HEW Weekly Wrap Up 24 January 2014

Welcome to HEW’s new look Weekly Wrap Up. This bulletin will be published every Friday on our website, and will contain sector news, events, publications, consultations and more.

1. News – UCAS 2013 End of Cycle statistics

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has published its detailed statistics for the end of the 2013 cycle on 23 January 2014.  Headline statistics  were previously released on 19 December 2013. Across the UK, students accepted to full time undergraduate courses were 6.6% up on the previous year, and the highest total ever recorded, with young people and the most disadvantaged more likely to enter higher education (HE) than ever before.

Acceptances at institutions in Wales increased to 25,500 (+1,400, +5.7%), which did not quite offset the decrease in the 2012 cycle, but returned to a level only bettered in two earlier cycles (2009 and 2011). Acceptances also increased in the other UK countries: Northern Ireland (+9.2%), England (+7.1%), and Scotland (+1.5%).

Acceptances from Wales were 19,700 in the 2013 cycle, an increase of 400 (+1.8%) and the second highest (to the 2009 cycle) level recorded.  The acceptance rate of 18 year olds from Wales was the highest in the UK. Wales was the region with the lowest proportion of its 18 year old population accepted into higher education through UCAS, however.

The more detailed statistics released in January, provide breakdowns at subject and institutional level.

2. Call for expressions of interest – Chile and Argentina delegation

The UK Higher Education International Unit (IU) is coordinating a HE delegation to Chile and Argentina, in collaboration with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The delegation aims to establish new partnerships, establish UK HE as a key partner for Chile as it enters a phase of major HE reform, identify potential for joint research and technology transfer, hold workshops and establish new exchange agreements between institutions. Expressions of interest must be submitted by 31 January 2014. For more information, visit the IU website.

3. Consultation – Proposed changes to the UK Performance Indicators

On 24 January 2014, HEW submitted a brief response to the UK Performance Indicators Steering Group consultation on the proposed changes to the UK Performance Indicators (as set out in HEFCW Circular W13-40HE) based on its previous submission to the Fundamental Review in June 2013. A copy is available on the HEW website.

4. Consultation – UK aid investment supporting HE in developing countries

The UK Department for International Development is working with the IU and a group of leading UK and international experts on HE to consider how UK aid investment can best support developing countries to build their HE capabilities. They are keen to understand the breadth and depth of UK HE institutions’ engagement in international development in order to better represent and support the sector. This could be a major growth area for Welsh universities, playing to our sector strengths, and so we encourage you to contribute to the consultation online by 14 February 2014.

Follow us on Twitter – @H_E_Wales