Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 17 November 2017

Universities Wales committee meets with the First Minister

FM meeting

On Thursday 16th, Unis Wales committee met with the First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones. Meeting at the request of the FM, it gave him an opportunity to update us on the latest developments, and a chance for our members to discuss our shared priorities for Brexit and to outline the implications for the higher education sector in Wales. We shared a discussion paper on Structural Funds, highlighting their vital importance of for Welsh universities, and had a further discussion on international students ahead of the release of our economic impact report next week (21 November 2017). The meeting was positive, with constructive and encouraging conversations about the active role universities can play in providing solutions for the challenges posed by Brexit.




Research into the economic impact of international students will be launched next week

Research which evidences the significant and positive contribution that international students are making to the Welsh economy will be launched Tuesday 21 November at a lunchtime networking event at the British Council. The study, conducted by Viewforth Consulting, builds on existing 2015 research, and offers an updated and more detailed examination of the economic impact of international students on the local and national economies, and on communities across Wales.
The launch event, organised in partnership with BUILA, brings together higher education and business leaders to celebrate the contribution of international students to the Welsh economy and hear from international student graduates on their experiences of studying in wales, and their entrepreneurial work developing businesses and growing the welsh economy.

 To attend the launch at the British Council, email Beth Button on


Export visit to Vietnam – 25 November to 1 December

As part of Global Wales’s plans to establish an ongoing and long-term strategic relationship with Vietnam, the Welsh Government will be taking a trade mission to Vietnam on 25 November.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, will be leading the mission, and will be taking part in a number of the scheduled higher education-related meetings. While the mission will include companies with an export interest in Vietnam, a complementary and overlapping education programme will involve representation from four universities, four FE colleges, Universities Wales, British Council, and HEFCW. The visit will take in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and the programme will cover visits to institutions, government departments, and funders, along with receptions and workshops.

Political update: 

  • Kirsty Williams appeared before the Children, Young People and Education Committee earlier this week for a scrutiny session of the Welsh Government’s draft budget, with her supporting paper available here. She also supplied further written evidence to the committee in connection with additional funding for universities and their views on the Welsh Baccalaureate
  • Written evidence from Universities Wales, along with other stakeholders, to the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee’s recently closed consultation into the resilience and preparedness of Welsh Government’s response to Brexit are available here.
  • The Welsh Government has published a review of disabled students’ allowances