Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 13 April 2018

Wales’ future relationship with Europe Report launched. WWU image 1

National Assembly for Wales External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee published the first part of its report on Wales’ future relationship with Europe on 27 March 2018.

The report’s 18 recommendations include:

  • Recommendation 10. If no agreement on Horizon 2020 and any successor programmes is reached between the UK Government and the EU, we recommend that the Welsh Government explores ways in which it could provide continued support for Welsh institutions to collaborate with European counterparts after Brexit
  • Recommendation 11. We recommend that the Welsh Government explores the potential for a new international student mobility programme after Brexit, and reports back to the Committee within six months.

The Report calls on the UK Government to ensure that the UK continues to participate in Horizon 2020 and any successor programmes after Brexit (p47-48). and to ensure continued participation in Erasmus+ and other educational mobility and student cooperation schemes (such as Cedefop and the Marie Slodowska-Curie Actions) after Brexit (p.52). The Report also comments that Wales’ ambitions for international cooperation and student mobility could extend further. As such, the creation of a new, Welsh, outward student mobility programme merits further exploration. (p.52).

Frequent reference is made to Universities Wales’s oral and written evidence relating e.g. to EU staff and student mobility (paras 48,50, 51), access to research and development funding (paras 71, 74, 76), and current EU schemes including Erasmus+ (para 82)) and  Marie Slodowska-Curie Actions (para 85).

Classification review of universities in the UK paused.

WWU image 2The classification review of universities in the UK , initially announced on 31 January 2017, has been paused as a result of the announcement of the of post-18 education and funding.

The reason for this is that the funding review raises the possibility that the cap for tuition fees may be altered, which may affect the classification of individual universities. Further information can be found in this announcement.


The Bevan Foundation is looking for new Trustees

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This is an exciting opportunity to play an active part in the governance of a small charity. You’ll help to set the strategic direction and play an active role as an ambassador, as well as making sure they comply with all their legal obligations.

Like all trustee roles it is unpaid but they’ll pay reasonable expenses and you’ll have the satisfaction of making a real difference and getting involved in some truly ground-breaking work.

About you

Trustees are responsible for all aspects of the Bevan Foundation’s work, but they are particularly keen to hear from you if you have skills or experience in:

  • Higher education: can you strengthen our links with Wales’ universities?
  • Business: can you enhance our relationships with Wales’ responsible business community?
  • Funding: can you help to put our finances on a sustainable footing?

Interested?  To find out more please read the information pack

Please note that CVs should be sent by 5pm on 23rd April 2018. 


RSE Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellowship Programme is open for applications!

WWU image 4The Royal Society of Edinburgh is inviting entrepreneurs, academics and researchers from Scotland, the UK and from further afield to submit ideas which have the potential to be transformative in this new innovative programme. You don’t have to be in Scotland or be Scottish – you can be anywhere in the world to apply. The only condition is that you agree to relocate or establish your business in Scotland.

The RSE will invest in 20 early-stage high-potential entrepreneurs. Benefits include per Fellow – £25,000-£50,000 maintenance grant and up to £20,000 business development fund; a cutting-edge business startup programme; a business mentor and access to international networks. Apply by May 2, 2018 (5pm) at


Vietnam: Enhancing Teacher Education Program (ETEP)

Call for Expressions of Interest from International Consultants

The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has received financing from the World Bank (WB) towards the cost of Enhancing Teacher Education Program (ETEP) and it intends to apply part of the proceeds of this grant to payments of the contract reference No. 47/ETEP/TVCNQT/BD: selection of International consultants for continuous professional development for school teachers, principals, and lecturers at teacher education universities and lecturers at education management institutes (1 consultant x 12 person-months within 4 years). The bidding is open to all eligible consultants who are interested in this procurement package.

Political update

  • Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has welcomed €4.3m of EU funding for 10 new projects, with “Welsh universities leading the way on collaborative projects with EU partners”.
  • The Welsh Government has issued its response to recommendations contained in the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee’s report: ‘How is the Welsh Government preparing for Brexit?’. The report will be debated during Wednesday’s Plenary and the response included acceptance of the following recommendation: We recommend that the Welsh Government – in conjunction with the Higher Education Working Group – publish any work that it has conducted to date in reviewing its strategy in relation to research and innovation in the higher education sector to take account of the implications of Brexit in this area.
  • Speaking at the Valero Pembroke Refinery, Skills Minister Eluned Morgan outlined how Wales “could lead the way in attracting women into industry
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language have agreed a pilot proposal that alters the way Further Education Institutions and Local Authorities will be monitored on the delivery of Full Time Vocational Programmes in response to Regional Skills Partnerships Recommendations 2018/19.
  • The National Assembly’s research service has published a briefing paper looking at the potential impact of Brexit on the Welsh economy.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education was asked the following written question:

Mark Reckless (South Wales East): Has the Welsh Government held any discussions regarding the continuation of the Erasmus programme with the Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University?

Kirsty Williams: The Welsh Government’s position is clear that we would wish to retain access to Erasmus+ as set out in our White Paper “Securing Wales’ Future”. The future of access to this and other EU programmes is subject to the negotiations with the European Union being led by the UK Government. I have had a number of discussions about the potential impact of Brexit (and this has included Erasmus) on institutions and students with all Vice Chancellors in Wales. In addition Professor Riordan is a member of the Higher Education Brexit Working Group I established in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union. The Working Group has considered the impact of Brexit in the round on Welsh higher education, including the Erasmus programme.


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

Supercontinent formation may be linked to a cycle of supertides (Bangor)

New styles of strikes and protest are emerging in the UK(Bangor/Manchester)

Charities are playing a growing role in schools – but is that a good thing?(WISERD/Cardiff – new research)

Male voice choirs are (from) the pits – here’s why they should welcome women (Cardiff Met)

Categorising child abusers as online or offline doesn’t help protect victims (Swansea  – new research)

How ancient poetry could help Wales understand its modern cultural identity (Swansea)

AI like HAL 9000 can never exist because real emotions aren’t programmable (Bangor)