Higher Education for the Nation - English

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Higher Education for the Nation - English

Higher Education for the Nation

Universities for Wales


Higher Education for the Nation

Contents

Introduction.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3

1. What universities do for growth and sustainable jobs......................................................................................................................................................................5

2. What universities do for public services in Wales...............................................................................................................................................................................................7

3. What universities do to help everyone reach their educational potential...................................................................................8

4. How universities contribute towards 21st Century Healthcare...................................................................................................................................9

5. How universities support the well-being of people in our communities..................................................................................................11

6. What universities do for our homes.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................12

7. How universities help make our communities safer..........................................................................................................................................................................................13

8. How universities contribute to a fair and equal society.................................................................................................................................................................15

9. How universities help to tackle poverty.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................16

10. How universities contribute to our rural communities...................................................................................................................................................................17

11. What universities do for the environment and sustainability............................................................................................................................................19

12. How universities are important to the culture and heritage of Wales...................................................................................................20

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................22

2

Front cover includes pics from: Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff University, Swansea University, University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David,

Glyndŵr University and Open University in Wales


Introduction

Introduction

What have Wales’s universities done for us

Welsh universities impact on the lives

of everyone in the nation. If people

are at the heart of a nation, our

university network is its circulatory

system, pumping knowledge and

wealth and well-being around the

country, sustaining and maintaining

its health and ensuring a living,

vibrant nation.

Our hospitals and general practices offer the expertise of

nurses and doctors who were educated at universities in

Wales and further afield. Government policy is influenced by

research carried out at universities. Engineers, accountants,

lawyers, town planners, social workers, teachers…many

of them have been trained at Wales’s higher education

institutions.

Universities offer a life-changing experience for students,

and offer indispensable contributions to society,

communities and the economy. And it’s not limited to

Wales; Welsh higher education has an impact globally, with

universities forging alliances around the world. Indeed,

the results of the recently published Research Excellence

Framework 2014 show that research in Wales has more

impact on our daily lives than in any other country in the

UK. The impact of research into illnesses such as dementia

and cancer will be felt globally. This attracts interest

to Wales from business around the world, as well as

international students who wish to study in Wales.

Welsh Universities:

• employ some 25,000 people. They have generated almost

40,000 jobs in the Welsh economy by being major

purchasers, and through the buying power of their

employees.

• contribute more than £3 billion in gross expenditure to the

Welsh economy, with a turnover of £1.3 billion.

• have stimulated economic growth through research and

innovation and linking with businesses, and by producing

highly-skilled graduates.

• produce researchers of considerable international reach

who collaborate internationally more than any other UK

constituent country.

“Universities offer a lifechanging

experience

for students, and offer

indispensable contributions to

society, communities and the

economy.”

Their overseas and EU students – almost 25,000 a year -

contribute even more to the Welsh economy than Cardiff’s

restaurant and hotel sector, investing more than £100 million

on tuition fees, generating a value added contribution of

£140 million and contributing some £150 million to Wales’s

GDP thanks to living costs and subsistence expenditure.

A circulatory system needs to be kept nourished. At a time

when more sectors are competing for scarcer resources in

post-recession Wales, the universities will be making their

case for continued investment. Higher education impacts

positively on social cohesion, crime rates, social mobility, civic

engagement, health and life expectancy, economic growth,

personal earnings and employment. It also produces income

for Wales. This report barely scratches the surface of what

universities do in any one year to contribute to the wellbeing

and prosperity of our nation. We hope that this taster

of the varied work carried out by our universities – including

providing high quality research and an excellent student

experience – will be encouraging, illuminating and sometimes

even surprising, and will underscore the substantial

contribution of higher education in Wales.

David Allen OBE

Chair, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

(HEFCW)

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Higher Education for the Nation

What is HEFCW’s role

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales – HEFCW –

is a body which sits between universities and Government.

HEFCW administers funds for higher education (HE), ensures

that the quality of HE is assessed and gives expert advice to

the Welsh Government.

Universities in Wales, while being autonomous bodies,

have traditionally received some two-fifths of their income

directly from HEFCW, but this direct funding has reduced to

around a fifth as universities have been permitted to charge

up to £9,000 a year in full-time undergraduate tuition fees

for students from the UK and the EU. The fees payments

are normally raised through Government-backed loans (for

students from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) or a

combination of a loan and a non-repayable grant from the

Welsh Government (students from Wales and the EU).

