HEW Weekly Wrap Up 2 May 2014

Consultation – BIS consultation on the science budget

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has opened a consultation to help identify priorities for long term science and research capital investment. The consultation Creating the future: a 2020 vision for science and research is open until 4 July 2014. The UK Government’s ambition is ‘to make the UK the best place in the world to do science and research’ and is increasing capital investment in real terms to £1.1billion in 2015 to 2016, growing in line with inflation each year to 2020 to 2021. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is encouraging the higher education sector to respond.

Publication – HEFCW Fee Plan Guidance

On 30 April 2014, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) published its detailed guidance (Circular W14/14HE) on fee plan arrangements for 2015/16. Further to the announcement of the main outcomes to the consultation on fee plan arrangements on 11 April 2014 (HEFCW Circular W14/13HE), HEFCW’s plans to extend the fee plan coverage to a wide range of corporate strategy targets and introduce major changes to arrangements have been postponed, as requested by HEW, and the inclusion of corporate targets has been limited to widening access and participation, retention and satisfaction (National Student Survey), Welsh Medium, employment and employability for 2015/6. Institutions are required to submit a fee plan by 6 June 2014 using the supplied template, and HEFCW will write to institutions to agree or reject the fee plan proposed by 31 July 2014.

Publication – NUSW – Pound In Your Pocket research

The National Union of Students Wales (NUSW) has published new research into student support. The NUSW President elect Beth Button said: “No longer can Wales afford to ignore the impact that the cost of living has on students’ ability to complete their studies. Student poverty is having huge effects on our nation. No student should have to choose between heating or eating. As the Welsh Government begins a review that looks at financial support available to students, we want this research to be the catalyst for changing the system to meet students’ needs”.

Event – LFHE Governor Development Programme: Shaping our future in Wales

The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) is running a free one day event on 15 May 2014 at the University of South Wales designed to address the emerging economic, social and political climate for higher education in Wales. Leading voices in governance and diverse perspectives in leadership will contribute to dialogue with new and continuing governors. Stewardship and sustainability will be explored alongside the new demands and opportunities associated with diversity and equality. The emerging strategic direction for the sector will be addressed by HEFCW and progress on key topics such as engagement with students and the emergence of online provision such as massive open online courses (MOOCs) will be reported.

Event – Partnership for Wales conference – speakers confirmed

Derfel Owen, Head of Academic Policy and Standards at Exeter University, will be one of the opening speakers at the Partnership for Wales conference, to be held on 2 June 2014 in Cardiff. As well as the opportunity to attend workshops delivered by representatives from across the UK, including sparqs, Wise Wales, NUS UK and Birmingham City University, attendees will also be privy to an exciting plenary by Lincoln University’s own Student Engagement Officer, Dan Derricott, discussing an institution-wide approach to student engagement and partnership. Registration will open formally on 12 May 2014 for university staff, students’ union staff and sabbatical officers, as well as students if they would like to attend. If you are keen to ensure you are catered for on the day, please contact Alex Butterworth ( as soon as possible.

Event – Future of degree classification and accreditation (Westminster Forum)

The Westminster Higher Education Forum is holding an event on 23 October 2014 in London on the future of degree classification and accreditation, focusing on the Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) and the Grade Point Average (GPA) pilot. The event is scheduled to follow the Higher Education Academy’s GPA work, and will disseminate the key outcomes and recommendations from the pilot. Delegates will also discuss the impact so far of the HEAR and the challenges on implementation, including improving employers’ understanding of the system and how universities can record and accredit extra-curricula activities.