Higher Education for the Nation 2

cwvys

HE Nation 2 English

Higher Education

for the Nation 2:

The contribution of

Welsh universities

January 2016


Beacons of

Quality and

Excellence

The contribution of Welsh universities

Stimulating

Jobs and Growth

Promoting Equity

and Equality

Investing for

students, staff

and communities

3


Wales’s universities continue to deliver for Wales and beyond

Wales’s universities

continue to deliver for

Wales and beyond

It’s a year since we published our first Higher

Education for the Nation. We showed the

positive impact of universities on social

cohesion, crime rates, social mobility, civic

engagement, health and life expectancy,

economic growth, personal earnings and

employment; and how they produce income

for Wales. All this in addition to providing

often life-changing experiences for students,

and indispensable contributions to local

communities. We also looked at some of the

challenges facing higher education in the

coming years.

We continue to recognise the achievements

of universities, individually and collectively.

Individual universities are - rightly - proud

of their successes: as demonstrated in the

outcomes of the Research Excellence Framework

and National Student Survey; in attracting

funding and winning grants; and in the

number of teaching fellows recognised for

their contributions to teaching at universities.

This publication scratches the surface of their

achievements, and gives examples of the

different ways universities make a social and

economic contribution.

in stimulating jobs and growth; by promoting

equality and inclusion; and through investing

for students, staff and communities.

Universities continue to be an investment.

Money spent on teaching at universities is used

to provide resources that contribute towards

an excellent learning experience for students.

Universities must support equality of opportunity

and promote higher education, to strengthen the

prospects of people of all ages who are currently

underrepresented in higher education.

Funded research benefits the Welsh population

and beyond, with half of the research submitted

by Welsh universities to the 2014 Research

Excellence Framework assessed as “worldleading”

in its impact on life beyond academia.

Universities carry out research into bilingualism,

policing, flooding, dementia, childcare, mental

health, public housing, renewable energy,

community violence, poverty, transport

management, cancer, agriculture - all important

to communities across Wales. And, of course,

many of Wales’s teachers, engineers, doctors,

nurses, social workers and lawyers trained at

our universities.

Last year, we looked at the Welsh Government’s

priorities for Wales and showed how universities

and higher education (HE) are contributing to

these goals. This year we are looking at how

universities are making a positive impact in four

areas: as beacons of quality and excellence;

Investing in higher education also brings

economic benefits. Universities are employers,

investors and job creators. They provide expertise

to businesses and highly-skilled graduates for

the workforce.

4

MANY OF WALES’S

TEACHERS, ENGINEERS,

DOCTORS, NURSES,

SOCIAL WORKERS

AND LAWYERS

TRAINED AT OUR

UNIVERSITIES


The most recent Universities

Wales report showed that:

• Welsh universities - together with the

expenditure of their international students

and visitors, students from the rest of the UK

and Welsh students - generated the equivalent

of 46,554 full-time jobs in Wales, or 3.4% of

Welsh workplace employment, and generated

£4.6 billion of output.

• The total combined impact on Wales’s GVA

(gross value added) - used to measure goods

and services - of the universities and their

students and visitors came to around

£2.4 billion, or 4.6% of Wales’s GVA.

• 25% of both the jobs and GVA generated by

universities in Wales were in parts of Wales

without a university presence.

Universities have long been the main providers

of higher education in Wales. Higher education

is also offered at a number of Wales’s further

education colleges, which are an important

part of the higher education mix. As we take

on the more formal duties as a regulator of

higher education, so our relationship with

further education colleges - and other regulated

institutions - will strengthen.

GENERATING EXPORT

EARNINGS

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

AND THEIR VISITORS SPENT

£530 MILLION

EQUIVALENT TO 4%

OF ALL WELSH EXPORTS 2014

For more information, see www.

hefcw.ac.uk

uniswales.ac.uk

wiserd.ac.uk

aber.ac.uk

bangor.ac.uk

cardiff.ac.uk

cardiffmet.ac.uk

glyndwr.ac.uk

open.ac.uk/wales

southwales.ac.uk

swansea.ac.uk

uwtsd.ac.uk

Wales’s universities continue to deliver for Wales and beyond

5


Beacons of quality and excellence

Beacons of quality

and excellence

Universities receive research funding from

HEFCW, which not only recognises quality

but also helps us to target funding towards

sustainable, excellent research.

