Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 10 March 2017


Good practice guide on publishing information for prospective undergraduate students

HEFCW is drawing universities’ attention to good practice guidance for UK HE providers on the information they publish for prospective undergraduate students. The guide is available to download on the HEFCE website at


HEFCW consultation on use of the Transnational Education (TNE) Guidance

Universities interested in the quality of higher education provision from Wales delivered in another country is assessed are invited to respond to the latest HEFCW consultation on QAA’s TNE handbook.


New Chair of WHELF

Congratulations to Emma Adamson on her new role of Chair of WHELF – Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum – from March 1st 2017. Emma is the Director of Learning Services at the University of South Wales and has been a member of WHELF since 2010. Emma became Vice-Chair of WHELF in 2015 and now steps into the role of Chair following the retirement of Sue Hodges. We also welcome Steve Williams who has been elected as the new Vice-Chair of WHELF. Steve is University Librarian and Head of Libraries, Archives, Culture and Arts at Swansea University and has been a member of WHELF since 2015. Following Sue Hodges retirement, we welcome Mairwen Owen, Head of Academic Support as the new WHELF Representative from Bangor University.


New UUK Report – Degree apprenticeships: realising opportunities

The new report, Degree apprenticeships: realising opportunities predicts an increased uptake of degree apprenticeships in the coming years as more courses are approved and introduced.

Launched in 2015, degree apprenticeships enable apprentices to split their time between university study and the workplace, with course fees split between government and employers. A range of employers of varying sizes are already working with universities to offer degree apprenticeships, including Mercedes-Benz, Nestlé and IBM.

Note: The report is based on a HEFCE-funded survey of 66 universities in England. It includes feedback from employers about why they find degree apprenticeships beneficial.


Unis Wales Update

This week we have been preparing for two of our members – Prof Colin Riordan and Prof Richard Davies – to give evidence at the Assembly’s External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee. We have also written to Welsh peers to ask for their support in the proposed amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill in the House of Lords with regards to the representation of devolved nations on the UKRI Board.


Political Update

  • The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs has written to all Assembly Members giving an update on her recent visit to Dubai where part of her visit was accompanied by representatives from the University of South Wales, “who have made great progress in working with the Dubai Government in developing plans to set up a new Centre of Excellence/Aviation Academy and operate its world class aircraft maintenance training programme at the proposed new airport.”
  • More than €7m of EU funds will be invested in science and technology projects involving a number of Welsh universities to help protect and develop the marine life and the fisheries industry in Wales and Ireland.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language have agreed a grant allocation to fund Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol for the period 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018.
  • NUS Wales has written to the Children, Young People and Education Committee and various other stakeholders in connection with the Welsh Government’s decision to cancel the My Travel Pass scheme.
  • Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has raised concerns for higher education after Brexit during the St David’s Day debate.
  • Welsh teachers have “come back down to earth” following a trip to the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland.
  • Item 6 in the minutes of the recently released Welsh Government Cabinet meeting of 17 January records discussions about the Hazelkorn Review, with agreement that the “report’s central recommendation should be accepted”.