While the total of universities’ public and fees funding has

remained constant in recent years, the Welsh Government’s

forthcoming Higher Education (Wales) Bill will seek to

strengthen HEFCW’s regulatory powers over universities

in the absence of HEFCW’s funding conditions, to secure

accountability for public investment.

We expect universities in Wales to continue to address the

priorities articulated by HEFCW and by Government, namely

student experience, quality, equality, research, teaching,

Welsh medium provision, widening access, employability, and

so on. But universities are also addressing other government

priorities, in areas such as the economy and society, as this

review of the contribution of higher education in 2013-14

illustrates.

Interested in knowing more

The sections in the publication are guided by the Welsh

Government’s programme of government. Originally

published in 2011, it guided Welsh Government’s priorities

over the life of the current government. The index at the

back of the publication links to further information about the

activities mentioned in this digest (correct at January 2015).

Higher Education in

Wales by numbers

More than

28,000

postgraduate

registrations

More than 5,500

students receiving

some of their

teaching through the

medium of Welsh

Entire higher

education sector

has an income

of nearly

£1.3 billion

Makes up

around 5%

of UK higher

education

3,365 science

postgraduate

students

More than

44,000

part-time

enrolments

137,508 student

registrations, with

almost 30,000

new full-time

undergraduate

entrants a year

4


71% of graduates • 10% returned to study,

Universities for Wales

1. What universities do for growth and

sustainable jobs

It was reported this year that universities in Wales are

more important to the Welsh economy than universities

in the other UK regions and nations. Interaction between

universities and businesses stimulates innovation and

economic growth. Research and innovation create high-value

industrial clusters and the Welsh universities’ science base is

key for the country’s economic development.

As well as being major employers, universities create the right

conditions for their staff and students to set up their own

businesses and become employers themselves. High-level and

employability skills are built into university curricula.

• Cardiff University announced that its spin-out company

Medaphor, which provides ultrasound education and

training simulators for medical professionals, would be

floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

• Cardiff Metropolitan University was revealed as the location

of Wales’s first MIT-accredited Fab Lab, which allows

innovators in different countries to share knowledge and

turn ideas into prototypes. The University also teamed up

with training and recruitment company Acorn Group to

offer a foundation degree in Applied Professional Practice,

which allows students to continue working while studying.

• The University of Wales Trinity Saint David became a

globally approved International Institute for Creative

Entrepreneurial Development (IICED), which focuses on

developing enterprise and entrepreneurship education

internationally.

• The University also announced its plans to create a £100

million Swansea waterfront learning and research campus

to attract further attract investment to the city, and develop

businesses, jobs and wealth.

• Glyndŵr University and Glyndŵr Innovations were awarded

£600K by the Welsh Government to boost research and

development collaboration in the optics industry.

Challenges

• How to continue to build employability skills into the

curriculum, including arts and humanities, engaging with

employers.

• How to secure appropriate work placements and encourage

students to undertake them.

• How to harness the influence and links of international

students on other areas such as inward investment and

tourism.

71% of graduates were

employed at the end of

their placement:

• 55% by their host

466

graduates

received placements

through

GOWales

• 10% returned to study,

volunteered or took time out

Active spin-off COMPANIES in Wales

(as a % of UK total)

• with some HE ownership 6.5%

• with no HE ownership 18.3%

• which are staff start-up companies 14.1%

• that are graduate start-ups 10.3%

Active

(as a % of

• with some

• with no H

• which are

• that are g

100%

• 16% employed elsewhere

including self employment

Wales’s share of HE spin-off and start-up companies that have survived at least three years is higher

than expected for a country of our size

5


Higher Education for the Nation

Cardiff University

6


Universities for Wales

2. What universities do for public services in Wales

Around half of university courses are vocational or

professional, and train our teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses

and social workers, as well as public servants of the future.

Universities provide research and expertise to the public

sector in a variety of disciplines, such as policy development

or service improvement. They work in partnership with

businesses, organisations and unions on staff development

opportunities for public sector employees.

• Aberystwyth, Bangor, South Wales, and Swansea

Universities (along with Liverpool) work with Cardiff

University, which is at the helm of the new Public Policy

Institute for Wales. They have been joined by The Bevan

Foundation, the Institute of Welsh Affairs and Wales Public

Services 2025.

