Universities Wales Weekly Wrap Up – 16 March 2018

Breaking down barriers to adult learning:Wrap up 9 march 1

Opportunities and Solutions seminar by Learning & Work Institute and the Open University in Wales

Universities Wales attended a policy seminar on the barriers to adult learning organised by Learning & Work Institute and The Open University. The seminar included contributions from Louise Casella, Director of The Open University in Wales, and David Hagendyk, Director of the Learning and Work Institute in Wales. The seminar was chaired by Vikki Howells AM.

NUS Wales elects new President and Deputy President at annual conference

wrap up 9 march NUS wales

This week, student representatives from Universities and colleges across Wales have gathered in Cardiff for their annual NUS Wales conference, where they have voted on policies to set the political direction of NUS Wales for the coming year, and elected the President, Deputy President and National Executive Committee, who will lead the organisation for 2018/19.

Gwyneth Sweatman has been elected President, and is currently NUS Wales Women’s Officer, having been elected last year. Before joining NUS Wales, she was Carmarthen campus president at Trinity St David Students’ Union. Gwyneth’s priorities for the coming year include a pledge to campaign for funded student voice structures across the whole post-16 education sector.

wrap up 9 march NUS 2Newly elected Deputy President Alex Rollason is an apprentice engineer at a pharmaceutical manufacturer, studying at Coleg Cambria. He is a father to a 1-year-old. Alex is the first apprentice to a sabbatical officer position anywhere in NUS. In his manifesto, Alex pledged to defend and extend the rights of students as workers.

Universities Wales offers our warmest congratulations to the newly elected team, we look forward to working with you. Thank you also to the outgoing President and Deputy President, Ellen Jones and Carmen Smith, for all your work over the previous year. 

Learning and Work Institute Innovation Fund 2018 

Adult Learners’ Week is the UK’s largest annual learning festival. It aims to raise awareness of the value of adult learning, celebrate the achievements of learners and providers and inspire more people to discover how learning can positively change their lives.

If you are involved in providing adult learning and skills, whether it’s formal or non-formal we’d love to hear about your plans for Adult Learners’ Week this year. It’s a great opportunity to promote what you do, launch a piece of research, test new provision or bang the drum for Adult Learning.

The Innovation Fund for 2018 is available to organisations working in Wales who wish to deliver outreach activities or events during Adult Learners’ Week and throughout the month of June.

Learning and Work Institute welcome applications from any group, organisation or partnership.
Deadline for submitting applications: Friday 23rd March.   Please visit our website for more information.

HEFCW’s Quality Assessment Committee: Vacancies for Members

HEFCW is seeking candidates for the appointment of a Member to Quality Assessment Committee (QAC).

Members must have experience of, or have shown capacity in, the provision of higher education including overseeing quality assurance and enhancement of provision. You should not be employed by or sit on the governing body of any current provider of higher education in Wales, or have done so within the last three years.

We are keen to ensure that a range of providers of higher education are represented on the Committee, so therefore also welcome individuals with experience of higher education in further education, and/or alternative providers.

The Committee meets two or three times a year.

The next meeting will be on 28 June 2018 in Bedwas, Caerphilly at 1:00pm. If you are applying for this vacancy, please hold this date in your diary.

QAC Members receive no remuneration. However, HEFCW will reimburse you for all reasonable and properly documented expenses you incur in the performance of your duties, in accordance with our travel and subsistence procedures.

The appointment will be for an initial term of up to three years unless terminated earlier by either party, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term.

This is a statutory committee of HEFCW’s Council, under the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015, and as such, acts in an advisory capacity.

We welcome applications in Welsh and English.

Applications should be submitted electronically to Dr Cliona O’Neill, to arrive no later than 20 April 2018.

Horizon 2020 Annual event

This year’s event, hosted by the Welsh Government’s Horizon 2020 Unit, highlighted how an outward-facing Wales benefits from engagement with the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. The event explored how continued commitment to collaborate with Europe and the rest of the World will drive Wales’ competitiveness and growth.

Researchers, businesses and policy-makers alike had the opportunity to hear presentations from key note speakers such as Mark Drakeford AM, Finance Secretary and the European Commission. The afternoon provided expert workshops.


BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme

This scheme is now open for applications! Please Apply Here.

  • You are a creative storyteller who is curious about the world around you.
  • You are fascinated by news and current affairs.
  • You love meeting people and sharing people’s stories.
  • You are already showing your journalistic potential.
  • You may be writing articles for a newspaper, working at a radio station, blogging or vlogging – or creating great social media content.
  • You can help us reach all of our audiences including people who might not normally consume news.
  • You will be 18 or over by the time the scheme starts in the autumn.

Could this be you?
We want to hear from people from all walks of life with a real passion and determination to train as a BBC journalist. If you want to get first class training with the biggest broadcasting organisation in the world, then the BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme is for you.
Are you a non-graduate or school leaver with a genuine interest in Journalism? If you have less experience then the Digital Journalism Apprenticeship scheme may be a better fit for you, find out more here: Digital Journalism Apprenticeship.

Political update

  • Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford announced that Wales has been successful in winning more than €90m of funding through the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
  • During the Business Statement, Adam Price (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) called for the Cabinet Secretary for Education to make a statement on the current dispute between universities and the University and College Union(14:41)
  • David Rees (Aberavon) highlighted the importance of science to the Welsh economy during the 90-second statements(15:10)
  • debate was held on the Children, Young People and Education Committee’s report on Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education. The original report is available here.
  • The Plaid Cymru debate was held on Young people and communities in Wales, with the original motion– and much of the debate’s focus – calling on the Welsh Government to “respond positively to the Diamond Review’s recommendation to incentivise students who study away to return to Wales after graduation”.
  • Wales cannot fulfil its economic potential until it ensures its most vulnerable fulfil theirs, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning told the NUS Wales conference in Cardiff earlier this week.
  • The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee published its scrutiny of The Education (Student Support) Wales Regulations 2018. It has called on the government to respond to a number of concerns arising from the Bill.
  • First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced a £4m investment to deliver a skills programme for Tata Steel, following a visit to the company’s Port Talbot plant.
  • The Finance Committee has opened an inquiry looking at how EU funding will be replacedpost-Brexit. Further details are available here.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport has approved funding to enter into a contract for services with “Global Welsh” for Wales, to connect with Welsh people who have moved to another country and who may have a propensity to support either economically or culturally.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education has named the first 12 associates of the National Academy of Education Leadership.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford, has issued a written statement following the most recent meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council on EU negotiations. The official communique following the meeting is available here.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Education has been asked the following written questions:
  • In the media, universities across Wales have been helping athletes prepare for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games; and business leaders, farmers and colleges are being pressed for ideas to boost the economy across mid Wales


First Minister Carwyn Jones will be asked the following questions during Tuesday’s Plenary:

  • Julie Morgan (Cardiff North): What further support can the Welsh Government give to higher education in Wales?
  • Hefin David (Caerphilly): Will the First Minister make a statement on Welsh Government support for adult part-time learning?
  • Angela Burns (Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire): Will the First Minister provide details of the allocation of funding for education in Wales?

The conversation showcase: highlighting articles published by Welsh academics this week

Rugby players more likely than not to sustain a concussion after 25 matches in a season (Cardiff Met – new research)

Russian spy attack: how toxic chemicals can cause widespread contamination (Bangor)

Stanley Kubrick’s films all had one thing in common: Jewishness (Bangor – new book research )

Why is ADHD more common in boys than girls? (Cardiff – new research )

The fight for education doesn’t stop when working-class boys get into university (Swansea)

Was St Patrick Welsh? An expert reviews the evidence (Swansea)