Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 27 March 2015

News – Changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance policy

The Welsh Government has published an information note outlining the proposed changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) policy in Wales for 2016/17. Following the announcement of changes to support arrangements in England, the Welsh Government is reviewing DSA policy in Wales to ensure that funding is targeted effectively. The Welsh Government is inviting comments on the proposed changes as detailed in SFWIN 01/2015 by 30 June 2015. The documents are available on the Student Finance Wales website.

Scottish Government calls for reintroduction of Post-Study Work visa

The Scottish Government’s Post-Study Work Group published a report this week calling for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa in Scotland. The group, which was put together by the Scottish government last summer, consists of a broad coalition of business, education and student representatives. The report states that there is a clear indication that business and education in Scotland are equally keen to see the reintroduction of post-study work route, which was closed by the UK government in 2012.

Gone International – mobile students and their outcomes

A report by the UK Higher Education International Unit found that undergraduate students who are globally mobile have a lower unemployment and also earn more over the long term than their less-mobile peers. The study compared the outcomes of mobile students from the 2012-2013 graduating class against those who did not travel out of the UK as undergraduates. The findings included positive results for mobile STEM students who have historically been underrepresented in study abroad. However, the report also found that Wales has the lowest participation rate for outward mobility programmes at 3.4% compared to 6.2% in Scotland, 5.4% in Northern Ireland and 4.4% in England.

Publication – HEFCW circular – Widening access: conference outcomes, consultation and information request on partnerships with schools and colleges

On 18 March 2015, HEFCW published circular W15/04HE which provides the outcomes of the HEFCW national widening access conference in December 2014. Following the Widening Access conference the Welsh Government has asked HEFCW to prepare and submit a Widening Access Programme of Action. The Programme of Action includes an audit of universities’ relationships with schools and colleges, as requested. The circular invites consultation responses on the draft widening access programme of action and requests information on universities’ partnership working with schools and colleges in Wales.The circular is available on HEFCW’s website. Please direct any queries to Rachel O’Gorman (

General Election 2015

On 26 March 2015, Parliament was prorogued, marking the formal end of the parliamentary session in advance of the General Election 2015. On 30 March 2015, the dissolution of Parliament will take place, and writs will be issued for elections in the UK’s 650 constituencies. The General Election takes place on 7 May 2015.


Unis Wales staffing – Rachel Cable and Olivia Jones

Rachel Cable, Universities Wales Policy Adviser, leaves us to begin her maternity leave today, Friday 27 March.  We are sure you will join us in wishing Rachel all the best for the arrival of her baby.

Olivia Jones is our new Policy Adviser, covering Rachel’s maternity leave – you can contact her at