review

On 22 July 2014, the Triennial Review of the British Council was published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The review involved a detailed examination of the British Council’s operations, governance, performance and finances. The review concluded that the ‘British Council has a strong brand, well established networks and committed staff. It is a valuable national asset and should be retained as the main official UK body for cultural diplomacy’. The Director of the British Council in Wales, Jenny Scott, has written to HEW and other stakeholders responding to some of the findings and recommendations. The recommendations include the need for the British Council to strengthen its connections with the devolved governments of Wales and other UK nations, with UK government departments, and with UK organisations overseas. It also refers to the need to improve transparency, accountability and fair competition policy, including clarifying the way British Council works with other UK providers of education services. Starting this month, a second stage review will commence, to consider the best long term operating model for the organisation. This will make recommendations to the Foreign Secretary about the costs and benefits of possible changes to the structure, subsidiaries and governance of the organisation.

News – UCAS – Confirmation and Clearing period

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has contacted HEW to provide details of the arrangements for analysis provision over the forthcoming Confirmation and Clearing period. From 14-19 August 2014, UCAS will circulate a daily email containing the publicly released reports: Daily Clearing Analysis: Overview, Daily Clearing Analysis: Country, Daily Clearing Analysis: Age, Daily Clearing Analysis: Subject. Additionally, member providers will receive a copy of the Free to be Placed in Clearing Report (which does not form part of the public reporting).

Publications – HEFCE – Open Access Research – FAQs

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has published a set of frequently asked questions on their website relating to the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Publications – HEFCW – Revised Enhancing Learning and Teaching through Technology (ELTT) strategy

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) has published a further scheduled refresh of the ten year strategy for ELTT (2007/08-2016/17). HEFCW’s vision remains the same, i.e. that enhancing learning and teaching through technology be considered a normal part of mainstream provision, processes and practices. The refresh moves from a focus on the student learning experience, to the student experience more broadly.

Publications – HEFCW – Strategic Approach to Widening Access to HE

HEFCW’s Strategic Approach to Widening Access to HE sets out their commitment to delivering the Welsh Government’s widening access expectations, set out in the Policy Statement, and other related strategies. The document’s purpose is to provide a fuller picture of HEFCW’s strategic intentions and promote a clear understanding of widening access policy and practice in Wales.

Event – HEFCW NSS soft consultation

On 8 September 2014, HEFCW is running a soft consultation event on the National Student Survey (NSS). The event is aimed at heads of learning and teaching (L&T), Pro Vice Chancellors for L&T, data contacts, and students’ union officers. The aims of the event are:

  • To provide background on the NSS;
  • To disseminate the aims and findings of the first large scale analysis of the NSS; and
  • To invite university input on the revision of the NSS.

To register and for queries, please contact Sheridan Nott ( Registration closes 22 August 2014. There is a maximum of two places per institution.

Event – Natural Resources Wales – Strategic Equality Plan – involvement event

Like all public authorities in Wales, the Public Sector Equality Duty requires Natural Resources Wales to produce a Strategic Equality Plan (SEP). Their first SEP, which is for 2014-17, shall aim to promote equality and achieve equality improvements as required under the Equality Act 2010. It shall be based on Equality Objectives and cover the protected characteristics of Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief (Including non-belief), Sex (Gender) and Sexual Orientation. Welsh Language is also included. Natural Resources Wales is seeking assistance in identifying objectives by attending an involvement event. Three events are running – 14 August 2014 in Llandrindod Wells, 20 August 2014 in Merthyr Tydfil, and 27 August 2014 in Llandudno. For further details or to register, please contact or call 03000655194 and speak to Arron Cooper.

Appointments – Learned Society – Chief Executive

The Learned Society of Wales is seeking to appoint a new Chief Executive. Details are available on the Learned Society’s website. The closing date is 12 September 2014.