Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up 27 February 2015

News – General election – Purdah

General election purdah officially starts on 30 March 2015 when Parliament dissolves. The Welsh Government published a useful guide last year, which while specifically deals with the European elections, offers a useful guide to what’s worth avoiding. The guide is available on the Welsh Government website.

Consultation – SPA Use of Contextualised Admissions 2015 National Survey – with HEDIIP

Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) published its last major report on contextual admissions in February 2013. SPA is now keen to see how institutions have taken up the use of contextualised admissions, and find out what data they use, or would like to use in future. SPA has launched a new survey about the use of contextualised admissions both in the current (2015 entry) admissions cycle and planned use in future cycles. SPA is running this survey in collaboration with the Higher Education Data & Information Improvement (HEDIIP). The survey is online and is open until 19 March 2015. SPA requests that only one response is provided per institution (usually Head of Admissions or equivalent).

 Publication – UUK – Efficiency, effectiveness and value for money

On 26 February 2015, Universities UK (UUK) launched a new report which presents a new agenda for efficiency, effectiveness and value for money in higher education (HE). The report is available on the UUK website.

Event – SPA-AUA Applicant Experience Network event

SPA and the Association of University Administrators (AUA) is running a one day event in Birmingham on 12 March 2015 to cover:

  • An update on Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) consumer protection advice to HE which impacts the applicant experience;
  • A short case study presentation on the changing role of the professional in admissions;
  • And consideration of what it means to be professional in the fast changing world of HE in admissions and related areas.

Please book online by 9 March 2015, or direct any queries to SPA ( or

Event – IU – The Real Balanced Budget: The costs and income of TNE before, during and after

The UK Higher Education International Unit (IU) is running an event which will consider realistic ways to cost transnational education (TNE) activity. The value of TNE is notoriously difficult to quantify – best guestimates suggest it takes ten years to see a return, but that return is substantial for UK universities. This event will consider how universities can best approach this. The event is taking place on 11 March 2015 in London. Details are available on the IU website.

Event – IU – Technology: TNE’s silent partner

The IU, supported by Jisc, is running a one day event on IT and TNE. Recent research by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) found a distinct ‘isolation of IT staff from TNE activity decision-making … even overseas network arrangements.’ Technology is critical in underpinning TNE activity, from overcoming digital accessibility barriers, to providing learning materials to students, to licensing, and to the student experience as a whole. The event is taking place on 11 March 2015 in London. Details are available on the IU website.

Event – Carers Trust Wales – Carers in FE and HE Launch and Consultation

The Carers Trust Wales is running a seminar to mark the launch of their new toolkit on how to support carers in further education (FE) and HE. The event is taking place from 13.00-15.00 on 26 March 2015 in Cardiff. Please RSVP to The event aims to:

  • Provide a first-hand account of the challenges faced by young adult carers in post-16 education in Wales;
  • Launch the ‘Universities Toolkit’ which sets out how to reach out to carers, provide support services and incorporate carers into widening access policies;
  • Consult on the findings and recommendations of the ‘Time to Be Heard Wales’ Research which is based on young adult carers experiences of further and higher education from across Wales.

Event – IU – Go International Conference 2015: innovation and motivation

The 2015 Go International conference explores the Outward Student Mobility landscape, using experts from the UK and overseas.  By the end of this conference delegates will have additional insight into the latest trends to help them develop their outward mobility strategies. The event is taking place on 29 April 2015 in London. Details are available on the IU website.