Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 18 May 2018

Universities Wales gives evidence at Economy Infrastructure and Skills Committee session on automationEIS committee

The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee of the National Assembly for Wales is embarking on a piece of work to explore the challenges and opportunities posed by automation. To do this they have invited a range of experts to inform a discussion looking at these issues, and what role the Welsh Government might play to ease the transition to new possibilities.
The committee invited Universities Wales to be part of a panel on Thursday 17 May looking at skills dimension. The discussion focused on the skills needed to meet the challenges of automation across the economy.

Universities Wales highlighted how: 

  1. Wales has a high proportion of jobs in the occupations deemed most at risk of automation. A number of recent high-profile reports have found that jobs held by graduates appear to be less at risk to automation. There is a central role for universities in providing higher level skills to help provide resilience to the Welsh economy and workforce in the coming decades.
  1. Research has an important role to play in ensuring Wales is well placed to benefit from the opportunities presented by automation. Universities are well-placed to help Wales make of the most of these opportunities through research, innovation and collaboration with industry.

We look forward to working further with the National Assembly for Wales and others to further explore the role of universities in meeting the challenges and realising the opportunities posed for the future of skills by automation

UKRI launches Strategic Prospectus

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has set out its plans to strengthen the UK’s world-leading knowledge economy and deliver impact across society.

The UKRI Strategic Prospectus, launched at an event on May 14 sets out its plans to create a research and innovation system that is fit for the future and equipped to tackle the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st Century.

The UK Government has put research and innovation at the heart of its modern Industrial Strategy, committed additional funding of £7bn by 2021/22 and set out an ambition to increase total R&D expenditure to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “Our Strategic Prospectus has been developed to ensure that everyone in society benefits from the knowledge, innovation, talent and ideas generated from our funding.

“UK Research and Innovation builds on the excellence of our individual councils. We will work collaboratively with researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop the most exciting ideas and innovative technologies and bring these to fruition. Delivering this success will take commitment, a collective effort and new, ambitious ways of working.”

Over the coming months, UKRI will be conducting research and consultation to further develop its approach to working with others and to answer a series of big questions. These include how to grow the economy across different regions of the UK whilst continuing to expand their existing world-leading excellence; how to reduce the gap in productivity and the best approaches to developing talent across the diverse population of the UK, providing the skills needs of the future.


Education wales

Education Wales podcast launched The Welsh Government have launched their own Education in

Wales Podcast, which we’ll be using to share information on education reform in Wales, with lively conversations on topics affecting education, educators and learners in Wales today.  You can listen via Apple or Android

Political Update 

  • The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford, was asked the following questions during Wednesday’s Plenary:

Julie Morgan (Cardiff North): What discussions has the Cabinet Secretary had with the UK Government regarding the shared prosperity fund? / Siân Gwenllian (Arfon): What discussions has the Cabinet Secretary had regarding the UK’s shared prosperity fund? (Question 1; 13:30)

  • During a debate on the Assembly’s Dignity and Respect Policy, Cardiff University’s online disclosure form was referenced a number of times as a positive development in the fight against harassment and abuse.
  • Speaking at the NHS research and development conference in Newport, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford stressed the importance of continued cooperation with the EU on research and development after Brexit.
  • Meanwhile, speaking at the latest in a series of events organised by Wales for Europe, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance outlined six priority Welsh interests at the forefront of a new relationship with the European Union. The Legislative Consent Motion for the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was passed during Tuesday’s Plenary session with cross party support, with the exception of Plaid Cymru.
  • A new body tasked with inspiring educational leaders of the future was launched earlier this week with the official unveiling of the board and chief executive of the National Academy for Educational Leadership. The Assembly’s research service has also published a briefing giving an overview of the new development.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Health has issued a written statement after an error was found in the Royal College of Physicians recruitment process for ST3 level (Speciality Trainees) higher medicine specialties.
  • Ahead of a debate on the issue during next Wednesday’s Plenary, the Welsh Government has issued its written response to the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee’s report on Wales’ future relationship with Europe. The Assembly’s research service has also published a briefing on the issue along with its latest Brexit update.
  • The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee has published a summary of the evidence it received as part of its report on UK governance post-Brexit.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education has agreed the decision making process and terms of reference for bids for the £30 million capital funding being made available to support growth in Welsh medium education. Meanwhile, Kirsty Williams has agreed the Welsh Language Investment Panel’s recommendation to deploy funding to the Pantycelin Hall of Residence (Neuadd Pantycelyn) at Aberystwyth University.