• The same Welsh universities are also partners in the Wales

Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and

Methods (WISERD), which won more than £7 million from

the Economic and Social Research Council to carry out a

five-year programme of policy-relevant research on Civil

Society in Wales and beyond.

• The University of South Wales received funding to research

how children and adults with Dyspraxia can best learn how

to cross the road safely.

1,357

enrolments

Challenges

• How to ensure that graduates are appropriately equipped to

deal with the changing needs of the Welsh public sector, as

well as changes in the workplace and in the professions.

• How to provide appropriate continuing professional

development for public sector staff.

• How to ensure standards and comparability of trainee

experience given cross-border flows of trainee and trained

teachers.

1,114

enrolments

Primary

Initial teacher training in 2012/13

(46% of these t

Primary

1,357

enrolments

Secondary

1,114

enrolments

Primary

Secondary

Priority secondary subjects

Priority

(46% of these through

the medium of Welsh)

(19% of these through

the medium of Welsh)

(46% of these through the medium of Welsh)

Welsh – 61

Priority secondary subjects

(19% of these through the medium of Welsh)

Science – 187

Modern

Foreign Languages – 75

Welsh - 61

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Higher Education for the Nation

3. What universities do to help everyone reach

their educational potential

Universities in Wales provide education for a population of

around 125,000 students every year, from undergraduate

and postgraduate degrees to lifelong or work-based learning

modules. Students in Wales can train to be teachers and

pursue subjects in both English and in Welsh. Our widening

access programme, Reaching Wider, has been active for more

than ten years and plays a key role in raising the aspirations

of children and adults who might not have considered higher

education an option. Graduates can continue to expect a

good return on their investment in higher education, earning

a wage premium over the course of their working lives.

• Part of the University of South Wales, the Universities

Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI) provides local

learning opportunities for students in low participation

areas of south east Wales. It received approval for three

more years of funding from HEFCW to further improve the

offer of bite sized learning, foundation degrees and workbased

learning in the area.

• Almost 80 students spent six weeks in residence at

Aberystwyth University’s Summer University, which gives

young people a flavour of how they could benefit from

university life.

• Widening access partnerships around Wales were awarded

almost £300,000 to work with schools and adults to identify

science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills

gaps and boost take-up at HE level.

Challenges

• Widening access to higher education depends on high

quality teaching and learning in 11-19 education as well as

informed careers advice for young people.

• How to further improve the quality of teacher training to

meet the needs of Wales.

• How to maintain the quality and breadth of part-time

provision to help adult learners to gain higher level skills.

• Incoming changes to Disabled Students’ Allowances for

students from England might have an impact on access to

appropriate provision by students.

of Welsh domiciled

students at

students universities at universities in Wales are from

of Welsh domiciled students at

universities in

some

Wales

of the

are

country’s

in from

most

economically disadvantaged Wales are from areas.

some of the country’s most

economically most economically disadvantaged areas.

disadvantaged areas.

Mature full-time undergraduate entrants

to Welsh HE institutions

20.3%

Glyndŵr University

Mature full-time

undergraduate

entrants to Welsh

HE institutions

8

of Welsh domiciled students

at universities in Wales are

of from Welsh some domiciled of the country’s students

at most universities economically in Wales are

from disadvantaged some of the areas. country’s

most economically


Universities for Wales

4. How universities contribute towards

21 st Century Healthcare

Universities in Wales help reduce health inequalities in

partnership with the NHS and Welsh Government. As well

as training health professionals such as nurses, doctors,

physiotherapists, chiropractors and speech therapists, they

also produce world-leading medical research to help the

future health of the nation.

Universities also carry out multidisciplinary research into

important public health issues and engage with public bodies

on interventions in these areas.

• Mencap Cymru has benefited from research produced by

postgraduate students on an ESF-funded, Bangor Universityled

initiative, which has impacted on the families of people

with a learning disability in Wales and further afield.

• Cardiff University unveiled a new medical curriculum, C21,

with a greater focus on community-centred learning, and a

greater concentration of training in under-served areas. C21

aims to benefit the future health of the nation by combining

cutting edge education and training with more emphasis on

the patient.

• Cardiff University’s School of Postgraduate Medical and

Dental Education and Asalus Medical Instruments Ltd won

the 2014 PraxisUnico Business Impact Aspiring Award for

developing a new technique to remove smoke produced

during keyhole surgery.

