Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up 28 November 2014

News: ERDF funding approved

The Welsh Government has announced that the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding has been approved: £960m for West Wales and the Valleys, and £162m for East Wales, totalling £1.1bn (or £1.8bn with match funding). This includes:

  • £310m  for Research and Innovation (a claimed 45% increase);
  • £198m  to boost competitiveness, including through business finance;
  • £439m for Connectivity and Urban Development,
  • £154m for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The European Social Fund (ESF) for Wales, worth £804 million of EU funds investment, has apparently been ‘agreed in principle’, with formal approval from the Commission expected within the next few weeks.

Publications: HEFCW – Changes to support for English domiciled disabled students from 2015/16 and 2016/17

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) has published circular W14/43HE which provides information on the proposed changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) for English domiciled students recently announced, and some potential implications of these changes to Welsh HE providers. Please direct any queries to Jane Johns (

Publications: HEA toolkits for HE outreach and widening participation

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has published an update to its toolkits for HE outreach and widening participation. The updated versions have replaced the existing ones on the HEA website. The toolkits were first published two years ago, to support the effective strategy, management and delivery of outreach work to encourage progression to HE. They draw on existing outreach methods and resources, including those produced by the Aimhigher partnerships. The toolkits were commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Consultation: Diamond Review – Call for Evidence

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Vice Chancellor of Aberdeen University, is chairing a Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance Arrangements in Wales. The Review Panel has been tasked with producing a factual summary of evidence by Autumn 2015, and a final report by September 2016. The Panel has now issued its call for evidence, which will run until 27 February 2015. The questionnaire is available on the Welsh Government website. Please direct any queries to the Review Team at

Appointments: Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow elected President of Universities UK for 2015 – 2017

Universities UK (UUK) announced today that Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Kent, will be the next president of Universities UK. Professor Goodfellow was elected following a ballot of Universities UK members. She will succeed the current President, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, on 1 August 2015 and will hold the post for two years until July 2017.

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent since 2007. She is a board member of Universities UK, and was appointed to both the Science and Technology Facilities Council and Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology in 2011.