This boosts universities’ ability to win research

grants and contracts, which has a positive

effect on the economy. This year, all of Wales’s

universities - and particularly Cardiff and

Swansea - have been particularly proud of their

significant achievements in the most recent

UK-wide exercise (REF2014) which looked at the

quality and impact of research at universities.

Bangor and Swansea Universities exceeded their

benchmarks for overall satisfaction in Wales for

the last National Student Survey, with the Open

University yet again receiving a high overall

satisfaction score. Individuals at universities

across Wales are recognised annually for their

teaching, with Wales gaining 20 National

Teaching Fellowships since 2011 - more than

its expected share. Universities have also

received the Vitae HR Excellence in Research

award, showing their commitment to improving

working conditions and career development for

research staff.

Partners choose Welsh

universities to work on

research and technology.

• Cardiff University aims to turn Cardiff into a

global hub city for compound semiconductor

research by establishing a centre for compound

semiconductor excellence with world-leading

semiconductor wafer company IQE.

• The University of South Wales’s new Power

Systems Laboratory will carry out research and

testing for major players in the international

motorsport and automotive industry, and will

support niche technology and power companies

in Wales.

• Tata Steel and Swansea University are testing

how steelworks algae can combat climate

change. The project will analyse how the algae

uses carbon dioxide as a nutrient for growth,

helping to reduce “unavoidable carbon dioxide

emissions from manufacturing operations.”

• Glyndwr University scientists finished polishing

prototype mirrors for the world’s largest

telescope (the European-Extremely Large

Telescope) down to less than 7.5 nanometres -

the size of a molecule - after four years

of work.

£44 MILLION TO DEVELOP A

LEADING CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

FOR BRAIN RESEARCH

6


TATA STEEL TEAMED UP WITH

SWANSEA UNIVERSITY FOR A PROJECT

TESTING HOW STEELWORKS ALGAE CAN

COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

• Along with researchers at Aberystwyth, Bangor

University was part of an international effort

to successfully breed a new disease-resistant

staple crop, enabling more resilient farming

and increasing food security in India.

• Cardiff Metropolitan University’s FabLab team,

which works on digital fabrication technology,

manufactured a prosthetic hand for a fiveyear-old

boy using 3D printing technology.

• Cardiff University’s new £44 million Brain

Research Imaging Centre - CUBRIC - will be

part of the global effort to better understand

the causes of neurological conditions such as

dementia, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.

• Aberystwyth University’s BBSRC-funded project

on the fair and equitable use of elephant grass

was shortlisted for the Contribution to Society

award at the 2015 Research Councils UK and

PraxisUnico Impact Awards, due to its influence

on international policy.

• The supersonic Bloodhound car, developed in

part by scientists from Swansea University

and which is also used to inspire the next

generation of scientists and engineers at

schools, was unveiled to the public.

They can inspire the people

of Wales…

• The Open University in Wales’s Professor Monica

Grady, who is part of the Rosetta Mission,

visited Willows High School in Cardiff to teach

pupils how to land on a comet. The University

also attracted high-profile speakers as part of

its In Conversation With… series, including Lord

Kinnock, Lord Wigley and former Prime Minister

of Australia Julia Gillard.

…or work with businesses.

• Swansea University opened Europe’s first

Centre for NanoHealth, which offers access

to academic staff, NHS health board clinicians

and industry, and provides a technology and

innovation base for businesses.

They produce successful

graduates…

• A graduate of Aberystwyth University, Mitch

Robinson, won the Professional Achievement

Award at the US British Council’s Education UK

Alumni Awards 2015, recognising his leadership

and integrity in his career upon returning to

the US.

…and are employers of choice.

• Aberystwyth University library service won the

Outstanding Library Team category at the Times

Higher Education Leadership and Management

Awards 2015.

They lead the way for a

sustainable Wales.

• The University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s

Institute of Sustainable Practice and Resource

Effectiveness (INSPIRE) won the award for best

newcomer at the Green Gown Awards, having

being shortlisted for six awards, including for its

sustainable approach to sourcing food.

Beacons of quality and excellence

7


Stimulating jobs and growth

Stimulating jobs

and growth

Universities in Wales make a huge contribution

to the economy. HEFCW research funding

has been a launch pad for numerous projects

that have gone on to secure Welsh or UK

government, European or private funding.

Universities employ significant numbers of

staff in high quality jobs, and their students

are major consumers in their communities.

They create their own companies and work

with businesses.

