Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 7th April

The Reid Review

The Reid Review of government funded research and innovation in Wales began its work on Wednesday 5th April when Professor Reid met for the first time with his panel of advisors. The highly-respected Professor Graeme Reid from University College London has been asked by the Welsh Government to lead the review that will look at the strengths, gaps and future potential to sustain and grow strong research and innovation activity in Wales.

The review will:

  • Look to identify patterns and themes in the development of business and public services in Wales which draw on research and innovation strengths in Wales and further afield and will report back next winter
  • Collate the results of recent analyses of research and innovation activity in Wales.
  • Consider how firms, public services and research groups in universities connect locally and globally to support the needs of Welsh communities, business and the economy. It will also consider how the connections and interactions between these groups can be improved to enable Wales to become a more entrepreneurial state.

Professor Reid said:

“Thriving research and innovation are key to the future economy and society of Wales.

“Brexit, the Industrial Strategy and UK legislation on Higher Education & Research will bring significant changes to the environment for government-funded research and innovation in Wales.  This review will explore how the Government, universities and business in Wales can influence and respond to these changes, both creating opportunities and mitigating threats. 

“The review will aim to report early in 2018, before UKRI is created formally and while Brexit negotiations are still underway.”

Vacancy for a Welsh representative on UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee

 The UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee (UKHEAC) is seeking a Welsh representative to provide advice at senior strategic level on developing healthcare education and research.

The UKHEAC advises the four UK HE funding bodies on healthcare training and research, and is seeking a member with a background preferably in an area such as medicine, an allied health profession, or a local health board. It plans to appoint a new member in time for the next meeting on 9 June in Cardiff (9.30-13.00, with dinner the night before).

The deadline for applications is 21 April 2017.


Future Leaders Connect

 The British Council has a new opportunity called Future Leaders Connect, which will give two young people (18-35) the chance to join an international group of peers who are interested in policy development. The group will be given nine days of policy and communications training and the chance to meet MPs and other influencers, as well as taking part in a conference in Westminster.

The British Council is looking for young people with big ideas for policy in Wales and is keen to encourage people from the university sector to take part.

Shortlisted candidates from Wales will present their policy ideas to a panel of experts at the Senedd on 15 June. Two winners of this heat will go to London in October for an intensive nine-day policy and leadership training programme and join a worldwide leadership network, which is set to grow annually.

Anyone who would like to take part should submit an application online before Sunday 14 May 2017 They will be asked what their unique policy ideas are and why they have what it takes to be a global leader.  They must be free to attend the heat event at the Senedd on the evening of 15 June 2017. 


Fee planning

HEFCW regulates full-time undergraduate and PGCE fee levels at universities in Wales. An institution based in Wales, which provides higher education and is a charity, can apply to have a fee and access plan considered and approved by HEFCW so that students on these courses are eligible for support. HEFCW has published its 2018/19 Fee and Access Plan Guidance on submitting a fee and access plan application.

Political Update

  • First Minister Carwyn Jones was asked by Leanne Wood about recent job losses at Welsh universities during Tuesday’s Plenary session, to which he replied that he’s concerned “that we are seeing a drop in applications, particularly from students from abroad”. He went on to say “I’ve not seen anything on this scale since I was in university myself in the 1980s and that is concerning.” A summary of the exchange also appeared as a news item on the BBC website.
  • Mark Reckless has defected from UKIP and joined the Welsh Conservatives group, making the Conservatives the second largest party in the Assembly, which has come at the expense of Plaid Cymru.

New Vice-Chancellor for Aberystwyth Universityelizabeth treasure

We are delighted to report that Professor Elizabeth Treasure started as Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University this week.

Professor Treasure joins Aberystwyth from Cardiff University, where in 2010 she became the first woman to be appointed as their Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Unis Wales Update

This week we have been working on our response to the Industrial Strategy and going through HEFCW’s recently laid financial memorandum.