HEW Weekly Wrap Up 7 February 2014

News – International Comparative Performance of the Welsh Research Base publication launch

The publication, ‘International Comparative Performance of the Welsh Research Base 2013’ was launched at the Senedd on Thursday 6 February 2014. The report shows that Wales punches above its weight in terms of research outputs, efficiency and impact. The report was warmly welcomed by the speakers: Higher Education Wales Chair Professor Colin Riordan, the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates AM, Senior Account Manager for Elsevier Jason Roof, the Chief Executive Officer of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales Dr David Blaney, and the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales Professor Julie Williams. Find out more here.

Consultation – National Assembly for Wales European funding inquiry

Welsh Higher Education Brussels and HEW have submitted a joint response to the Enterprise and Business Committee’s Inquiry into European funding opportunities 2014-2020. The response (available here) highlighted three key messages:

  • Of the programmes within scope, Erasmus+ and INTERREG are strategically very important for Welsh universities’ international mobility / funding strategies. Both will be key priorities for the majority of Welsh universities from 2014-2020.
  • There has been some engagement within the sector with the predecessor programmes to Creative Europe and COSME. Both will become increasingly relevant as universities look for new and alternative funding streams in the future.
  • EU funding for Research and Innovation (Horizon2020, formerly FP7) and the domestically managed EU Structural Funds – both out of the scope of this inquiry – continue to provide the largest source of EU investment to Welsh universities. That said, universities will be keen to combine alternative EU funding opportunities to leverage more research and innovation funding going forward.

Event – Contribution of UK universities to economic growth

Universities UK (UUK) is running an event on 3 April 2014 in London focusing on the contribution of UK universities to national and local economic growth. The conference will: examine ways in which universities contribute to national and local economic growth – with perspectives from business, government and universities; cover topical issues across different aspects of the impact of universities – social, research, innovation and higher level skills; share case studies and best practice; and reflect on what further challenges should be overcome. Speakers include: the Minister of State for Universities and Science Rt Hon David Willets MP, Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Universities and Business Dr David Docherty and others. Details are on the UUK website.

Publication – Social media for student engagement

The Jisc Regional Support Centre Wales has produced a social media guide for student engagement. The guide was produced in association with Wise Wales, and has been written for Welsh higher education, though might be useful in other contexts.