Our investment in part-time courses helps

universities ensure that their fees for parttime

courses are kept down, helping to make

learn-as-you-earn or improving skills affordable

for more people. Universities have pointed to

their successes in improving the ‘employability’

of their graduates, with high proportions of

graduates not only employed but in graduate

jobs. During the year, the UK Commission for

Employment and Skills (UKCES) chose five

organisations to test new ways to develop

skills for innovation in manufacturing. Two of

these projects are led by universities - Cardiff

Metropolitan and Swansea.

Universities attract

funding for research and

development, generating jobs

and growth.

• Bangor is the university lead for Menai

Science Park, a £20 million development

which aims to: encourage hi-tech industry

and scientific research partnerships in

north-west Wales; create skilled longterm

employment opportunities; and be an

economic hub in sectors such as low carbon,

energy and environment and information and

communications technology.

• Cardiff University’s Compound Semiconductor

cluster has the potential to create up to

5,000 jobs in the region over the next five

years, and is part of efforts to reclaim high

value technology manufacturing from global

competitors.

• Aberystwyth University will receive £20 million

of European funding towards its Innovation

and Enterprise Campus, a facility designed to

attract further research funding for companies

and researchers to collaborate on projects to

generate innovative new products, services

and spin-out companies in sustainable food,

health, biotechnology and renewable

energy sectors.

• Cardiff University’s expertise in researching

and developing innovative technologies for

the UK healthcare sector will support Precision

Medicine Catapult’s Cardiff Centre, funded

by Innovate UK. This is one of six centres of

excellence to identify and resolve barriers

to building a leading UK precision medicine

industry.

They provide graduates with

high-level skills…

• The University of South Wales opened a

£3.3 million development of its Aerospace

Centre, building on its partnership with

British Airways which gives the airline’s staff

the opportunity to develop their skills at the

University, while aerospace students are given

access to real aircraft to improve their career

prospects while they study for their degree.

• Swansea University taught 80% of the region’s

students in science, technology, engineering,

maths and medicine, and its Swansea Bay

Campus Development Programme has been

one of the five largest knowledge economy

projects in Europe.

8


Stimulating jobs and growth

• Glyndwr University’s Business team was

recognised by the Chartered Institute of

Marketing for its “excellent standard of

results achieved” for assessments submitted

in the summer.

…many of whom earn while

they learn.

• The Open University in Wales’s student

Rhys Jenkins was awarded the Society for

General Microbiology’s annual Undergraduate

Microbiology Prize. Natural Sciences

undergraduate Darren Yudowitz is in his

second year and has secured a full-time role

in a global biosciences company, which has

committed to supporting him through to

his PhD.

• Cardiff Metropolitan University and Acorn

Learning Ltd developed a foundation degree

in Applied Professional Practice, designed to

develop employees’ skills.

• Staff working at all levels in the education

sector can access the OU in Wales’s online

resources for professional development

through OpenLearn and FutureLearn.

ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY

WILL RECEIVE £20 MILLION

OF EUROPEAN FUNDING

TOWARDS ITS INNOVATION

AND ENTERPRISE

CAMPUS

They help to make their

graduates as employable

as possible.

• Bangor University will work with Horizon

Nuclear Power: on student employability,

work placements and graduate employment;

to share researchers and facilities; and to

promote science, technology, engineering and

maths (STEM) subjects.

• Aberystwyth University’s AberForward offers

work experience to students and graduates,

which helps them develop transferable skills.

• The University of Wales Trinity Saint David will

lead on providing Welsh for Adults courses and

resources for the whole of Wales.

• Bangor University and Siemens Healthcare

Diagnostics will work more closely with

each other in future on research and

development and on work and study placement

opportunities for students.

9


Promoting equality and inclusion

Promoting equality

and inclusion

HEFCW has worked closely with universities to

encourage individuals from groups traditionally

under-represented in higher education to

consider higher-level learning and skills

opportunities. Care leavers are one such group:

only some 6% of care leavers in Wales aged

19 were in full-time post-16 education in

2013. A number of universities have received

the Athena Swan Bronze Award in recognition

of their commitment to advancing women’s

careers in science, technology, engineering,

maths and medicine.

