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Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 18 November 2016

Delivering Diamond: The Future of Higher Education in Wales

Following the publication of the report of the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Support in Wales chaired by Professor Sir Ian Diamond, higher education in Wales looks set for significant change.

WonkHe and The Open University in Wales are collaborating on a joint event to explore what might happen next and hear perspectives on the future of higher education from across the post-compulsory education sector and beyond.

The keynote speech will be delivered by Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Welsh Government.  Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Rob Humphreys, Director, The Open University in Wales
  • Hywel Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation & Engagement, Cardiff University
  • Cerys Furlong, Director for Wales, Learning and Work Institute
  • Ioan Matthews, Director Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
  • Fflur Elin, President, NUS Wales
  • Margaret Phelan, UCU
  • Gareth Rees, WISERD, Cardiff University

The event starts at 9.00am and finishes at 2.00pm and is free for all delegates.

Visit the WonkHE website for further details and to book a place.

UCAS Chief Executive, Mary Curnock Cook, to stand down next year. 

Mary Curnock Cook has announced her decision to stand down as Chief Executive of UCAS at the end of April 2017 after leading the organisation for over seven years.

Commenting on her announcement Mary Curnock Cook said: “Our unique centralised service means that the UK has the fairest and most transparent HE admissions system in the world. It has been an immense privilege to have been able to build on the extraordinary vision of the vice-chancellors of the early 60s who saw the benefits of a single application process for students and universities.”

UCAS Chair, Professor Sir Steve Smith said: “We are genuinely very sorry that Mary has decided to leave UCAS, but we do understand her desire to move on to another challenge. She has been an exceptional chief executive, and it is going to be very difficult to replace her. She goes with our sincere best wishes and our profound thanks for all that she has done to enhance our outstanding admissions service for students and universities.”

UCAS will shortly commence the search for Mary’s successor.  You can see the full press release here.

Journalist from ‘The Hindu’ Visits Wales

Last week saw Soma Basu, Deputy Editor of India’s The Hindu newspaper, undertake a week-long visit to Wales. Ms. Basu attended the First Minister’s keynote speech, “Our Universities: Wales’ Bridge to the World” at Bangor University where she was able to interview the FM on Wales’ position on international students. She also visited seven of the Welsh universities, meeting Indian students and staff, and joined in with the Welsh Government’s Diwali celebrations. A series of articles about Wales as a welcoming study destination for Indian students is expected in December. Universities Wales wishes to thank Members and Global Wales partners for their cooperation on this visit.

Carwyn Jones and Soma Basu