Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 30 October 2015

Blog – Professor Colin Riordan on Powering the Welsh Economy            

Our Chair and Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University, Professor Colin Riordan presents the findings of our new reportThe Economic Impact of Welsh Universities, and discusses the future of higher education in Wales in a new blog for Universities UK.

Consumer Protection and the Applicant Experience

SPA is running a free event on Consumer Protection and the Applicant Experience on Wednesday 2nd December at Cardiff University.

The event is for senior staff and colleagues in admissions, planning, marketing, student recruitment and widening access, and will cover approaches to consumer protection and the applicant experience from pre-application, to transition into the student experience.

There will be an outline of the main areas identified in the CMA’s advice to HE on consumer protection and Cardiff University will provide a case study on how senior staff, working with colleagues, addressed the issue of consumer protection compliance within the institution. There will be input from Eversheds law firm and the opportunity to ask questions and work in small groups to share issues and good practice.

To register please visit the events page on the SPA website.

Political Affairs in Higher Education Forum

UUK has joined forces with CASE Europe to hold the Political Affairs in Higher Education Forum on Thursday 19 November 2015. The event will bring together senior leaders of policy, strategy, public relations, communications and political affairs from across the higher education sector under the theme “Political affairs for the new Parliament – maximising your university’s influence”.

This national one-day conference will examine the new political landscape and what this means for the higher education sector and provide plenty of opportunity for members of the Political Affairs Network to exchange intelligence, talk tactics and share best practice.

Through a mixture of plenary sessions, workshops and panel discussions, delegates will take away insight about how universities and academics can play a meaningful role in shaping policy and influencing legislation.

Confirmed speakers

  • Katie Razzall, Special Correspondent, BBC Newsnight
  • Lord Willetts, former Minister for Universities and Science (2010-14) and Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation
  • Iain Wright MP, Chair of the BIS Select Committee and MP for Hartlepool
  • Katharine Peacock, Managing Director, ComRes
  • Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK
  • Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor, University of Bedfordshire and former Labour MP (1997 -2010) and Minister (2002 – 2010)

Workshops on subjects including

  • Successful influencing at local, national and global level
  • How to understand – and influence – legislation
  • Getting your university research to influence policy
  • Using digital channels for political engagement

Please do share this email with others in your institution working in communications, policy and strategy who may be interested in attending.

To confirm your place visit the UUK website

Invitation to join SPA’s National Expert Think Tank on fair admissions in a competitive environment 

SPA’s National Expert Think Tanks (NETTs) are expert groups of HE practitioners and other key stakeholders, convened by SPA to inform and influence topical national issues affecting HE admissions.

SPA will convene a new NETT to initiate debate on fair admissions and address how to maintain fair admissions in the competitive HE landscape, how fair admissions is understood across the sector in the UK, and what it means to individual HE providers. It will consider:

•           How HE providers can deliver fair admissions and good practice
•           What self-evaluation tools HE providers can use to demonstrate fair admissions in their own admissions policies
and procedures
•         Case studies that show how fair admissions, good practice and professionalism have developed over time

HE admissions is increasingly under scrutiny by the government, HE funders, prospective students and their advisors, competition and consumer protection regulation, the media and others. The NETT’s aim is to support HE providers in addressing fair admissions in the changing and resource stretched HE landscape. The NETT outcomes are likely to be helpful in supporting providers in meeting QAA Expectations and considering compliance issues.

The NETT outcomes and SPA’s associated work will be discussed at SPA’s major national conference on 14 June 2016 in London on professionalism and fair admissions.

For further information about the NETT and how to apply for membership see here.

SPA – Resources on Unconscious Bias

SPA has created some resources on unconscious and implicit bias in admissions, to supplement the materials developed by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU). The resources aim to help HE providers add the specific context of student recruitment and admission when considering the ECU materials within their own institution.

Raising staff awareness of the implications of unconscious bias will help assure fairness in admissions where personal details, such as an applicant’s name, are provided.

GREAT UK Challenge Fund

Work on GREAT Campaign funded activity continues with Study in Wales present at the California Out of State College Fairs last week.  The fairs provide information on out-of-state and international study options for around two thousand prospective students in Southern California. Study in Wales was joined for this activity by Bangor and Cardiff Universities; both attend the fairs annually. This comes as the Global Wales partnership agreed the US as a priority market for collective activity over the next 3 years. A Study in Wales film targeted at the US and also sponsored by GREAT will be completed within the next few weeks and will be available to all institutions by the end of November.