News – RPL Wales launch event
On 11 November 2014, the Recognising Prior Learning (RPL) Wales Project held a launch event in Cardiff. The event highlighted the work of the collaborative project – developed between Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff University, Open University in Wales, and the University of South Wales. The project, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), has examined the benefits and potential pitfalls of delivering RPL in South East Wales, and has developed successful RPL policies and practices, which were shared with delegates at the event. Further details are available on the RPL Wales website.
News – Europe: new guidance on HE standards
On 7 November 2014, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) announced that new guidelines on HE standards will come into force and adopted by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in May 2015. The ‘Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA’ sets standards for institutions, external quality assurance and the agencies that carry out this work across Europe. The revised guidelines set high expectations for quality assurance across Europe. QAA remains the only agency to be judged fully compliant with current European Standards and Guidelines.
Publications – Draft Budget 2015/16 – Finance Committee report
The Finance Committee published its report on the Welsh Government Budget 2015/16 on 11 November 2014, following its consultation ending in September 2014 (see here for the responses, including the Universities Wales response). There is one reference to higher education (HE): the Enterprise and Business Committee asked for clarification on how the Welsh Government is ensuring and monitoring that the Minister’s priorities for the HE sector are being delivered and details on how the Welsh Government will ensure that Youth Entrepreneurship is prioritised in other budgets (para 168).
Publications – Labour MP John Denham outlines alternatives to current fees system
On 7 November 2014, former Labour cabinet member John Denham MP gave evidence to the Universities UK (UUK) Student Funding Panel. In a guest blog article for UUK, he outlines his ideas on reforming the student funding system in England. His arguments include a system which: includes more employer sponsored degrees (with funding incentives), two year courses, and greater diversity in the system.