Vacancy -- Member - Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Vacancy details

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Meetings usually held in Bedwas, near Cardiff
£5,076 per annum, Members are entitled to travel and other reasonable expenses within reasonable limits

Function of body

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (“HEFCW” or “the Council”) is a Welsh Government sponsored body established in May 1992 under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (“the 1992 Act”).

The Council’s vision is to develop and sustain internationally excellent higher education in Wales, for the benefit of individuals, society and the economy in Wales, and more widely. In 2017-18 HEFCW will manage a budget of £100.4m. The Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015 established a revised regulatory framework for higher education in Wales, which enhanced the Council’s regulatory role. This will mean significant changes in the way the Council approaches its duties as it prepares for full implementation of the Act from 1 September 2017.

The Council administers funds made available by the Welsh Government to support education, research and associated activities at universities in Wales and teaching by the Open University in Wales. It also provides funds for prescribed higher education courses at further education colleges.

The Council is also currently responsible for the funding of teacher training for school teachers and the accreditation of providers of initial teacher training in Wales. These responsibilities are covered under the Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (Wales) Regulations 2012 and the Education Act 2005.

The Council’s Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16 and Corporate Plan 2013-14 to 2016-17, together with the Welsh Government’s Remit letter 2017-18 are available on HEFCW’s website

Council’s Role

The Council’s principal tasks currently are twofold:

• to regulate the sector in Wales through the approval and monitoring of institutions’ fee and access plans, assuring the quality of HE in regulated institutions, to establish a framework for the organisation and management of the financial affairs of regulated institutions; and

• to distribute funds made available by the Welsh Government for the provision of education and the undertaking of research by higher education institutions in Wales.

The Council also provides expert advice to the Welsh Government and the sector. Its Chief Executive is the designated Accounting Officer, having a specific responsibility relating to the use of public funds made available by the Welsh Government.

The HEFCW Corporate Strategy (2013-14 to 2016-17) sets out the key strategic themes that the Council will consider in pursuing its vision for a sustainable, accessible and internationally excellent higher education sector in Wales. The Council has recently drafted a high-level HE Strategy for Wales to align with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which will be discussed with the Welsh Government during 2017.

The Council’s mission is to:

• secure an excellent quality higher education student experience and internationally excellent quality research;
• promote the contribution of higher education in Wales, the UK and internationally;
• enable higher education providers in Wales to deliver Welsh Government and UK priorities for higher education; and
• inform and shape Government policy to be relevant and appropriate for delivery by higher education providers;

in order to:

• enhance social justice; and
• support a buoyant economy.

Higher Education Reform

Higher education in Wales is facing significant change in the coming years due to:

• the decision of the UK to leave the European Union;
• the Welsh Government’s response to Professor Hazelkorn’s Review of the Oversight and Regulation of Post-compulsory Education and Training in Wales;
• the Welsh Government’s response to Sir Ian Diamond’s review of HE Funding and Student Finance Arrangements in Wales;
• consequences for HE in Wales arising out of the Higher Education Reform Bill (HERB) in England.

Council members will be expected to keep up to date with the changing landscape across the UK and its impact on Welsh Higher Education.

Role description

As a Council Member you will be expected to:

• work closely with the Chair and the Chief Executive in giving advice and encouragement to HEFCW in the initiation, development and implementation of policy and in the fulfilment of its statutory responsibilities;

• attend meetings of the Council and contribute, and be party to key decisions concerning the Council’s strategy;

• provide authoritative and timely advice to the Welsh Government between meetings;

• chair or be a member of committees of the Council, as and when required;

• uphold, and be widely perceived to uphold, the highest standards of integrity and impartiality;

• build respect for the work of the Council; and

• be able to deal confidently with the Welsh Government, its officials and Ministers, and the Welsh Higher Education sector.

Welsh language skills

The Welsh Government acknowledges the importance of developing and growing bilingual capabilities in public appointments in Wales, and welcomes applications from candidates who demonstrate their capability to work in both English and Welsh.  The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the recruiting body of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.
No skills
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Person specification

The Welsh Government wishes to recruit four members initially with extensive current or recent experience in one or more of the following:

• Higher Education Institutions;

• the wider post-compulsory sector, Further Education, Schools (including sixth form provision), Work Based Learning and Adult Community Education;

• an employer in knowledge or skills based businesses;

• graduate recruitment and/or employment;

• managing and/or implementing organisational change.

A reserve list of up to four appointable candidates will also be compiled to fill vacancies that may arise during the next 12 months.

Council Members will also:

• be aware of the changes impacting the higher education sector and the challenges it faces in the UK and international context;

• have the ability to challenge current thinking and be an effective and persuasive communicator;

• have the ability to listen, analyse and question strategic proposals and performance data, and work as part of a team with a common aim;

• have a clear understanding and commitment to equality issues; and

• have an understanding of the importance of high standards in public life.

Welsh Language

The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable but not essential.

Interview dates

16 October 2017
17 October 2017

Closing date

22/08/2017, 23:55

Additional information

The Welsh Government will also be employing the services of to facilitate this exercise.

For further information regarding the selection process or help in applying for this role, please contact:

The Corporate Shared Service Centre
Tel: 029 2082 5454

For further information regarding the role of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the role of Member(s) please contact the Higher Education Division:

Tel: Colette Eley 03000 250523

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

**Please note, the closing date has been extended to 22 August**

How to apply

To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button below. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system.  You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form.  To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates.  This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4.  Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit.  The second document is a full, up to date CV.  The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.

In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities.  We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years. 

It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence.  You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go.  You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.

If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Corporate Shared Service Centre Helpdesk on 029 2082 5454 or 

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

Commissioner for Public Appointments logo

This vacancy is closed to applications.