HEFCW has funded the Wales Institute of

Social and Economic Research, Data & Methods

(WISERD) (based at Aberystwyth, Bangor,

Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea Universities)

to study pupil access to higher education in

considerable detail. A Cardiff University WISERD

report in September concluded that Welsh school

pupils’ chances of getting into university vary

dramatically according to the school they

attend and the local authority in which it

is situated, irrespective of their individual

educational attainment. Pupils attending

schools with strong records of higher education

participation were almost three times as likely to

participate in higher education compared with

those at schools with average levels of higher

education participation, regardless of their

educational attainment, socio-economic

or ethnic background.

Universities support students

from a range of backgrounds

which, traditionally, have not

progressed to higher level

learning and skills.

• Carers Trust Wales and the University of

Wales Trinity Saint David hosted the biggest

gathering of young adult carers ever seen in

Wales, which encouraged them to learn more

about university life.

• Cardiff Metropolitan University held a

transition event to help students on the

autistic spectrum prepare for university life.

Students were able to explore the University’s

campuses and receive information on the

facilities and support available to them.

• UHOVI is a part of the University of South

Wales’s commitment to make education

accessible for people in every community in

Wales’s heads of the valleys areas. UHOVI’s

Learner of the Year award winners included

mum-of-three Lynda Porter who completed

a Foundation Degree while fitting the course

around her family commitments.

• Cardiff University hosts a residential

summer school for people with autism

and their parents.

• Twenty young people with a care background

took part in a summer school at Cardiff

University, aimed at encouraging those from

traditionally underrepresented groups to think

about going to university. Students who have

been in care are offered year-round university

accommodation and additional support

through a Care Leaver Bursary scheme, which

contributes towards costs for graduation,

travel and clothes for interviews.

10


2. Section Header Goes Here

CARERS TRUST

WALES AND UWTSD

ENCOURAGED YOUNG

ADULT CARERS TO

LEARN MORE ABOUT

UNIVERSITY LIFE

11


Promoting 2. Section Header Equality Goes and inclusion Here

BANGOR IS THE UNIVERSITY LEAD

FOR THE £20 MILLION MENAI

SCIENCE PARK


Promoting equality and inclusion

Universities don’t just

promote inclusion - they

make it happen.

• The Discovery Student Volunteering Group

at Swansea University received an Exemplar

Employer Award through Chwarae Teg’s

Agile Nation Project, which aims to support

employers across Wales who are committed

to providing sustainable, fair and progressive

work practices.

• Cardiff University won the Living Wage

Champion award for Wales and became

the only university in the UK to receive this

recognition. It became Wales’s first University

to be accredited as a UK Living Wage employer

in November 2014.

• For the fifth consecutive year, Cardiff University

made it into Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers

in recognition of its commitment to equality

for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, and is

now ranked second out of eight UK universities

featuring in the index.

They encourage diversity in

academic study.

• The Open University in Wales’s ‘Steps into

STEM’ project uses family learning workshops

to introduce adults to OU learning and to

encourage children to explore science.

CARDIFF MET

MANUFACTURED A

PROSTHETIC HAND FOR

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD BOY

USING 3D PRINTING

TECHNOLOGY

• Cardiff Metropolitan University’s School

of Sport and its School of Health Sciences

delivered a ‘Gender Equality in Science and

Sport: Making it Happen’ event to discuss

the issues around equality and sport.

• Swansea University hosted the Soapbox

Science (Swansea) event, which aims to

challenge traditional science stereotypes

and raise the profile of women in science,

technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

Universities can show

themselves to be good

corporate citizens which

support the well-being of

communities.

• The Department of Law and Criminology at

Aberystwyth University was awarded

£890,000 from the Big Lottery Fund as part

of a £1.3 million research project on justice

for older people who are abused in their

own homes.

13


2. Section Header Goes Here

THE OPEN

UNIVERSITY

IN WALES

USES FAMILY

LEARNING

WORKSHOPS

TO ENCOURAGE

CHILDREN TO

EXPLORE

SCIENCE

14


• The Open University’s OpenLearn Champions

project - which introduces learning

practitioners and community workers such as

librarians and union learning representatives

to the open education resources available from

the Open University - is now running across

the whole of Wales.

• An Aberystwyth University alumnus has

provided the University with a scholarship gift

of more than half a million pounds. The Peter

Hancock Need & Merit Scholarship Fund will

award scholarships for ‘deserving, meritorious,

in-need Year 2 Honours students… who show

potential to benefit society through the

successful completion of their Honours

Degrees or equivalent.’

