Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 15th December 2017

   Unis Wales responds to the Quality Code consultation. 
Universities Wales submitted its response to the UKSCA consultation on the UK Quality Code on 13 December 2017. See here for a copy

 The Open University appoints a new Director in Wales

Untitled design (27)Louise Casella will join OU Cymru as their new director in the new year, with  responsibility for the University’s provision across Wales, working with key  stakeholders including the Welsh Government, HEFCW, students, employers and trade unions. Louise has extensive strategic leadership experience in higher education, having held senior leadership positions at Cardiff and Wrexham Glyndwr University, and having been a member of the Welsh Assembly Government Review of Higher Education in 2008. Louise says she’s looking forward to “building on the OU’s excellent reputation and its achievements in providing part-time distance education to people who want to learn while they earn across

Welsh Government launches regional investment plan and consultation. 
The publication of the policy paper Regional investment in Wales after Brexit is the Welsh Government’s first step in the process of designing a new approach to regional economic development and investment in Wales. It forms one in a series of Securing Wales’ Future papers setting out the Welsh Government’s vision for Wales once we have left the EU.


The policy paper commits to working with universities to produce new regional plans as part of their new regional approach to investment, and places partnerships between universities, business, local government and the third sector as central to shapingwales’ future regional investment plan.

The Welsh Government are currently gathering feedback on the policy paper through a consultation, Unis Wales will be responding on behalf of the sector as part of our continued work in this area, and we encourage members to also respond to the consultation.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education this week launched the expansion of ‘OpenLearn Cymru’ -a partnership between the Open University in Wales and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, offering new courses and bilingual resources to learners. A demonstration of the value of partnerships leading innovation in Welsh education, OpenLearn Cymru will be the home of billingual, free learning in Wales.
Mentions in the media.
Chair Julie Lydon wrote for the Western mail on the role of universities in supporting the achievement of the economic plan.
News and updates in UK higher education:
UK to stay in Erasmus until 2020

Political update 

  • The First Minister has spoken of Brexit as potentially an “opportunity to boost economic development, reduce bureaucracy and support our poorest communities in the face of UK government austerity”. He also issued a written ministerial statement outlining some of the government’s priorities, including participation in Horizon2020 and Erasmus+.
  • The Welsh Government has released a report giving the educational destinations of Key Stage 4 and post-16 learners.
  • It was announced earlier this week that Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s role will be expanded to include further education colleges and the work base learning sectors. The Cabinet Secretary’s written ministerial statement and the government’s response to the review of the Coleg’s activities can also be read.
Christmas card

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The office will be closed from the 23rd December until the 3rd January, and this will be the last Wrap Up of 2017.

We hope you have a restful break, and we look forward to working with you again in the new year!