Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 3 November 2017

Welsh Government Cabinet reshuffle

First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced a reshuffle of his cabinet team. Relevant developments in connection with higher education include:

  • Kirsty Williams remains in her post as Cabinet Secretary for Education
  • Julie James has been appointed Leader of the House and Chief Whip (with her previous portfolio of Deputy Minister for Skills and Science abolished)
  • Eluned Morgan is named Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, and will have skills in her remit
  • Ken Skates remains as Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure.

A full breakdown of ministerial appointments can be found here 

Welsh universities celebrated at annual Insider Business ‘Education and Business partnership awards.’ 

Cardiff University and Glyndŵr University were among the top winners at last night’s Education and business partnership awards. The annual event, which celebrates the collaborative work between companies, universities and colleges across Wales, recognised the pioneering work of universities in driving economic growth and innovation. Glyndŵr University picked up the award for best new product, and the research and innovation award; recognising the role of collaborative working between the institution and industry in furthering ground breaking telescope technology.  Cardiff Met were recognised for their role in driving investment and economic growth through their business partnership, and University of South Wales won the people development award for their partnership with GOS Tool & Engineering Services and its work developing apprenticeship opportunities.
Cardiff University were awarded the new process award, for their partnership with the Chief Fire Officers’ Association and London Fire Brigade which led to new innovative technology being developed to improve services and save lives. Also from Cardiff, academic Peter Smowton won the individual impact award for his research and work with other universities and businesses, and for running a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with industry leader IQE. Cardiff went on to win University of the year, with judges praising their work developing the new innovation campus for industry partnerships. During their acceptance, the university recognised the importance of their innovation not only for furthering research and development, but for being rooted in their civic mission, and making a difference to the community as well as the campus. Coleg y Cymoedd were the winners of the College of the year award, which recognised their work driving growth and business engagement.

Universities Wales were the headline sponsor for the awards, and we thank our guests who joined us on our table for the evening, and extend our congratulations to all the winners. 


 Universities UK International launches Go International: Stand Out​,a three year campaign to increase the number of UK students spending time abroad as part of their studies. 

The three-year campaign aims to increase the number of UK-domiciled undergraduate students who study, work or volunteer overseas for two or more weeks during their studies. Currently, just 6.6% of UK students complete placements abroad, despite strong evidence that mobility can increase students’ academic achievements and job prospects. For more information see our campaign report here.

Kirsty Williams, AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Welsh Government endorses the campaign saying:
“Wales benefits hugely from international links, at the student, university and national levels. We are committed to working with our universities and businesses to support students, from all backgrounds, to gain international experience as part of their studies. Quite simply, the experience of travelling and studying abroad broadens minds and improve students’ life chances.”

Join British Council Wales and Ecorys at the Senedd on 13 November for a celebration of Erasmus+

The Erasmus+ UK National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK, is organising an event in conjunction with British Council Wales, to celebrate 30 years of the Erasmus+ programme in Wales.

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme that has given over nine million people, 600,000 of them from the UK, the chance to study, work, train and volunteer abroad.

As part of International Education Week, this event on 13 November 2017 at the Senedd – National Assembly for Wales will showcase the impact the Erasmus+ programme has had on the youth, education and training landscape in Wales.

Sponsored by Alun Davies AM Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language.

Please register for the FREE event by 8 November 2017 to join us to hear stories from people across Wales about their international experience through Erasmus+

Study UK Alumni Awards

Applications for the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Awards have now closed, with 1,700 outstanding alumni stories received from 125 countries. We are pleased to report that this includes applications from almost 100 alumni who studied with Welsh universities. Finalists for national level awards will be announced in December 2017 (except for China – October 2017), and the winners will be announced at an event in each country between December 2017 and February 2018.

Recruitment: Senior Researcher post HE/FE/Skills
The National Assembly Research Service is recruiting a Senior Research Officer with responsibility for Higher Education, Further Education and Skills. Further details can be found on our website here. Closing date 13 November 10.00am.
Unis Wales responds to the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee consultation on the implications for Wales of Britain exiting the European Union. 
You can read our full consultation response here

Political update: 

  • The First Minister has appointed a new ministerial team
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education has agreed the all Wales allocation of Initial Teacher Education intake numbers for currently accredited Initial Teacher Education providers for courses commencing academic year 2018/19.
  • The Welsh Government has released evaluation reports of the Sêr Cymru II and the Academic Expertise for Business programmes.
  • Writing on the Institute of Welsh Affairs blog, Dafydd Trystan and Hugh Jones provide an analysis of new data that paints a detailed picture linking university courses to median graduate salaries.