Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 06 January 2017

British Council Wales, Wales Advisory Committee Member Vacancy

The Wales Advisory Committee advises the Country Director Wales and acts as an advocate for the British Council’s work in Wales. As a member of the Wales Advisory Committee, you will contribute to the development of the British Council’s strategic objectives and corporate priorities on behalf of Wales and reflect the needs of one or more of the British Council’s target communities in Wales. Committee members are appointed for a three year term, renewable for a further three years.
Pay band: Unremunerated but reasonable travel and expenses reimbursed
Closing date: 25 January 2017
If you are interested, you can find out more on the webpage.


New for 2017 – Political Update

• The Welsh Government has published a report summarising responses to last year’s consultation on the provision of financial support for students on courses of higher education with a foundation year. The full report can be viewed here.

• The Welsh Government have issued a legislative consent memorandum allowing the Higher Education and Research Bill 2016-17.

• Plaid’s Arfon MP, Hywel Williams, has called on the UK Government to honour the promise made by Brexiteers that the EU’s research funding streams will be replaced, and commit to ensure universities do not lose funding after Brexit.

• Meanwhile, the party’s South Wales East AM, Steffan Lewis, has warned that cutting the number of international students to meet immigration targets could be devastating for Welsh universities.

• The warnings come ahead of a Plaid Cymru debate in next Wednesday’s Plenary session, where the discussion is to be on higher education. Sponsored by Ynys Môn AM Rhun ap Iorweth, the motion reads:

1. Recognises the important contribution of the Welsh higher education sector in providing important opportunities to the people of Wales, and delivering significant economic benefits to communities across the nation.
2. Believes that a successful and vibrant higher education sector is essential for a prosperous Wales.
3. Believes that the Welsh Government should do all that is necessary to safeguard the future sustainability of the Welsh higher education sector.
4. Calls on the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government to:
a) protect or replace existing EU funding and programmes for research and higher education;
b) secure the continued participation of Welsh universities in the Erasmus Plus scheme of staff and student exchange, and to support further international collaborations and movement of students, researchers, and staff;
c) secure the visa and citizenship status of EU nationals working in Welsh universities;
d) enable Welsh universities to participate in a post-study work visa scheme; and
e) remove international students from UK net migration targets.

• The new fiscal framework for the Welsh Government has been agreed between the UK and Welsh governments. Following the announcement, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford described it as an agreement which “provides long-term, fair funding for Wales”.


New for 2017 – Unis Wales Update

This week we’ve been welcoming our new colleague Emma Raczka – International Policy Advisor. Emma is joining us from HEFCW for 2017 to cover Gwen’s maternity leave.

We have also been looking at the progress of the amendments to the HE Research Bill (HERB) and the Wales Bill and making arrangements to meet with the Vietnamese Ambassador who is coming to Cardiff next week.