Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up 30 January 2015

News – Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol strengthens opportunities for study and research through Welsh

The first comprehensive report on the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol has been published, which highlights the appointment of more than one hundred new lecturers through the medium of Welsh, the development of a range of academic resources, and the creation of a strategy for teaching through the medium of Welsh. The press release is on the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales’ (HEFCW) website.

Event – Quality Assessment Review Steering Group Seminar – 12 February 2015

On 15 January of this year, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published on their website a discussion document which aims to stimulate debate on the review of quality assessment arrangements amongst the sector, and gather suggestions on the broad purpose, principles and parameters of any future quality assessment arrangements. The Quality Assessment Review Steering Group has arranged a series of workshops and conferences in England and HEFCW are arranging a single event in Cardiff, on 12 February, to gather the views of a range of people. HEFCW would welcome attendance from not only higher education (HE) providers, but also students, employers, professional bodies and other interested parties in Wales. Full details and an agenda will be sent out shortly, but, in the meantime, you can register your interest by emailing

Event – Newton Fund workshop

The International Unit (IU), in conjunction with Universities Wales, is delivering a half-day Newton Fund workshop designed for researchers and university staff in Wales. The event will provide colleagues with an opportunity to meet with the Newton Fund delivery partners (Research Councils UK (RCUK), the Academies, British Council and the IU) to learn more about the Fund and to ask questions about the calls, application process, eligibility, evaluation etc. The workshop will take place in Cardiff on 11 February 2015. Details are available on the IU website.

Event – International Higher Education Forum 2015

On 19 March 2015, the IU is running its third International Higher Education Forum in London. The event will consider: as the global HE landscape continues to change, what can universities do to give themselves the competitive edge? What developments in other countries should you be aware of? How do our potential partners see us? And how will political change, both at home and overseas, impact your international activity? Details are available on the IU website. Speakers include: Professor John Sexton, President, New York University; Jeremy Chan, Regional Head of Research and Consultancy, East Asia, British Council; and Phil Baty, Editor, Times Higher Education Rankings, and Editor at Large, Times Higher Education.

Publication – NUS Wales’ election manifesto of asks for the General Election

The National Union of Students Wales (NUS Wales) has published its election asks for the General Election 2015. The asks are organised thematically – education, work, and community. NUS Wales asks for a range of specifics, including: further investment in student support; protection and improvement of Disabled Students’ Allowance; a new postgraduate funding system; a commitment to treat asylum seekers with conditional leave to remain as home students for financial purposes; UK Government to develop and fund an independent statutory careers guidance system; enforce legislation that all work experience of over four weeks should be paid at least national minimum wage; to provide all non-EU international students with the right to work in all industries, free from restriction, for 12 months after study; to repeal the Lobbying Act; and to lower the voting age to 16.

Publication – Blogpost – What MPs want

With fewer than 100 days until the General Election, Universities UK’s (UUK) Head of Political Affairs has published a blog article on new UUK research which asked MPs which university issues matter most to them. The survey, carried out by ComRes, asked current and future MPs which areas of HE they wanted to hear about. From the responses, it was clear that it is the external facing work of universities: their contribution to the economy, to innovation, and to producing the highly skilled workforce of the future, matter most. The article is available on the UUK website.

Appointments – Glyndŵr University appoints interim Vice-Chancellor

Professor Graham Upton has been unveiled as the new interim Vice-Chancellor at Glyndŵr University. Professor Upton takes up the role from 2 February 2015. Born in Birmingham, Professor Upton was educated in Australia and went on to teach in secondary and special education schools before returning to the UK in 1972. After a brief spell at Chester College, he worked for the University of Wales, Leeds Polytechnic, and the University of Birmingham where he was Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Special Educational Needs and Educational Psychology. Professor Upton was appointed Vice-Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University in 1997, where he spent 10 years before retiring. From May 2010 until July 2011 he joined the University of Cumbria as interim Vice-Chancellor. Glyndŵr University Chancellor and Chairman, Sir Jon Shortridge, welcomed Professor Upton and said the experience he had at the University of Cumbria will prove invaluable over the coming months. Further details are available on the Glyndŵr University website.