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Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 15 June 2018

New report shows the impact of Welsh higher education providers on local, national and international communities

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Launched at an evening celebration of institutions’ civic engagement activities on Wednesday, HEFCW’s “Innovation Nation: On common ground” publication includes more than fifty case studies from higher education providers. The report covers areas as diverse as healthcare and well-being provision; local access to arts, sport culture and heritage; aspiration-raising activities; and community and school engagement.

wwu image 2Speaking in a key note address at the publication’s launch, the Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM said “Civic mission work helps with bringing communities and universities together. The report published today highlights the best practice civic mission work already happening in our universities. Let’s keep that momentum going”. Also speaking at the event were representatives of universities and partners, including

  • David Allen, HEFCW Chair
  • Louise Casella, Open University in Wales
  • Dylan Jones, Penparcau Community Forum
  • Cathy Treadaway, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Steph Mastoris, National Waterfront Museum
  • Dave Horton, CAER Heritage Project | Ridwan Ahmed Grangetown Community Gateway
  • Jane Davidson, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

There were also exhibitions – involving robots, artefacts, music and more – from universities, the Business Wales Youth Entrepreneurship, and Advance HE, which advances the professional practice of higher education.

Follow the #HEFCWcivic to see more stories from the evening, and visit this site to see the full report

Welsh Government publishes Weingarten review

WWU image 3Professor Weingarten’s Review of Systems for Monitoring and Improving the Effectiveness of Post-compulsory Education in Wales was published by Welsh Government on 13 June.

Professor Weingarten’s review will contribute to the development of systems for monitoring and supporting the post-compulsory education system in Wales so that they compare favourably with other systems in the UK and wider OECD member states within the next 10 years. The Welsh Government have publicised the review as part of their wider approach to the longer term reform of post-compulsory education and training in Wales.

In response to the publication of the review, Universities Wales Chair and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Wales, Prof Julie Lydon, said:

“We welcome the publication of this review today as, alongside the Reid Review, this will allow us to fully consider and respond to the current technical consultation on the creation of a new Tertiary and Education and Research Commission for Wales (TERCW). We agree with Prof Weingarten’s observation that if Welsh Government is committed to the concept of a TERCW as currently described then it should be prepared to operate it as a truly arms-length body. A partial approach simply will not work. This, together with the call for the Welsh Government to set out a clear vision for the post compulsory system in Wales that will allow institutions to make informed or evidence-driven decisions, is something that we are keen to support the Welsh Government in achieving.”    

WWU image 4Universities Wales represented at the 10th UK/Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO)

Last Monday, Unis Wales attended the JETCO between the UK and Vietnam Governments in Manchester. The annual event is to discuss how both countries can work together to boost trade and deliver key policy priorities. Education topped the agenda this year, with Global Wales mentioned as an example of good practice.

Upcoming Events

CIPR National Conference 2018
Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 9:30 AM (GMT)
London, United Kingdom
Universities UK
Managing sexual misconduct cases within the university setting
20 Jul 2018, 11:00 – 15:00
Woburn House, London.

Political Update

  • A new report has set out how the Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) system in Wales can be strengthened so that it can be at the “forefront of international innovation and best practice”. In a written statement, Kirsty Williams described the review as giving “us some really valuable input to help support the longer term reform”. The review can be read in full here.
  • The Welsh Conservative debate during Wednesday’s Plenary was on ‘Carers’, which included calls for a young carers grant to ensure they are able to pursue further and higher full time education and training opportunities.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education has agreed the all Wales allocation of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) intake numbers for newly accredited ITE providers for courses commencing academic year 2019/20.
  • An annual report on student loans for higher education has been published by the Student Loans Company.
  • Writing on the Institute of Welsh Affairs’s blog, Dr Einir Young of Bangor University introduces the Higher Education Future Generations Group.
  • In the media, the Welsh Government “just hasn’t done anything” in Wales’s space sector, according to a UK space expert.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education has been asked the following written questions:

  • Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): How many students currently spend time abroad studying and for work experience, and how much money will be invested in the pilot scheme to fund international study and work experience opportunities in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21, providing the target number aimed for through the scheme?

The conversation showcase: 

Highlighting articles published by academics at Welsh universities this week. 

The truth about teenage girls, consent and contraceptive implants (Swansea)
https://theconversation.com/the-truth-about-teenage-girls-consent-and-contraceptive-implants-95304

Football’s cultural side helped Britain wage the last Cold War (Swansea)
https://theconversation.com/footballs-cultural-side-helped-britain-wage-the-last-cold-war-96681

Orang-outan de Tapanuli : la menace d’extinction est réelle mais encore évitable (Cardiff)
https://theconversation.com/orang-outan-de-tapanuli-la-menace-dextinction-est-reelle-mais-encore-evitable-97874