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Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up 8th December 2017

Employability and Skills Convention 2017      

Universities Wales sponsored the Learning and Work Institute’s Employability and Skills Convention Wales 2017 which took place on 6 December at SSE Swalec Stadium, Cardiff. The conference included a presentation on the community learning work being carried out by Monkton Primary School in partnership with UWTSD and an address from the Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan. Universities Wales also contributed to a panel discussion on the future of skills and employability in Wales, setting out her priorities, including the importance of higher level skills.

PCET reforms move into the next stage.

On Tuesday the Cabinet Secretary for Education gave an oral statement in plenary on planned reforms of the post-compulsory education and training system. She announced the PCET proposals have received broad support, and will move to a technical consultation in the new year, following the completion and publishing of the initial consultation phase responses.
The full statement is available here, and the responses can be found here

Universities UK launches #BrightestMinds campaign to highlight why our universities need the vital contribution of EU staff. 

Through the publishing of case studies, UUK is promoting the vital research done by EU academics at UK universities, highlighting their hopes and fears on the impact of Brexit on their work and their futures in this country. It is clear that the UK is in danger of losing some of its brightest minds, colleagues working to improve other people’s lives on issues such as health, climate change and criminal justice.

Universities UK is therefore calling on the government to ensure there are minimal barriers for non-UK university staff and students, as part of the reformed post-Brexit immigration system.

We would also like to see a government-backed drive to promote the UK’s universities internationally, communicating a welcoming and consistent message that encourages talented staff and students to choose the UK.
Follow the campaign on twitter, get involved and share your stories.


REF sub-panel chairs announced

The 34 sub-panel chairs for the next Research Excellence Framework were announced on 6th December 2017.  This includes three chairs from Wales (see here):

  • Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences – Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Swansea University
  • Education – Professor David James, Cardiff University
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management – Professor Justin Lewis, Cardiff University
NUS Wales annual reception 
On Wednesday, NUS Wales hosted their annual Christmas reception. Welcoming guests to the evening, president Ellen Jones celebrated the achievements of the student movement in Wales over the past year, and highlighted their priorities for the coming months. Student rrepresentatives of different parts of the Post-compulsory sector gave speeches, talking about their varied learning experiences and speaking of their vision for the
future of post-16 education in Wales.

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Political update: 

  • Kirsty Williams has issued a written statement about the second year of the Welsh Government’s scheme to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales – Global Futures. The full report is available here
  • The Welsh Government have launched a consultation on the proposed list of data-sharing public bodies in Wales (including universities), as part of the Digital Economy Act 2017. Meanwhile, a consultation has also been launched on proposals for funding doctoral loans for students beginning their PhD studies in 2018/19.
  • The number of commissioned nurse training places available in Wales will increase by 10% in 2018 as part of a £107m package to support education and training programmes for healthcare professionals.