Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 7 August 2015

Public Health Wales MenACWY Vaccination Campaign

Unis Wales are supporting a Public Health Wales campaign concerning the MenACWY vaccination programme.  The campaign is aiming to highlight the urgent need for those first year students under the age of 25 to get vaccinated against this particularly aggressive form of meningococcal group W (MenW) disease, which causes meningitis and septicaemia.

In conjunction with Public Health Wales, we have written to Learning and Teaching PVCs with all the information institutions need to help raise awareness amongst their teams and prospective students.

Higher Education Academy (HEA) consultation – A professional membership body representing teaching in HE

The HEA has initiated a consultation programme to gather opinions on the value of learning and teaching enhancement to UK higher education. As a part of this exercise they are seeking to consult with all of their key stakeholders, and in particular those academics and learning support colleagues who deliver learning and teaching in their institutions.

Institutions are invited to participate online in “The HEA Consultation on the desirability for the creation of a professional membership body for teaching in HE”. The online survey is here and the information collected will be critical to the shaping of the HEA’s plans for supporting the sector in the future.

Supporting Professionalism in Admissions – Good Practice considerations in admissions for refugees and asylum seekers

Refugees and asylum seekers considering higher education may have complex needs and require considered support from recruitment and admissions staff. SPA has further developed its good practice considerations in admissions for refugees and asylum seekers to assist UK HE providers enhance policies, procedures and practice across all stages of the applicant experience.

SPA is keen to hear of any examples of good practice, particularly any concerning joined-up approaches to supporting refugees and asylum seekers consider, apply to, enter and succeed in HE. If you have any information to share, please contact Dan Shaffer (

Please note that BIS is currently reviewing the student loans eligibility criteria for students with discretionary leave to remain, following a ruling by the Supreme Court on 29 July.

Supporting Professionalism in Admissions – National Expert Think Tank on curriculum and qualification reforms

In 2014/15 SPA convened a National Expert Think Tank (NETT), consisting of practitioners from ten HE providers plus a UCAS representative, to consider the challenges that curriculum and qualification reforms present to HE providers and to fair admissions in particular.

Members of the NETT group conducted research in preparation for a two-day residential during which they identified and developed a number of key resources to support HE providers in engaging with qualification reforms, including:

  • Key considerations for qualification reforms and HE admissions
  • Operational timeline for HEP engagement with qualification reforms
  • Template staff survey for HEPs to investigate the level of understanding of and engagement with qualification and curriculum reform
  • Guidance for HEPs on publishing qualification reform statements

These and other NETT resources will be published on the SPA website in September. If you would like to view the final resources in the meantime, or if you have any queries relating to the NETT project or resources, please contact Jeni Clack at SPA (

SPA is indebted to the members of the NETT for their time, effort and contributions, and to their institutions for supporting their work in this collaborative project.