• The Sêr Cymru network in Life Sciences and Health,

comprising Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea

Universities, was created to build on existing research capacity

in this area and to attract PhDs and fellows to work on drug

discovery and development for “unmet medical needs”.

• In 2013, universities worked with the Welsh Government to

develop a Healthy and Sustainable FE and HE Programme

for Wales, to improve the physical and mental well-being of

students and staff.

• Bangor and Cardiff Universities are part of a £4 million

collaboration looking at support for people who live with

dementia. Cardiff University also reported it would lead

a £6 million worldwide project to look at the relationship

between genetics and lifestyle in the development of

Alzheimer’s disease.

• Meanwhile, Cardiff Metropolitan University’s National Centre

for Product Design and Research is providing service design

expertise to the three-year Cardiff and the Vale Dementia Plan.

• Glyndŵr University introduced a new course aimed at

attracting experienced, qualified NHS and care home staff

from north-east Wales back into nursing.

• Forensic psychologists at Cardiff Metropolitan University

reported how psychology could be used to reduce alcoholrelated

violent crime.

Challenges

• How to find continuing, and appropriate levels of investment

for clinical provision, which is significantly more expensive

to teach at full-time undergraduate level than the £9,000 fee

level, in the context of the fees and funding arrangements.

• Universities must continue to ensure that they successfully

translate their research into medical practice and evidencebased

learning.

The Sêr Cymru network aims

to co-fund up to

100

30

and

PhDs

fellows

from 2014 to 2019.

Number of graduates from Welsh universities

in 2012/13 having studied:

The network aims to co-fund up to

Nursing/midwifery – Medicine – 388 Dentistry – 61

1,247

Number of graduates from Welsh universities in 2012/13 having studied:

Nursing/midwifery – 1,247 Medicine – 388 Dentistry – 61

9


Higher Education for the Nation

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

10


Universities for Wales

5. How universities support the well-being of

people in our communities

Universities provide training and education for professionals

such as early years teachers, and research into childcare.

They train counsellors and psychologists. They encourage

volunteering opportunities where their students work on

projects involving disabled or homeless people, to make a

difference to communities. Through their training hubs, they

offer dental or chiropractic healthcare to communities.

Universities have been positive adopters and advocates of

using technology for learning, and distance and open learning

courses offer excellent opportunities to tap into knowledge

and expertise from afar. Their commitment to embed the use

of online resources placed Wales as one of the first – if not

the first – national higher education sectors in the world to

declare itself an open education nation.

• The University has also launched a long-term community

partnership with the Grangetown area of Cardiff. The

University and the community will work together on new

and existing mutually beneficial projects in areas such as

education, well-being and the environment.

Challenges

• How to encourage students to volunteer in addition to

studying and undertaking paid work.

• How to provide the best and most appropriate support for

care leavers or more vulnerable individuals.

• Swansea University’s Discovery Student Volunteering

Group received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

in recognition of the contribution of 300 students who

run projects working with disabled children, mental health

service users, refugee and asylum seekers and homeless

people.

• All universities in Wales received the Buttle UK Quality

Mark for Care Leavers, which recognised good practice in

institutions providing a framework of support for young

people leaving care.

• Cardiff University has taken an active role in reaching out

to the Muslim community. In partnership with the Muslim

Council for Wales, it created an identified Muslim Chaplain

as part of a multi-faith approach to chaplaincy, and hosts

informal meetings with their student Islamic Society.

Between 1 June 2012and 31 May 2013

Between 1 June 2012

and 31 May 2013

Between 1 June 2012

259

and 31 May 2013

with either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

students qualified in social work from Welsh universities.

with either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

with either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

in social work from Welsh universities.

students qualified

in social work from Welsh universities.

Bangor University

11


Higher Education for the Nation

6. What universities do for our homes

Universities train civil engineers, planners and architects. They carry out

research to minimise the environmental impact of new homes, and, as

large institutions, aim to be energy efficient and set an example. They are

plugged into the Welsh Government’s Education for Sustainable Development

and Global Citizenship initiative, which aims to increase awareness of

sustainability issues – such as consumption and waste – among students

through the curriculum, and enables them to become ambassadors for these

issues. Universities awarded the Buttle UK Quality Mark for Care Leavers have

been recognised for commitments including providing student care leavers

with year-round accommodation if they do not have a permanent residence

outside term time.

• The Low Carbon Research Institute, comprising six partner universities,

was involved in data gathering, research and scenario modelling for

policy-makers that involved retrofitting public housing to improve energy

efficiency.

