Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 10th November 2017

Vacancy – Senior Research Officer
(Higher Education, Further Education, Skills)

WA LogoThe National Assembly Research Service is recruiting a Senior Research Officer with responsibility for Higher Education, Further Education and Skills.  The post is within the Children, Education and Lifelong Learning Team in the Research Service. Within the team, this post has particular responsibility for covering Higher Education, Further Education and Skills.

Further details can be found on their website here. Closing date 13 November 10.00am.


Call for evidence by 4 December: NERC Environmental Evidence for the Future Initiative


NERC is seeking input from the community to articulate the key knowledge gaps and evidence needs pertaining to a set of future environmental policy and practice challenges, developed as part of the Environmental Evidence for the Future (EEF) initiative. A series of UK-wide workshops, including one in Wales, was held with the policy and practice community (along with leading academic, business and third sector voices) to define future environmental evidence challenges in light of the UK leaving the EU. Sixty-five challenges were identified and NERC is now seeking the input of the wider environmental science community to:

  • validate these challenges
  • begin to outline broad areas of research and translation activities that have the potential to meet the required future evidence needs.

Your input will inform the scope of a proposal for a future large-scale transformative programme that will look to address priority future research and innovation needs.

There is a news item on the NERC website at and/or the online tool can be accessed directly at

Please submit your evidence using the online tool by 23:59 on 4 December 2017.

Find out more about the EEF initiative and challenge setting workshops (see the resources section).

Both the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales were involved in the Wales’ country-focussed workshop to help shape the development of the NERC Environmental Evidence for the Future Initiative. I would be grateful if you could encourage colleagues and contacts to contribute to this. This call may interest a range of your colleagues and I would be grateful if you disseminated it widely within your institutions.

If you have any queries about the EEF initiative , please contact Gemma Truelove ( or Penny Gordon (


Natural Resources Wales’ first Open Call for projects under the new Commissioning Approach – External Stakeholder Events

nrw (002)Over the past year, NRW has been developing a new commissioning approach to identify the challenges, as set out in the Natural Resource Plan, the State of Natural Resources Report (SONARR) and Area and Wellbeing statements, that we need to work in collaboration to address. As part of this approach, funding and other support will be allocated to challenges in each of the areas covered by Wales’ Area Statements and to actions that are best delivered once for Wales.

Please see here for information regarding a series of events that they are holding, to introduce these challenges and launch a call for expressions of interest.

These sessions will include an overview of the new legislative landscape of the Welsh Environment; the challenges that Natural Resources Wales has identified that it can only solve in collaboration with external partners; an explanation of the application process; and a session for questions and answers.


Political Update

  • The Welsh Government has earmarked a further £2.3 billion to modernise education infrastructure, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced on Friday. A written statement was also issued.
  • The full breakdown of ministerial responsibilities have been unveiled by the Welsh Government following last week’s reshuffle, with those of particular relevance to higher education including:

Carwyn Jones (First Minister):

  • EU exit

Mark Drakeford (Cabinet Secretary for Finance):

  • Welsh Treasury
  • City Deals
  • Operation and development of the devolved funding settlement and the Statement of Funding policy
  • EU structural funds excluding CAP

Vaughan Gething (Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services):

  • Research and development in health and social care
  • Medical workforce training and development with the exception of years 1-5 of University Education for Doctors

Ken Skates (Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport):

  • Economic Advisory Panels
  • Social Enterprise and the social economy
  • Co-ordination of cross-cutting measures to promote prosperity
  • Science: development of science policy, including day to day liaison with the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales and the National Science Academy
  • Life Sciences
  • Research and Innovation, including research and development, knowledge transfer and commercialisation; maximising research and innovation incomes; Research Centres of Excellence
  • Development, retention and attraction of higher level research students for Wales
  • Maximisation of economic benefits of higher education research and development

Kirsty Williams (Cabinet Secretary for Education):

  • Education workforce training and development, including initial teacher training
  • Higher Education policy, strategy and funding
  • Medical Education (except for post graduate training)

Eluned Morgan (Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning):

  • Welsh medium and bilingual education
  • Further Education
  • FE student support: Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG FE)
  • Adult community learning
  • Credit and Qualifications Framework including vocational, key and essential skills qualifications
  • Apprenticeship and Skillbuild policy and delivery
  • Youth and adult employability policy and delivery, including Jobs Growth Wales, Essential Skills for Working Adults and the Skills Gateway
  • Careers Policy and the sponsorship of Careers Choices Dewis Gyrfa (CCDG)
  • Work based learning providers
  • Sector skills including strategies, development funds and the Sector Skills Council
  • Wales Employment and Skills Board and the Commission for Employment and Skills
  • Workforce skills development, including the Wales Union Learning Fund core funding for Wales, TUC education and learning services
  • European programmes relating to skills and employment, except the EU Structural Funds


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