Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up 16 January 2015

Publication: The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification, Quick Guide

The National Assembly for Wales has published a quick guide to the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification. It is available on the Assembly website, and includes details of its status in curriculum, and the new qualification (to be taught from Sept 2015).

Unpacking Qualification Reform – Results of UCAS A level survey

Following the confirmation of reforms to A levels in England, there has been considerable speculation about how secondary schools and colleges might alter their 16-19 curriculum and what impact the changes might have on progression and admission to higher education. To find out how the secondary sector is responding UCAS has undertaken a survey of all of the English schools and colleges registered to use its undergraduate admissions service to identify their current position. The report is here.

UCAS Stakeholder Survey

UCAS are undertaking a piece of work designed to understand stakeholder perceptions of them and identify successes, in addition to areas for enhancement.

Stakeholders are invited to participate in their online stakeholder satisfaction survey, here.

The deadline for responses is: Monday 26 January.

Consultation – The future of quality assessment in higher education

HEFCE, HEFCW and Northern Ireland are seeking views on future approaches to quality assessment and published a discussion document this week for comment. The document aims to stimulate wide-ranging discussion and debate on the broad purpose, principles and parameters of any future arrangements. The deadline for contributions to this discussion is Friday 27 February 2015 and the plan is for Unis Wales to provide an over-arching response and will be in touch shortly for contributions.

Consultation – draft Qualification Characteristics statements

QAA Circular 20/14 is attached here, and concerns consultation on four Qualification Characteristics Statements:

  • Foundation Degrees
  • Master’s Degrees
  • Doctoral Degrees
  • Qualifications awarded by two or more degree-awarding bodies (new)

The consultation is open until 23 March 2015, and more information can be found here.

News – Reconfiguration of the General Teaching Council for Wales

Under the Education (Wales) Act 2014, the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) will be reconfigured to become the Education Workforce Council (EWC) on 1st April 2015. As part of the change, lecturers in FE institutions in Wales will need to be registered with the EWC from 1st April 2015, and school and FE learning support staff registered with the EWC from 1st April registered from 1st April 2016. This will build on existing arrangements, which already make it a requirement for teachers in maintained schools to be registered in order to practise their profession. The Welsh Government is also considering plans to extend registration to Youth Workers and Work Based Learning professionals from April 2017.

All activities currently undertaken by the GTCW, including work on behalf of the Welsh Government in relation to QTS, Induction and the Masters in Educational Practice will continue as normal.

Publication – Employer Engagement: Emerging Practice from QAA Reviews

New analysis has highlighted explicit links between employer engagement with HE, the enhancement of L&T, and students’ employability. Analysis of the findings from 200 universities and colleges reviewed by the QAA since 2010 shows that engagement with employers, as part of the design and delivery of the curriculum, can be central to student employability and workforce development. The report is available on the QAA’s website.

Event – International HE Forum; the competitive edge – London, 19th March 2015

Now in its third year, the International Higher Education Forum, which is run by the UK Higher Education International Unit and Universities UK, will provide insights into the latest developments, trends and opportunities for universities. The Forum will look at:-

  • What universities can do to give themselves the competitive edge as the global higher education landscape continues to change
  • HE developments in other countries
  • How potential partners see universities
  • How political change, both at home and overseas, could impact on international activity

This event will be of particular interest to: Directors/heads of international offices; Pro Vice-Chancellors (International); International officers; Overseas agents; International marketing, recruitment and admissions staff; International PR & communications managers; Directors of research; Directors of knowledge transfer; Embassies; Government officials; International alumni engagement managers. More information can be found here.