• Led by Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities, the National Research Network

for Low Carbon, Energy and the Environment was launched to consider

natural resource management and the connections between land, water, the

provision of food and energy production.

• Cardiff University teamed up with Shelter Cymru to host a conference on

research, policy and practice in Housing.

• Research and practical expertise at the University of South Wales has placed

the University at the forefront of developing community regeneration policy

in Wales.

Challenges

Aberystwyth University

• Universities are continuing to work with communities to ensure that the

student population has a positive local impact, encouraging student tenants

and landlords to work as partners to help realise this.

• Universities will play their own part in the ongoing challenge of ensuring

energy efficiency for our homes.

12


Universities for Wales

7. How universities help make our communities

safer

Universities work with students in deprived areas and help

reduce health inequalities in partnership with the NHS and

Welsh Government. As well as training professionals for the

NHS they produce world-leading research to help the future

health of the nation, and offer a range of courses that have

an impact on communities, from social work to police studies.

Students themselves consider personal safety as an important

factor in choosing their university, and Wales’s relatively

low crime rates are often cited as a factor in attracting

international students. University student unions are active

in ensuring their students have a safe higher education

experience, providing advice and support on areas such as

domestic violence, private renting, gas safety, cyber-security

and card fraud. The Criminal Investigation Research Network

(CIRN), a worldwide network which brings researchers

together with experts in investigating and policy making,

originated in Wales.

• Swansea University signed up to the National Union of

Students Alcohol Impact project to run a pilot scheme

aimed at encouraging responsible drinking among students.

• Cardiff University’s Violence and Society Research Group

aimed to reduce community violence by sharing data

collected in hospital emergency units. The impact has been

so great that the ‘Cardiff Model’ – which cut local A&E

visits in half and has saved the city £7 million a year - is

now being implemented in the UK and internationally.

• Swansea University Student Union teamed up with its

local Community Liaison Officer to launch an initiative on

reporting hate crime.

• Universities across south Wales work, with other agencies,

to help keep students and the wider community safe

under the Prevent banner. The universities and their

student unions have developed a traffic light system to

assess external speakers coming onto campus. This means

institutions can be confident speakers are contributing

to the academic debate and free thinking; and be equally

confident those speakers are not putting forward positions

that are counter to the HE sector’s well established

commitment to equal opportunities for all.

Challenges

• How universities continue to tackle the ongoing

sensitivities and practicalities of dealing with extremism or

radicalisation on campus.

• The new Counter Terrorism Bill creates challenges for the

HE sectors in the UK. In particular, provisions which look at

IT and other aspects of university could be highly resource

intensive and difficult to enforce.

University of South Wales

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Higher Education for the Nation

Swansea University

14


Universities for Wales

8. How universities contribute to

a fair and equal society

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Universities are large employers, and play an important role

in encouraging and developing good practice in equality

and diversity. This includes work to improve gender equality

through equal pay and recruitment policies, encouraging

more women into science and engineering research

and tackling the number of women in senior positions.

Universities have signed up to an agreement to support

the career development of researchers, which includes

promoting equality and diversity in their recruitment and

career management. Six universities have been awarded the

European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research award in

recognition of their good practice in this respect.

Universities are expected to tackle issues of harassment or

support, such as those relating to disabled or transgender

staff and students. They also look at their own student

recruitment profiles and how they could be improved. They

develop research and policies in areas including the human

rights of children.

• Researchers at Bangor University, along with partners, were

funded to the tune of £1.1 million by the Medical Research

Council to investigate new pharmacological treatment for

psychiatric illnesses.

• The Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics

at Cardiff University has led global research into

schizophrenia, with findings on the genetic links published

in Nature.

• Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities and Student Unions

signed up to the Time to Change Wales pledge to end the

stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental

health conditions.

• Aberystwyth University achieved Bronze level in the

Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU) trial gender equality charter

mark, recognising progress in advancing gender equality in

arts, humanities and social science careers in HE.

• Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan and Swansea

Universities are members of charity Stonewall Cymru’s

Diversity Champions programme, which gives them access

to expertise to help create working environments where

lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people can ‘be themselves’.

Aberystwyth, Cardiff and Swansea Universities have also

scored highly in Stonewall’s Gay by Degree university guide,

which identifies publicly accessible information about

engagement with and support for LGB students, from

application to graduation.

