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News 2015

  • UK Research Partnership Investment Fund 2018-19 to 2019-20
  • Date:  17 December 2015
  • The UK higher education funding bodies have invited bids from universities to a further round of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).

    UKRPIF provides funding for capital investment in major new research facilities in universities that have a significant track record of research excellence. The minimum award from the fund will be £10 million per project and the maximum has been increased to £50 million. As in previous rounds, there is a requirement for substantial co-funding from private sources. Full information is available on the HEFCE website.

    The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is 12:00 on Friday, 15 April 2016.

  • Brand new website for postgraduate study
  • Date:  8 December 2015
  • A new website providing information for students who are making decisions about going on to postgraduate study has been launched.

    Steps to postgraduate study helps prospective students from the UK, EU and the rest of the world make their own decisions about what and where to study, and provides links to online resources about visas, accommodation and funding.

    Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive of HEFCW, said: "We expect to see more postgraduate students as the proportion of graduates in the population grows, and this is an excellent resource for people about to embark on their postgraduate journey at our universities. Postgraduate students bring a high level of knowledge and skills into the economy and postgraduate courses are an excellent choice for career progression.

    "Our commitment to widening access to higher education also recognises the importance of postgraduate study in ensuring fair access to the professions and higher-level skills. The devolved administrations are currently considering potential options for their own postgraduate loan schemes from the 2016/17 academic year."

    Steps to postgraduate study has been developed by the four UK higher education funding bodies and is accessible in Welsh and English.

    http://postgradsteps.hefce.ac.uk/

  • How researchers engage with the public
  • Date:  3 December 2015
  • New research has identified that there has been a positive shift in researchers’ understanding and attitudes to public engagement over the last 10 years.

    HEFCW is part of a consortium of the top 15 funders of publicly funded research in the UK who commissioned research to explore researchers’ participation in public engagement.

    More

  • Unistats helps prospective students choose a course
  • Date:  3 September 2015
  • Now ready for 2016 applicants, the Unistats website provides information on undergraduate courses.

    Unistats is the primary source of official and impartial information to assist prospective students in choosing the right course for them and to support parents, teachers and careers advisers in helping them make that decision.

    It has received over 1.4 million visits since its launch in 2012, and surveys consistently indicate high levels of satisfaction among visitors.

    The data on Unistats has now been updated to include responses from the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS), the most recent employment statistics from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) such as the types of jobs graduates go on to do and their salaries, as well as a range of other information such as the cost of accommodation and study patterns.

    This year the UK higher education funding bodies have changed their policy on publishing survey results so data can now be published for some courses with small numbers of students. Data for these courses was previously grouped with courses in the same subject area at the institution or could not be published. This means that more course-level data than last year should now be available.

    An animated video has been added to improve understanding of the data on Unistats, for example it explains how to consider sample sizes and response rates when comparing survey outcomes. First-time visitors might also find this video tutorial helpful in getting the most from the site, as it shows them how to retrieve and compare the data for courses they are interested in.

  • HEFCW re-appointment
  • Date:  19 August 2015
  • Professor Robin Williams has been re-appointed as a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales for a third three-year term from 1 August 2015.

  • Universities and colleges have fee plans approved for 2016/17
  • Date:  14 August 2015
  • 10 universities and colleges have had their fee plans approved by HEFCW and can charge their chosen fee levels for undergraduate courses from the 2016/17 academic year.

    Around a third of the new income from higher fees is put towards widening access and promoting higher education.

    All 10 institutions – 8 universities and two further education colleges – plan to charge students on full-time undergraduate and PGCE courses between £4,000 and £9,000 a year.

    All institutions were required to involve their student unions in finalising their plan.

    Copies of fee plans and details of the fees levels and ranges can be obtained from the institutions themselves.

    They will be linked from HEFCW’s website as they become available on institutions’ websites.

  • HEFCW’s Quality Assessment Committee: Vacancies for Members
  • Date:  28 July 2015
  • HEFCW is seeking candidates for the appointment of Members to HEFCW’s newly established Quality Assessment Committee (QAC). This is a statutory committee of HEFCW’s Council, under the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015, and as such, acts in an advisory capacity.

    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.

    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.

    It is anticipated that the Committee will meet twice a year, although additional meetings may be necessary. It is envisaged that the first meeting will be in the Autumn of 2015.

    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.

    Applications should be submitted electronically to Dr Cliona O’Neill, to arrive no later than 7 September 2015.

