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News 2012

  • Welsh Government announces appointment to the Higher Education Funding Council For Wales
  • Date:  14 June 2012
  • Education Minister Leighton Andrews has today announced the reappointment of Professor Robin Williams as a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) for a second three-year term from 1 August 2012.
  • Leighton Andrews said: "Professor Williams has brought to HEFCW his substantial experience and knowledge of the sector during a challenging time as the Council continues to implement the Welsh Government’s Higher Education strategy For Our Future. The Council has responded positively to the challenges so far and I believe the body will continue to do so in the future."
  • Statement about funding for the University of Wales Dictionary
  • Date:  21 May 2012
  • HEFCW provides the University of Wales Dictionary Unit with some £60k a year in quality research funding - which recognises and reinforces research excellence - through the same method as other research departments in Wales.
  • We have also long provided the Dictionary Unit with an additional grant to support its activity. We have been pleased to be able to confirm that we can continue this grant until the end of the 2013/14 academic year. This amounted to £95.4k in 2011/12. Other funding has come from the University of Wales.
  • In giving this additional grant, we have been conscious that our responsibility is to support higher education provision and research, and not to finance a dictionary. But we have recognised the value to higher education in Wales, and beyond, of the Dictionary, and have been pleased to be able to support it thus far for that reason.
  • At the same time, we have for a number of years urged the University of Wales to ensure that the Dictionary Unit redoubles its efforts to secure more appropriate income streams from other suitable funders – reflecting, in so doing, the wider range of purposes that it addresses beyond higher education, and which do not fall properly as a charge on the higher education budget, and at the cost of other university activity in Wales. This would have the beneficial effect of injecting more funding into the project than HEFCW would ever be able to provide.
  • It needs also to be recognised that we are currently going through a period of profound restructuring of higher education funding in Wales, and across the UK, coupled with substantial reductions in public spending. We are having to reduce funding across the board, with difficult priority choices being made across all aspects of university spending.
  • Against that background, we are pleased that we are still able to support the Dictionary Unit at the level that we are doing. We would also welcome a wider debate about a broader base of future funding of the Dictionary, to reflect properly the range of purposes that it serves, and as we have been urging for several years.
  • In terms of Welsh medium higher education more generally, HEFCW plays a significant role in working with the sector to achieve developments in this area. We are proud to have played such a major role in establishing the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, which will advance learning and knowledge by promoting and developing Welsh medium provision in higher education in Wales. We look forward to continuing to support the development of Welsh medium provision over the coming years.
  • Job advertisement for Chief Executive, HEFCW
  • Date:  30 March 2012
  • The Board of HEFCW is seeking to appoint a high calibre individual who can lead the organisation through a period of change at the end of which HEFCW will have new responsibilities for higher education strategy in Wales.
  • More
  • HEFCW statement about re-organisation
  • Date:  14 February 2012
  • Like most public sector organisations, cuts in public spending require us to reduce our running costs. This means we will need to make payroll costs savings of approximately £500,000 by the start of the 2013-14 financial year.
  • At the end of 2011 we opened a voluntary exit scheme for all staff below chief executive level, in order to meet the savings target.
  • All nine applications received were approved by HEFCW in January. There are further stages in the process for these colleagues to consider, and they will be in a position to agree the final terms of their exit by April 2012. If all nine staff confirm their intention to leave, then we would not expect to need to run any further staff reduction process to achieve the running costs target.
  • We have engaged with staff throughout the voluntary exit process, including through our consultative Works Council, which includes staff representatives and a representative from the PCS union.
  • We are also in the preliminary stages of re-organising internally. This will both take account of staff changes brought about by voluntary exits and ensure that we are best placed to carry out not only the new fees and funding duties placed on HEFCW, but also the priorities outlined in the Welsh Government’s strategy for HE, For our Future. We hope to have a new structure for the organisation agreed by April. We will continue to engage with staff throughout the process of re-organisation.
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