Challenges

• Universities – like many bodies – are facing the challenge of

ensuring more diverse governing body membership.

• How to ensure that universities are not intrusive when they

collect data about religion, sexual orientation or pregnancy

from students, which impacts on disclosure.

• How to ensure that data in this area is robust.

% of students in receipt of

a Disabled Students’ Allowance in 2012/13

7.3%

2.9%

WALES

Full-time

undergraduate

students

Part-time

undergraduate

students

% of students

in receipt of

a Disabled Students’

Allowance

in 2012/13

6.5%

3.5%

UK

15


Higher Education for the Nation

9. How universities help to tackle poverty

Higher education and skills have a key role in breaking the cycle

of poverty as they can improve employability and employment

opportunities. Universities in Wales play their part in widening

access from low-participation areas through aspiration-raising

initiatives and opportunities for family learning. They offer

flexible and accessible provision such as foundation degrees,

part-time courses and work-based or bite-sized learning.

Universities also offer considerable financial support such

as bursaries and scholarships, demonstrated through their

fee plans. Areas of research interest include social policy and

community regeneration. The National Union of Students,

meanwhile, is integral to providing welfare advice and support

to a diverse student population.

• Universities outlined in their fee plans how they planned to

invest some £35 million to improve equality of opportunity

for students.

• The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data

& Methods appointed PhD students to analyse data on fuel

poverty and energy efficiency.

• The National Union of Students Wales and the Open

University in Wales launched It’s About Time, a report which

highlighted the contribution of part-time study to skills

development and opening up educational opportunities in

Wales. The partners described part-time students as highly

diverse, covering all ages and including a high proportion of

disabled students, carers or students in employment.

• Through its Strategic Alliance with local FE colleges,

the University of South Wales is supports inward

investment and workforce up-skilling in south east

Wales. Developments create and sustain employment

opportunities, provide access to bespoke higher level skills

and signposting to local FE provision.

Proportion of young full-time undergraduate entrants

to Welsh HE institutions from low participation

neighbourhoods.

13.1%

WALES

11.1%

UK

Open University in Wales

• The First Campus collaboration, led by University of South

Wales and whose partners include Cardiff Metropolitan and

Cardiff Universities, and the Royal Welsh College of Music

and Drama, piloted the From Potential to Performance

programme to help young people in care or at risk of going

into care to realise their potential, build confidence and

self-esteem and raise aspirations towards FE and HE.

• Cardiff University has expanded some of its successful

programme to support care leavers who would have

otherwise been unlikely to succeed in HE without its

support to work with young people who are estranged from

their families. Furthermore, the University supported its

Chaplaincy in offering a £1 healthy hot meal once a week to

students.

Challenges

• How to tackle issues about access to the professions for

those from groups underrepresented in universities.

• How to encourage those from widening access backgrounds

to take up work placements and other opportunities to

improve employability.

• How to retain students that require more persuasion to

attend university, such as those from low-participation

backgrounds.

• How to secure part-time provision to meet the needs of

learners and employers in Wales.

16


Universities for Wales

10. How universities contribute to our

rural communities

Universities in rural locations are significant, high-quality

local employers and providers of services and infrastructure.

Developments such as High Performance Computing Wales,

which includes universities as its partners, give businesses

and researchers access to quality supercomputing power

and skills wherever they are in Wales. Universities carry out

research into transport, tourism, forest management and

energy planning, which potentially have a huge impact on

rural communities. They are involved in public engagement

activities such as lectures, classes and business workshops,

and pair graduates with good quality jobs in SMEs through

graduate employment initiatives.

• Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological,

Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) was awarded

nearly £15 million in research council funding as part of

a £35 million innovation campus development. Research

areas include innovation in agriculture and food, water

and energy security and sustainability. The Institute’s

contribution to innovation and technology was recognised

when it won that category at the Times Higher Education

Awards.

• The Open University in Wales launched a free Welsh

medium online learning site, OpenLearn Cymru, to improve

skills or to offer a ‘taster’ of a higher education course.

• Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion joined the University of

Wales Trinity Saint David Group to offer a range of further

and higher education opportunities in localities around

south west Wales.

• University courses are delivered by further education

colleges across Wales thanks to franchise arrangements

with universities.

Challenges

• How to ensure businesses and universities will have an

ongoing engagement with graduate employment initiatives

the most recent being GO Wales, which matched SMEs

with graduates– to help with higher skills deployment and,

ultimately, economic recovery.