    More information

  • Vacancy on HEFCW’s Research, Innovation and Engagement Committee
  • Date:  24 July 2015
  • We are currently inviting applications to fill the following vacancy on our Research, Innovation and Engagement Committee:

    • A member of academic staff with a strong track record in research achievement, and currently actively engaged in research, and with an interest in related higher education policy. For this appointment, subject expertise in the Arts and Humanities, including the creative industries, or in Social Sciences will be especially welcome. The Committee’s membership already includes representation at Pro Vice-Chancellor level, and so this appointment is likely to be at a more operational level, and nominations may include staff who are currently building their international research careers.

    The Committee’s principal role is to advise HEFCW’s Council on strategies for research, innovation and engagement, and to act as a source of, and sounding board for, new ideas and approaches. It usually meets twice a year in Cardiff.

    The appointments will be made on merit and expertise, and taking account of the needs for diversity of membership. In the case of the academic member, we will also have regard to the spread of institutional representation on the committee. The positions are unpaid and fixed term (up to three years).

    Further information about the Research Innovation and Engagement Committee is available at www.hefcw.ac.uk - council and committees - research, innovation and engagement committee.

    If you require any further information, please contact Tove Oliver, Committee Secretary (tove.oliver@hefcw.ac.uk / 029 2068 2264).

    To apply for any of these positions on the Research, Innovation and Engagement Committee, please complete the attached form and provide a copy of your CV. Completed applications should be emailed to sheridan.nott@hefcw.ac.uk by Monday 17 August 2015.

    Application form

  • Higher education funding bodies consult on new ways of assessing quality
  • Date:  29 June 2015
  • The funding bodies for higher education in Wales, England and Northern Ireland are consulting on a new approach to quality assessment to meet the future needs of students, the higher education (HE) sector, employers and the wider public.

    The consultation marks the second stage of a review of quality assessment which began earlier this year with a wide-ranging discussion with the HE sector and other stakeholders.

    The consultation will run from 29 June until 31 August in Wales and until mid-September in England and Northern Ireland.

    Full release

    Consultation

  • New appointments to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • Date:  21 April 2015
  • Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, has announced that Dr Arun Midha and Dr Colin Wyatt will both be joining the HEFCW Council during April 2015.

    The Minister said: “Both Arun and Colin will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their roles. Indeed as experienced board members they will be of particular assistance to the Higher Education Funding Council as it makes the transition to its new regulatory role.

    “I look forward to working with both new members over the next few years and welcome their contribution to our work to drive forward Higher Education in Wales."

  • UK Futures Programme
  • Date:  07 April 2015
  • The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) is inviting proposals from organisations such as universities, or groups of organisations, which operate as ‘anchor institutions’ within their local community in order to explore ways to support small firms to develop their leadership and entrepreneurship capabilities.

    We understand that they are interested in proposals from Wales.

    For more information about how to get involved, please see the attached document from UKCES.

  • Career researchers’ views sought
  • Date:  25 March 2015
  • Vitae, which supports researcher professional and career development, is inviting its members to participate in two new surveys, which are open between 1 March – 31 May 2015:

  • • Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS), and

    • Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey (PIRLS).

    If you want take part, register your interest with traci.wilson@vitae.ac.uk. Any queries should be directed to Dr Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head of Vitae, at janet.metcalfe@vitae.ac.uk.

  • Higher Education for the Nation: Universities for Wales
  • Date:  22 January 2015
  • 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 new report provides a taster of the varied work carried out by universities in Wales, inspired by the some of the key areas of focus by the Welsh Government.

  • Research Excellence Framework (REF) submissions published
  • Date:  19 January 2015
  • The outcomes of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the exercise which assesses the quality of research in UK universities – were announced in December 2014. The submissions which universities made to the REF have now been published on the REF website.

    Later in January the REF Team will also publish:

  • • Panel overview reports – a report by the four main panels, including sections from each of the 36 sub-panels or Units of Assessments.
  • • A report by the REF Equalities and Diversity Panel (EDAP).
  • • A full panel membership list and declarations of interest.
  • • HE institutions’ codes of practice on the selection of staff.
  • In Spring 2015 the higher education funding bodies will publish the REF impact case studies as a searchable database.

    The funding bodies are also running a number of projects to provide a comprehensive evaluation of REF 2014. Further details can be found on the HEFCE website.

  • The future of quality assessment in higher education
  • Date:  15 January 2015
  • The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), along with HEFCW and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, are now inviting views on future approaches to quality assessment.

  • More
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