Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 29 Jan 2016

Wales Online marks ‘100 days to go’

With only 100 days to go until the National Assembly for Wales election, Wales Online has published a series of articles including the following links that may be of interest:


Launch – HEFCW’s Widening Access to Higher Education Evaluation Guidance

HEFCW will launch its guidance on widening access to Higher Education in the Council Chamber at Cardiff University on Thursday, 4 February 2016, at 3.30pm.

Huw Lewis AM, the Minister for Education and Skills will launch the WA Guidance; other presenters will include Professor Colin Riordan, Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University; Gareth Rees and Chris Taylor, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) and David Blaney, Chief Executive, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)

The Widening Access to Higher Education Evaluation guidance was developed by WISERD as part of research jointly funded by HEFCW and the ESRC.

The findings and recommendations of the report, Access to HE in Wales, will also be discussed at the launch, and is available on HEFCW’s website.

RSVP by Friday 29 January 2016 to or on 029 2068 2227.


College HE Admissions Community of Practice Event 

11am-4pm, Tuesday 15 March 2015
Birmingham Metropolitan College, Jennens Road, Birmingham B4 7PS

This free event for practitioners in colleges involved in HE admissions will focus on two themes specifically requested by the community of practice:

  • Part one: Addressing consumer protection within partnerships
  • Part two: Supporting disabled applicants

Each theme will involve practical presentations, followed by discussions in smaller groups to share good practice and develop action plans. Please see the agenda for further details.

Please complete the online booking form to request a place at this event. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Evidence base for ‘name-blind’ applications  

As the 5 February 2016 deadline for the UCAS evidence gathering survey regarding ‘name-blind’ applications approaches, we would like to remind colleagues that SPA has published a report on the existing evidence base and considerations for ‘name-blind’ applications to higher education. 

Institution staff may find it useful to read this report to inform your thinking as your institution prepares its response to the UCAS survey. We’d like to hear from you on any of the following (If you have any questions or comments, please do get in touch):

  • What measures does your institution have in place to tackle the risk of unconscious bias in admissions?
  • Has your institution, or another that you are aware of, piloted a ‘name-blind’ approach?
  • Are you aware of any additional research about ‘name-blind’ applications to higher education?
  • Have you used our report to inform your institution’s response to UCAS’ survey or the HE Green Paper?