Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 19th January 2018

Funding to be allocated via HEFCW for Degree Apprenticeships in Wales.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning agreed that funding is to be allocated via the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales in the short to medium term, to introduce Degree Apprenticeships in Wales.

Inspire! Awards nominations now open:

Nominations are now open for the Learning and Work institute’s 2018 Inspire! Adult Learning Awards, which learning
celebrate the achievements of exceptional individuals, projects and organisations who have shown outstanding passion, commitment and drive to improve themselves, their community or workplace through learning, often in the face of difficult circumstances.

The awards are co-ordinated by Learning and Work Institute in partnership with Welsh Government and other supporters..

The closing date for submitting your nomination is 16 March 2018 and the awards will be presented on the 6th June ahead of Adult Learners’ Week

Call for case studies.

This year marks the centenary anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and the Representation of the People Act 1918, with the key dates being 6 February, when the Act was signed, and 14 December, when women first voted in a general election.women
The Welsh Government is currently preparing proposals to mark these historic milestones, and is seeking input from higher education institutions. If your university is planning any activities to mark the anniversary, or would be interested in doing so, can you please pass any plans or suggestions onto by 1 February!

The Learned Society of Wales launches ‘Wales and the World’ publicationlearned society

The society launched the report at an event hosted by The Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of the Learned Society of Wales.

The publication aims to showcase the ways in which the Welsh Higher Education sector contributes to international research, innovation and achievements, and to celebrate Wales as a vibrant, dynamic, welcoming and innovative place to live, work and study.

The report highlights the extent of Wales’s international academic and research connections alongside a selective overview of Wales’s rich ecosystem of current and emerging educational, research, innovation and business activities.

Wales consistently punches above it’s weight in international measurements in research output and impact, yet more can be done to further its international reputation, and it’s hoped the publication will increase international awareness of Wales’s contributions in the competitive global environment within which it operates Learned soc

Staff changes- goodbye Emma, hello again Gwen.

MeIt’s all change in the office this week, as we welcome back Gwen Williams to the role of International policy advisor, as she returns from Maternity leave. We’ve been lucky to have been joined by Emma Raczka on secondment from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) as Gwen’s maternity cover during 2017, and she returns there this week to her role as senior communications manager.

Gwen-Williams From all the team at Unis Wales, thank you to Emma, and a warm welcome back Gwen!

 Gwen can be reached on  

National Assembly for Wales Research Service Brexit update brexit

The National Assembly for Wales Research Service publishes a fortnightly Brexit update, for the Assembly’s External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee, on the latest government, parliament, EU and other relevant announcements and reports on Brexit. Read the latest update here.  

Universities UK is currently working through the implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) for the higher education sector. Answers to common FAQ’s regarding student and staff status can be found on this page .

The conversation showcase:

Articles published by academics at Welsh universities this week

The case for and against a second Brexit referendum: four experts give their views (Swansea contributing)

Political update

  • Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has welcomed the news that a “world-leading scientific facility” will be developed at Bangor University following a £5m EU funding boost.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport appeared before the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee earlier this week to discuss the Welsh Government’s budget and Economic Action Plan. A transcript is not yet available but his written evidence and answers to supplementary questions have been published. A government response has also been issued to the committee’s scrutiny of the budget
  • The Welsh Government have released statistics of applications for student support applications for higher education
  • In the media, Swansea West AM Mike Hedges has written about the lessons Wales could learn from Aarhus and Mannheim and the importance of universities in driving economic growth


A debate will be held during next Wednesday’s Plenary session on the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee report: City Deals and the Regional Economies of Wales. The original report is available here, with the government’s written response here.