Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 3 March 2017


International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference

Inspiring excellence – transforming the student experience, Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. 6-8 June 2017

Although the origins of this is the work in Scotland, it is designed as a conference for a wide, international audience with themes that are of interest across the sector – using data to help enhance student learning, transitions into and through as well as out of HE, widening access, internationalisation.

The three-day programme offers lots of opportunity to exchange views and share experience around six interrelated tracks

Register here (early bird discount available until 6 March).


Learned Society Wales Vacancy

Fellowship and Engagement Officer

The Fellowship and Engagement Officer will provide a professional and friendly point of contact for fellowship and public enquiries and will be responsible for providing support to the Chief Executive and Secretariat of the LSW, and to its Officers and Fellows in respect of the wide range of functions carried out by the Society and the development and implementation of its administrative procedures and systems.

Salary: £25,298 – £29,301

35 hours per week, 2 year fixed term contract

Deadline: 12 pm 22 March 2017

For more information and to apply see the LSW website


Universities UK Workshop – How to achieve a university-wide response to incidents of sexual violence

Friday 24 March, 12.00-15.00

This workshop will explore how to ensure universities can deliver an effective strategic response to sexual violence (as described in chapter 5 of Changing the Culture) that embeds clear lines of accountability, appropriate governance structures, and understanding and ownership of risk across all relevant university functions.

Key themes at this workshop will include:

  • Challenges for universities around incidents of sexual violence
  • Overcoming barriers:  embedding a governance and accountability process
  • Managing risk
  • Responding to disclosure –  creating specialism (The Sexual Violence Liaison Model)
  • Implementing or sexual misconduct (managing cases and safe investigation)

Why are we talking about a university-wide response now?

The challenges for universities in responding to sexual violence are multiple.  However, each university has a responsibility to their staff and their students to respond appropriately to any disclosure of sexual violence. Over and above supporting a victim in relation to their educational needs, a university will also need to consider the wider support needs of a victim/survivor following a sexual assault. This might include access to a forensic medical examination, psychological therapies and mental health support or, indeed, sexual health services. It could also include a police investigation and potentially a court case as well as internal disciplinary proceedings.

This workshop is delivered in partnership with LimeCulture Community Interest Company – the UK’s leading sexual violence training and development organisation. Building on their experience of work they have undertaken with the University of Greenwich and Keele University, they will explore how to achieve a university-wide response to incidents of sexual violence.

In order to enable as many universities as possible to attend we propose that one person from an institution attends, however, if we have availability nearer the time, further places will be made available.

Lunch will be provided, registration is available here.


New Report – Connected universities, connected cities by KPMG

The latest report from KPMG explores how cities and universities can work together to help introduce a new era of partnerships.

Universities have always been major players in their local areas. However, historically, they have primarily been focused on their core activities of teaching and research. Whilst many have made moves to make the most of their role as Anchor Institutions, for some the city in which they were located was seen as a mere accident of geography or history rather than what defined them.

But universities can do much, much more. In fact, we think they can play a huge role – working in tandem with their cities and regions to strengthen their local economies and drive growth.

In the past enterprise and civic engagement were reasonably low on universities’ agenda. Recent events have changed that. The national Industrial Strategy with £2 billion funding announced in late 2016, the localism agenda and devolution are all causing a re-assessment of those strategies, as universities start to realise just how they can influence what happens locally.

This report includes examples of where universities have stepped into a key role in their place; leveraged their own strengths and that of the regions. By deliberately stepping into a leadership role with their cities; backing it up with specialist funding and working with civic leaders to attract investment they have created a step change in the local economy as a result. This virtuous circle in turn feeds into the research funding and attracts more leading academics and ideas to generate new and exciting opportunities.

KPMG are working on the follow-up piece to Connected universities, connected cities, this will comprise of case studies and examine how cities and universities can connect to help empower change and drive prosperity. They are keen to hear your thoughts and learn about your experiences. Get in touch.


Political Update

  • During Tuesday’s Plenary session Adam Price (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) questioned the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure about the Welsh Government’s economic strategy and urged to study a research project conducted by Cardiff Metropolitan University and called for sustained investment in education as the foundation of future economic success. (Questions without notic; 14:15)
  • The Plaid Cymru debate during Wednesday’s Plenary was held on Economic Prosperity, the National Health Service and Education, with the passed motion including the recognition of the “essential role of education and skills as an important driver to improve Wales’s economic productivity levels”.
  • During questioning of the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being, UKIP’s Caroline Jones (15:03) championed the introduction of new mental health courses at Glyndŵr University
  • During the 90-second statements, Sian Gwenllian (Arfon) spoke about Shiromini Satkunarajah’s successful fight to finish her degree at Bangor University, saying that “her battle to remain in Wales is not over, but at least we succeeded with this first step. She has asked me to send a message. She is very eager to thank everyone who has supported her.”
  • Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, has welcomed the latest tranche of international Sêr Cymru scientists to Wales.
  • Plans for a Creative Industries Hub at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David will be supported by £3m of Welsh Government funding, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has announced. The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure also issued a written statement following the announcement.
  • The Welsh Government has published HESA’s annual report on students in higher education institutions.