Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 12 January 2018

Hefin David AM elected new chair of the Cross Party Group on universities.


Assembly Member for Caerphilly, Hefin has a personal and professional background in higher education. Having studied for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate qualifications at Cardiff University and the University of Wales, Newport, Hefin was also a senior lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan university. With a research focus on small business employment and growth, this has continued during his time as an Assembly Member, where he’s also interested in employability and access to further and higher education for those with additional needs.

We thank Huw Irranca-Davies for all his work and dedication to the CPG as previous chair, and look forward to working with Hefin and the CPG to continue addressing the pressing issues affecting the university sector in Wales.

The next meeting of the CPG will be on 1st Feb, on “The role of universities in growing the Welsh economy.”
Hearing from the author of a new report into the economic impact of universities in Wales, we will be examining the impact of universities on the Welsh economy, how this impact is distributed across Wales, and the ways in which Welsh universities support jobs creation and generate economic activity.
All Assembly Members are invited to join us.

New report demonstrates the value of international students to Wales. 


A new study conducted by London Economics for the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) found that international students studying at Welsh universities generate over £900m for the economy, and boost export earnings through increased tourism.
The report also gives a breakdown of distributed impact across Wales, demonstrating that all parts of Wales benefit from international students studying in Welsh higher education.



Welsh academics recognised in New Year Honors


Congratulations to Professor Karen Holford, deputy Vice Chancellor at Cardiff University, who received a CBE for services to engineering and for the advancement of women in science and engineering.

Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor Hilary Lappin-Scott1

Congratulations also to Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University, who has been awarded an OBE for services to Microbiology and the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering.



janet-beer-small  Professor Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, has also been awarded a Damehood for services  to equality and diversity and higher education in the New Year Honours 2018- Congratulations!



Welsh Government launches £50m fund to help Wales prepare for Brexit

The EU Transition Fund – supported by an initial £50m – will be developed in partnership with Welsh businesses, public services and other key organisations, to provide tailored support as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

First Minister Carwyn Jones says “Brexit poses different challenges and opportunities for each and every aspect of Welsh life – from our local businesses and major employers, to our farmers, hospitals and universities.The EU Transition Fund will help meet the challenges that lie ahead. Developed in partnership with our businesses and public services, it will provide targeted and innovative support, which will help them survive and, indeed, thrive outside the EU.

In addition, the EU Transition Fund will be designed to help employers retain and continue to attract EU nationals, who make a crucial contribution to Wales. The fund will underline Wales’ welcome to people from other countries who have made Wales their home.

Universities Wales has, through consultations and engagement with Welsh Government, highlighted the need for reassurance for universities and the risks of financial uncertainty associated with Brexit, and so we welcome this announcement



hefcw_logoHEFCW annual Public Meeting for 2017-18

All are invited to join HEFCW on Thursday, 25 January 2018 at Bangor University from 12:30 – 13:30 (tea and coffee from 12:00).
This will be a chance to discuss recent developments in higher education, and will include a Q&A session with our Chair and Chief Executive.
Please register your attendance by emailing or phoning 029 2085 9665, noting any specific requirements.

Cledwyn Room 3, Main Arts Building (51),
Bangor University



wwuUnis Wales supports Llamau Youth Homeless Helpline Appeal

This year, instead of sending Christmas cards, we donated to two important Welsh charities- Llamau and Welsh Women’s aid. Llamau have been fundraising for their youth homeless helpline appeal, and we are proud to support their efforts. Through the appeal they have raised almost £16’000, which is enough to run the helpline for 97 days, and provide the much needed support for young people facing homelessness in Wales. You can still support their appeal by visiting their website.



The conversation showcase:
Articles published by academics at Welsh universities this week

What supplements do scientists use, and why? (Bangor contributing)

You are more likely to deny the truth in your second language (Bangor)

Is fishing with electricity less destructive than digging up the seabed with beam trawlers? (Bangor)

2018 must be the year that we reimagine judicial diversity (Bangor)

Virgin boycott and the Daily Mail’s strange notion of press freedom (Cardiff)

Sugar: six easy ways to encourage children to eat less (Swansea)



Political update:

  • The UK higher education sector has new ministerial representation following Monday’s Westminster Government cabinet reshuffle.
    Education Secretary Justine Greening resigned from the government and was replaced by Damian Hinds, while Sam Gyimah has taken over as universities minister from Jo Johnson. Gyimah, who joins the joint DfE/BEIS position following a post at the Ministry of Justice, was congratulated on his appointment by UUK President Professor Dame Janet Beer, who also used the opportunity to outline the priority areas for the new minister.
  • Kirsty Williams has announced the Welsh Government is advertising for members and a chair of the National Academy for Educational Leadership
  • A debate was held during Tuesday’s Plenary on the ‘Our Valleys, Our Future: Delivery Plan’. The Welsh Government accepted an amendment in the motion noting that “true engagement with the ‘Be The Spark’ movement, to create more profitable home-grown businesses that generate wealth and prosperity for the whole of Wales, will require Welsh Government collaboration with a culture that links innovation and entrepreneurship together.” Meanwhile, during the debate Hefin David (Caerphilly) called on universities to fully engage with the plan