Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up 14 July 2017

Statement on the Living Wage commitment

Chair of Universities Wales, Professor Colin Riordan said: “By the end of July 2017 all Welsh universities will have become signatories to the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice Ethical Employment in Supply Chains.

“Universities Wales members are committing to paying the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage to all directly employed HE staff by 2018/19 and to starting the process of implementing the living wage across their outsourced HE activity*, from 2018/19.”

*In the UK, as contracts arise for renewal and where it is not precluded by terms of grant or other funding/contracts

Students from Wales will receive the equivalent of the National Living Wage while they study, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has confirmed. The Cabinet Secretary made her statement: Summary of Results from the Consultation on Implementing the Welsh Government’s Response to the Diamond Report during Tuesday’s Plenary. The summary of responses to the consultation and the government’s official response is available here.

Is brand Wales making waves in markets across the world?

The National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee has launched its Selling Wales to the World inquiry with a call for people with an interest to share their views.

The inquiry will look at:

  • Welsh and UK Government support for exporters, and inward investment.
  • Whether international marketing by Welsh universities could also benefit Wales at the same time.
  • The success of Visit Wales’s international marketing activities.
  • What Brexit will mean for selling Wales abroad.

Responses are due with the Committee by 1 September.

Further information is available here:

HEFCW has advertised a vacancy for a council member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.  The closing date for applications is 4th August. Further details are available here.

Political Update

  •  The Skills and Science Minister has outlined Welsh Government’s plans for Employability in Wales, including establishing a new cross-Welsh Government Board to lead on the development of the Employability Delivery Plan and drawing up an External Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Plan. The Minister outlined her plans during Tuesday’s Plenary session.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language have agreed to award additional funding to Bridgend College to support revenue costs whilst transitioning to a different model of learning delivery.
  • A new network for excellence to improve how maths is taught in schools and improve standards has been officially launched.
  • A new academy to train the next generation of radiologists and imaging professionals is to be created in Wales, Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, announced earlier this week.
  • The 6 April 2018 has been announced as the principal appointed day for the implementation of the Wales Act 2017.
  • The Education Workforce Council has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017.
  • In the media, Universities Wales provided a statement for a Western Mail article on the latest UCAS figures; while Chair Colin Riordan has written on the Institute of Welsh Affairs’ blog about the Welsh Government’s Public Good and Prosperous Wales White Paper.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning have issued a written statement on new performance measures for post-16 learning.
  • Economy Secretary Ken Skates appeared before the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee as part of their inquiry into City Deals and the Regional Economies of Wales. His evidence paper is available here, while a host of stakeholders from mid Wales also appeared to outline their vision for a Mid Wales Growth Deal.
  • Creating thousands of good-quality jobs and helping people access skills training will be at the heart of a new plan to deliver economic change in the South Wales Valleys, the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language Alun Davies has announced. The Minister made a statement during Tuesday’s Plenary session.
  • The National Assembly for Wales Research Service has published the following briefing papers:

–   A step closer to student funding reform? How students will be supported from 2018/19

–   Reach for the stars: The Seren network and Welsh Oxbridge applications

–   An emerging educational priority – stretching Wales’ potential high achievers

–   The North Wales Economy: Thoughts from the Assembly Commission’s first Academic Fellowship