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News 2011

  • HEFCW Statement on the Quality Assurance Agency's reports on the University of Wales
  • Date: 21 June 2011
  • We have been in close dialogue with the QAA in recent months over matters surrounding the University of Wales. We have had concerns for the interests of students on programmes validated by the University, for the reputation of the University itself, and for the consequences, by association, for the reputations of all the universities in Wales of any negative aspects of the activities of the University.
  • The reports now published by the QAA identify a considerable range of serious shortcomings in the University’s central processes and in its relations with several partner institutions, and a failure by the University to establish proper control over these matters. There needs to be an urgent and effective response. The QAA is agreeing an Action Plan with the University, and we shall be engaging closely with both the QAA and the Council of the University of Wales (as the body ultimately responsible) to ensure its delivery.
  • We shall also take these developments into account in our consideration of current merger discussions involving the University of Wales.
  • QAA's reports on the University of Wales.
  • Statement on fee plans
  • Date: 16 June 2011
  • Any institution which plans to charge more than £4,000 for eligible students had to submit a fee plan to HEFCW. These plans detail investments they intend to make using a proportion of this new income in order to encourage equality of opportunity and promote higher education. All plans must be agreed by HEFCW before the new fees can be charged.
  • We have now written to all ten higher education institutions and four further education colleges which submitted fee plans by 31 May stating that the plans in their current form do not meet the necessary requirements. We expect to receive revised plans, taking account of the concerns we have raised with individual institutions, by, or very soon after, the end of June
  • We don’t plan to provide commentary on submissions and institutions’ intentions before we make an announcement on their final acceptance or rejection on 11 July 2011.
  • Letter to institutions from HEFCW.
  • Research Excellence Framework
  • Date: 03 March 2011
  • The Research Excellence Framework is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
  • The four UK higher education funding bodies have now announced decisions on the broad framework for assessing impact in the Research Excellence Framework and the weightings for the three elements of assessment: outputs, impact and environment. This follows completion of a recent UK-wide pilot exercise to test and develop the arrangements for assessing impact. Two Welsh universities participated in the pilot exercise, which proved very helpful in refining the new arrangements.
  • The names of the assessment panel members have also been published.
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