• The University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s

Creative Bubble works with Swansea Business

Improvement District to make a positive social,

economic and cultural impact on Swansea

city centre. Using an empty shop as its base,

Creative Bubble provides students with support

and a safe environment for pop-up shops,

exhibitions, performances, workshops, film

premieres, all the while encouraging enterprise

and entrepreneurial thinking.

• Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities, along

with Lancaster University, became part of a

collaborative project to compile an initial data

set of 10 million Welsh words. This is the first

mass body developed to capture and inform

the past, present and future use of the Welsh

language.

• Glyndwr University gave an honorary fellowship

to James Wharton, a local author and former

soldier who played a major role in the Army’s

changing attitude towards homosexuality.

• Cardiff University has started a project

to provide structured formal support for

students and staff who find themselves

in a psychologically or physically abusive

relationship.

• The University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s

Wales Centre for Equity in Education hosted a

conference on the engagement of families and

communities with education.

• Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research

Institute is conducting research into the Welsh

Government Food Policy, exploring issues of

food poverty and the impact of food production

and consumption.

GLYNDWR’S BUSINESS

TEAM WAS RECOGNISED

BY THE CIM FOR ITS

EXCELLENT STANDARD

OF RESULTS

Promoting equality and inclusion

15


Investing for students, staff and communities

Investing for students,

staff and communities

• New research estimated that Cardiff University

contributes £2.7 billion annually to the UK

economy, generating more than £6 for every £1

it spends. Taking into account the expenditure

of its international students and students from

the rest of the UK, Cardiff generates 13,355

jobs in Wales, the equivalent of nearly 1% of

all Welsh employment in 2013.

Universities invest in

their own future, and in

their students, staff and

communities.

• The Open University in Wales hosted a seminar

in partnership with NIACE Cymru called

‘Educating the economy’, which looked at the

link between adult education and a strong

Welsh economy. With OU partners across

the UK, the University also took part in the

#loveparttime campaign to raise awareness of

the importance of part-time provision, which

has reduced less sharply in Wales than in other

areas of the UK.

• Cardiff University’s £300 million development

of the Maindy Road site includes plans to build

the world’s first Social Science Research Park,

which would be able to turn world-leading

research into solutions to pressing problems

facing society and the world.

• Bangor University identified the need to

invest significantly in its student-facing

services, infrastructure and estate to secure

a sustainable financial future. Alongside

improving teaching and research facilities, it

plans to create an affordable student village

offering state of the art facilities, developed

sympathetically in natural surroundings.

• Coupled with a £522 million investment in

its Bay Campus development programme,

Swansea University reports it has exceeded its

own strategic targets by building a “firm and

sustainable foundation for a bright future”

regionally, nationally and internationally. The

University has also increased both the scale

and breadth of its research, and its research

grant income.

• The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has

appointed architects to develop S4C’s new

centre at its Carmarthen campus, where a

number of industries and community groups

will also be located.

• The University of South Wales is carrying out a

major expansion of its Cardiff Atrium building

to include state of the art studios, and learning

and teaching facilities for Creative Industries

students.

• Aberystwyth University’s plans to transform

the Old College into an integrated centre of

heritage, culture, learning and knowledge

exchange at the heart of a new cultural

quarter in the historic centre of the town.

It will include a museum, art gallery space,

shop and restaurant/café, artist tenancies,

functions and room hire for community groups.

• Glyndwr University unveiled its five-year vision

to deliver financial sustainability and academic

excellence, including strengthening ties with

FE and HE partners and underlining how

important links with industry and business are

to the future of the University.

• A new school bringing together teacher

education with social work, counselling, early

years and related therapies will be based in

the University of South Wales’s Newport City

campus, which will also provide the home for the

University’s professional and executive courses.

16


• The broad plans for the University of Wales

Trinity Saint David’s multi-million pound

Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter

for students and businesses have secured

planning permission. The new campus

aims to enhance students’ university

experience, strengthen the university’s

ongoing sustainability and income streams,

strengthen the regional economy and

provide students with opportunities to

work with and establish relationships with

potential employers.

• The expansion of Cardiff University’s

Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)

to combat diseases that affect the

brain is expected to generate up

to £22 million in additional

research investments over

the coming years.

THE UNIVERSITY

OF SOUTH WALES

OPENED A £3.3 MILLION

DEVELOPMENT OF ITS

AEROSPACE CENTRE


info@hefcw.ac.uk

www.hefcw.ac.uk

@HEFCW

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