HEFCW Consultation: Developing a Higher Education Strategy for Wales – LSW Comments

Learned Society of Wales
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The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, (HEFCW) were remitted by Welsh Government to ‘work in partnership with providers’ to develop a ‘new Strategy for Higher Education in Wales looking forward over the next decade’. The strategy was to be ‘high level’ and aligned with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Following this consultation, HEFCW will submit an ‘initial draft of the Strategy to the Cabinet Secretary by the end of December 2016’.

This draft higher education strategy is for the Welsh Government and as such the ‘final version will be a Welsh Government higher education strategy for Wales’…. and where by ‘the current (HEFCW) draft may be subject to further development or amendment after submission’.

The Society submitted a response, which can be accessed below

“The Society welcomes the development of a new HE strategy covering the next ten years, particularly given the broad political consensus received by the recent Diamond review and its focus on creating a sustainable funding settlement for institutions intended to allow Welsh universities to compete and be sustainable in a national and international market.

The higher education sector is one of Wales’s most important enterprise, which creates tens of thousands of jobs and stimulates substantial economic activity in local communities, as well as the wider Welsh economy. In 2014, Welsh universities generated output equivalent to 4.6% of Wales’s total GVA. In addition, higher education contributes to the wider enrichment of culture and civil society and is a significant driver of social mobility reducing inequality.

We consider the current draft, however, to be problematic given current policy uncertainties and what appears to be an attempt to craft a strategy in terms of the Future Generations Act for education providers not covered by the legislation. […]”