• How to maintain effective partnerships to deliver positive

outcomes for rural communities.

5,000

HE students

are enrolled in colleges, including

Coleg Ceredigion, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai

and Pembrokeshire College.

17


Higher Education for the Nation

Aberystwyth University

18


Universities for Wales

11. What universities do for the environment and

sustainability

The environment and sustainability are major areas of research

for Wales’s universities. This has been a particularly fruitful area

for partnerships between higher education institutions and other

bodies. They include the Sêr Cymru National Research Network

in Low Carbon, Energy and Environment, the Climate Change

Consortium for Wales and the Low Carbon Research Institute.

Universities also specialise in areas such as the forest, coastal and

marine environments, and clean energy. Universities themselves

have their own plans for how they consider environmental

factors in areas such as buildings and the curriculum. The

National Union of Students recognises institutions which have

made positive environmental changes in the workplace.

• The SEACAMS project, led by Bangor University in

partnership with Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities,

helps to develop the coastal marine economy in Wales.

The project was awarded an additional £1 million in EU

funding in 2014. The funding will contribute to further data

collection, which businesses, including those involved in

tidal and wave technologies, will be able to access to inform

future offshore developments.

• Bangor University also became part of a £4.9 million

doctoral training partnership to train environmental

scientists equipped to deal with a changing environment

in complex economic, social and political contexts. The

institution earned a place in the top 20 of the UK Green

Universities League Table in 2014.

• The University of South Wales’s Centre for Storytelling was

part of a consortium which received a £1.5 million AHRC

research grant to examine and revive conversations with

communities about energy.

Live LIVE greener

GREENER

6,000

students

volunteering

9,000

hours

= = significant reductions reductions in the in electricity the electricity and water

and water used used in halls, in halls, and in and carbon in carbon emissions emissions

• Swansea University teamed up with universities in China,

India and Indonesia to receive a Global Innovation Initiative

award to research flood risks in changing climates.

• Cardiff University received a €1.5 million grant to explore

the ‘spillover’ effect in tackling climate change, and whether

small changes lead to other green behavioural changes.

• The University of South Wales’s Wales Centre of Excellence

for Anaerobic Digestion was awarded nearly £900,000

by the Welsh Government to improve its capacity to

collaborate with industry on converting biodegradable

organic waste into biogas energy, an

1,357

important part of

recycling waste in Wales.

• The National Union of Students Wales, in partnership with

specialists in green innovation TYF, was enrolments

awarded £68,000

to deliver HE sector-leading greening initiatives as part of

the Live Greener project. Initiatives are designed to make

measurable differences to institutions, students and the

environment, and also save student unions money, make

students more employable, and engage more students with

their unions.

Challenges

Primary

• Universities will have to continue to rise to the challenge of

climate concerns, both as large, resource-using institutions

and as part of their research priorities. They will also need

to respond to the ambitions of the Welsh Government’s

forthcoming Well-being of Future Generations Bill.

19


Higher Education for the Nation

12. How universities are important to the culture

and heritage of Wales

Universities in Wales have amongst them a Royal

Conservatoire, and offer courses in areas like Film, Media,

Music, Performance, Tourism, Sport Science and Religious

Studies. They contribute to the body of knowledge of Welsh

History and Geography, and Welsh and English language

literature from Wales in the developing area of Welsh Studies/

Astudiaethau Cymreig. They provide high level skills and a

stream of graduates for Wales’s thriving creative industries.

They offer an increasing number of course options through

the medium of Welsh, supported by the Coleg Cymraeg

Cenedlaethol.

University buildings are often historical structures that the

public can view, and as part of the community often have

shared facilities such as arts centres, libraries and sports

facilities.

Universities promote Wales and the reputation of its higher

education offering internationally.

• The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s notable achievements

during the year included funding a Swansea University app

on Caring Through Welsh. In partnership with Wikimedia

UK it appointed its own Wikipedian in Residence to look

at how Welsh medium education resources, developed by

universities across Wales, can be shared under appropriate

open licences. The Coleg also funded resources for Bangor

University to create Welsh language Law textbooks. It also

provided funding to allow students study elements of

Medicine in Welsh at Cardiff and Swansea Universities.

• Cardiff University launched the world’s first widelyaccessible,

free, online course – known as a MOOC – in

community journalism.

