News

Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up 26 September 2014

News – Universities Wales – relaunch

This week, HEW relaunched as ‘Universities Wales’. A range of activities were deployed to publicise the relaunch. This included a press release, a stand in the Senedd, hard copy packs posted to AMs, MPs and MEPs, and social media activity. New website address – www.uniswales.ac.uk. 

News – REF impact case studies to be analysed

On 22 September 2014, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced that a new project will analyse the wider impact of the research undertaken by UK universities. The analysis, commissioned by HEFCE and others, will draw on the 6,975 impact case studies submitted to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Digital Science, a division of Macmillan Science & Education, will undertake the project. Further details are available on HEFCE’s website. 

News – Delegation Brazilian Pro-Vice Chancellors International

On the 22 and 23 September 2014 Universities Wales and British Council Wales welcomed a delegation Brazilian Pro-Vice Chancellors International to Wales. The delegation represented all members of FAUBAI, the Brazilian Association of International Education. Wales was the first stop in a four-part tour of the UK, with the delegation visiting Northern Ireland, England and Scotland during the course of this week. Read the story here. 

Report – Worrying Trends in International Student Recruitment

Universities UK have published a report this week looking at the latest trends in international student recruitment to UK universities. Following a decline in the number of overseas students in the UK over the last two years, the report reveals some signs of growth, but continued problems in terms of demand from India. Official figures have shown that the UK higher education sector as a whole experienced two consecutive years of falling overseas entrants, in both 2011–12 and 2012–13. The number of Indian students commencing courses in the UK almost halved in two years, and the number of international entrants to STEM courses fell by 10%, with postgraduate taught courses being particularly affected. The full report can be accessed here.

Publication – Curriculum for Excellence – Changes in the Scottish school education system

Universities Scotland (US) has published a paper aimed at universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, around changes in the Scottish school education system called Curriculum for Excellence.  These changes include the introduction of new qualifications, but also different ways of learning and teaching and may result in pupils presenting with different patterns of qualifications.  This document will be a useful resource for universities with applicants from Scotland to understand these changes because they will have implications for admissions.  US has set out what it sees as the implications in the paper and given some further resources, including a list of statements on Curriculum for Excellence and admissions from each of its members.  You can find the paper here: http://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/uploads/briefings/CfEH%20Final.pdf

US is happy to answer any questions (see the paper for contact details), as is the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), John Lewis (John.Lewis@sqa.org.uk).

EventNewton Fund Conference

We encourage colleagues interested in the Newton Fund to register for a one-day conference organised by the International Unit at the UUK offices in central London on the 21st October. The event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the Newton Fund, from its high level objectives to the type of activities it will support, as well as the requirements for participation. Speakers will include senior representatives from BIS as well as each of the delivery partners in the UK.  The event will also include breakout sessions providing details of how the scheme will operate in individual countries. Click here to register. 

Event – ‘Making the UK the HQ for global talent’ will take place on Monday 29 September 2014 at the Conservative Party Conference in Room 8 of the Crowne Plaza, Birmingham. For more information please visit the Universities UK website or call 020 7419 5424. 

Consultation New Public Contract Regulations 2015

A consultation exercise is underway by the UK Government seeking views on implementation of the 2014 EU Procurement Directives in the UK and the proposed Public Contract Regulations 2015. When you follow the link, you will see several documents – the draft Regulations of 19 September should be read in conjunction with the Consultation Document of the same date and the supporting Technical Note which explains the approach that has been taken to the drafting of these Regulations.

Please note – Parts 4 and 5 of the Regulations which implement Lord Young’s recommendations on public procurement, represent domestic UK policy and will not apply to bodies in Wales whose functions are wholly or mainly Welsh devolved functions.

Value Wales will be co-ordinating the consultation process in Wales and collating responses so if you have any comments, please can you respond to VWpolicy@wales.gsi.gov.uk by 13 October 2014.