Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 26 June 2015

News – Teacher Training Reforms

On 23 June 2015 the Welsh Government outlined its response to the outcomes of Furlong Review of Teacher Training, published in March.  An internal reference group would be set up to engage with the profession, create a vision for the future and build revised professional standards.   Professor Furlong has been asked to chair a task and finish group, including  ITET, Consortia and school representatives,  that will  review the course accreditation criteria.  (See here for more details).

 News – The Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015 (Consequential Provision) Order 2015

This order laid before Parliament on 9 June 2015 by the Secretary of State under s.150 of the Government of Wales Act, seeks to provide reciprocal regulatory arrangements the HE (Wales) Act 2015.   For purposes of the provisions relating to fee and access plans and quality of education (parts 2 & 3 of the Act), it provides that a course that is (wholly or principally) provided in England by a regulated institution is to be treated as being a course (wholly or principally) provided in Wales.  This means, for instance, that when HEFCW’s current quality assurance duty  is replaced by  the 2015 Act  this September,  HEFCW’s new duty will extend to courses provided by regulated institutions in England as well as Wales (but not elsewhere). A similar provision is made in relation to courses provided by English institutions in Wales.  See here for a copy of the order (2015 No.1353), and here for the first set of commencement orders relating to the HE (Wales) Act 2015. 

 Publication – Heading for the precipice: Can further and higher education funding policies be sustained?

A report by Professor Alison Wolf of King’s College London was published this week on the future of funding policies for Higher and Further Education. The report is part of a series of policy pamphlets published by the Policy Institute at King’s and can be found here.

 Publication – Universities set out case for investment pre-Budget

In the run-up to the emergency Budget on 8 July and the spending review in the autumn, Universities UK has called on government to invest in higher education and research. Setting out its case in a new document, Universities UK warns that the UK’s world-leading universities and internationally-renowned research will fall behind key competitors without sufficient and sustained investment.

The document highlights also how universities are delivering an impressive return on public investment, making a major contribution to the economy and boosting jobs, skills and productivity in all parts of the UK. But it argues that it will not be possible to sustain this positive trajectory in the long term, unless investment in higher education is maintained.

Event – Widening Participation in Student Mobility Programmes

On Wednesday 15 July 2015, the International Unit’s Go International programme is organising a workshop for HE practitioners on widening participation in student mobility programme. The proportion of the overall student population that goes overseas remains low, and the participation rate of certain student groups, such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds or disabled students, is even lower. This event aims to support the UK Strategy for Outward Mobility – to increase the proportion of UK domiciled students that access international experience as part of their higher education. You can find out more and register here.

Staff Update

Rachel Cable June 2015We’re very pleased to report that our Policy Advisor, Rachel Cable, is thoroughly enjoying being a new mum to baby Charlie.

Rachel and Charlie, along with the others from the Unis Wales office  will be out to support our office manager, Kate Owen, who is taking part in the Cardiff Triathlon this Sunday – Good Luck Kate!