• The online University of Wales Dictionary – GPC (Geiriadur

Prifysgol Cymru) Online – was unveiled, making it freely

available electronically for the first time.

• Cardiff University joined forces with local residents and

schools in Caerau and Ely to explore the city’s prehistoric

past. The CAER heritage project was so successful it won a

major UK-wide public engagement prize.

• Bangor University launched a research project to look

at the reasons behind children attending Welsh medium

schools being reluctant to use the language outside of the

classroom.

• A third of Wales’s Commonwealth Games Athletic Squad

and three quarters of Wales’s Netball Squad were Cardiff

Metropolitan University students or alumni.

• The higher education sector in Wales considered how to

further define, develop and safeguard ‘Welsh Studies’

teaching and research, work which the Learned Society of

Wales will take forward in the future.

• S4C and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

confirmed that they would establish a new headquarters for

the Welsh language television channel in Carmarthen.

Challenges

Higher education institutions understand that they must

work with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to stimulate

interest and demand for courses or modules through the

medium of Welsh, while increasing their own offer in and

resources for quality Welsh medium provision.

• There is ongoing pressure for universities to invest in

and upgrade their estate, at a time when public funding

earmarked for capital projects has diminished.

2,183

modules

2,183 modules are

recognised as having a

Welsh Studies component

within Welsh HE institutions.

7.5%

This is 7.5% of the overall

number of modules

provided within the higher

education sector.

20


Universities for Wales

University of South Wales

21


Higher Education for the Nation

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Please click on the sources below to be taken

to the appropriate web page

P3 What have Wales’s universities done for us

UK Investment Summit Wales conference underlines importance of Welsh HE to

the economy

The Impact of International and EU students in Wales

P4 What is HEFCW’s role

www.hefcw.ac.uk

P4 Higher Education in Wales by numbers

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) 2012/13

HEFCW Circular W14/27HE: Analysis of the financial position of the HE sector 2012/13

P5 What universities do for growth and sustainable jobs

Source: GO (Graduate Opportunities) Wales. About GO Wales

Source: Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey 2012/13

Cardiff University and Medaphor

Cardiff Metropolitan University Fab Lab

University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s International Institute for Creative

Entrepreneurial Development

University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s learning and research campus

Glyndŵr University research grant

P7 What universities do for public services in Wales

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record 2012/13

Public Policy Institute for Wales

Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD)

University of South Wales road safety research

P8 What universities do to help everyone reach their educational

potential

Source: Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK 2012/13

Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute

Aberystwyth University’s Summer University

Reaching Wider initiative

P9 How universities contribute towards 21st Century Healthcare

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record 2012/13

Bangor University and Mencap Cymru

Cardiff University and C21

Cardiff University’s PraxisUnico Award

Sêr Cymru network in Life Sciences and Health

Living with dementia

National Centre for Product Design and Research

Cardiff Metropolitan University and alcohol-related violence

Return to nursing

P11 How universities support the well-being of people in our

communities

Source: Care Council for Wales

Discovery Student Volunteering Group

Cardiff University community partnership

P12 What universities do for our homes

Low Carbon Research Institute

National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and the Environment

Cardiff University and Shelter Cymru

22


Universities for Wales

P13 How universities help make our communities safer

NUS alcohol impact project

Violence and Society Research Group’s Cardiff Model

Swansea University Students’ Union and reporting hate crime

P15 How universities contribute to a fair and equal society

Source: Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK 2012/13

Bangor University and psychiatric illnesses

Cardiff University and schizophrenia

Time to Change Wales

Aberystwyth University and the gender equality charter mark

Stonewall University Guide 2015

P16 How universities help to tackle poverty

Source: Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK 2012/13

Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data & Methods

It’s About Time

University of South Wales Strategic Alliance

First Campus

P19 What universities do for the environment and sustainability

SEACAMS

Bangor University Doctoral Training Partnership

Cardiff University and green behaviours

Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion

Centre for Storytelling

Live Greener project

P20 How universities are important to the culture and heritage of Wales

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) 2012/13

The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Cardiff University course in community journalism

University of Wales Dictionary – GPC (Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru) Online

Bangor University and children using Welsh outside of the classroom

Learned Society of Wales

S4C and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

CAER heritage project

P17 How universities contribute to our rural communities

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record 2012/13

Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences

(IBERS)

Open University in Wales’s OpenLearn Cymru

University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group

www.hefcw.ac.uk

23

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