Vacancy -- Member - Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) (Welsh Desirable)

Vacancy details

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)
Meetings are generally held at HEFCW’s offices in Bedwas, Caerphilly, South Wales, although will occasionally be held at other locations throughout Wales.
£5,076 pa plus reasonable travel and other reasonable expenses.

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”).

It is the body responsible for the regulation of higher education in Wales, under powers contained in the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015, and administers funds made available by the Welsh Government to support education, research and associated activities at nine universities in Wales, including the Open University in Wales. It also provides funds for prescribed higher education courses at further education colleges.

In 2019-20 HEFCW will manage a budget in excess of £152m.

HEFCW is also subject to the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015.

HEFCW’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19, its Corporate Strategy for 2017-2020 and a copy of the Minister for Education’s Remit letter for 2019-20 are available on HEFCW’s website


Council’s Role

HEFCW’s principal tasks currently are twofold:

  • to regulate higher education in Wales through the approval and monitoring of institutions’ fee and access plans; assessing the quality of HE in regulated institutions; and scrutinising the performance of HE through 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, supporting research and other eligible activities by higher education providers in Wales.


HEFCW 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.

HEFCW’s Corporate Strategy 2017-20 sets out the priorities HEFCW will consider in pursuing its vision for a sustainable, accessible and internationally excellent higher education sector in Wales.

HEFCW’s vision is to sustain internationally excellent higher education in Wales, for the benefit of individuals, society and the economy in Wales, and more widely.

Its mission is to:

 • Fund higher education in Wales

• Regulate higher education providers in Wales

• Influence higher education with evidence-based advice and strong partnership working

• Work in partnership with students

• Operate effectively as an organisation.

Role description

The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 provides for the Council to have a membership of between 8 and 12 members, including the Chair and CEO. 

We are looking to appoint two members to fill current and upcoming vacancies. 

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 fulfilment of its statutory responsibilities and in the initiation, development and implementation of policy;
  • identify and evaluate risks and options and develop strategies to manage and mitigate these;
  • have the confidence to challenge assumptions in an assertive yet constructive way;
  • 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.

Person specification

To be considered, you must  be able to demonstrate you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment:  

Essential Criteria


  • the ability to operate effectively at board level;
  • have knowledge and understanding of higher education and the wider post-compulsory education and training (PCET) sector;
  • be aware of the challenges facing higher education in the UK and international context;
  • have empathy with students, their experience and life chances;
  • 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 and diversity; and
  • have an understanding of the importance of high standards in public life.

In addition to the above person specification, to meet current skills gaps, we particularly wish to encourage applications from individuals who can demonstrate current or recent experience in one or more of the following areas: 

  • the wider post-compulsory sector, work-based learning and training and experience of working across sectors;
  • a strong research background and/or experience of working with Research Councils;
  • an employer in knowledge-based or skills-based business and/or experience in graduate recruitment and/or employment.

A successful candidate formerly or currently working for one of the Welsh higher education institutions will not represent the interests of that institution whilst on the Council, but will be expected to take an impartial and holistic view of the challenges facing the whole of the Welsh HE sector. All other things being equal, preference will be given to candidates who are not currently employed by one of the Welsh higher education institutions.

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

Interview dates

17 February 2020
21 February 2020

Closing date

10/01/2020, 16:00

Additional information



For further information regarding the selection process, please contact:


Public Appointments

Public Bodies Unit



For further information regarding the role of HEFCW and the role of Members please contact Colette Eley in the WG sponsor team:


Tel: 03000 250523



or Dale Hall, HEFCW Council Secretary:


Tel: 029 2085 9665



If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact:


For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

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 Public Appointments Team on

For further information about Public Appointments in Wales, please visit

Commissioner for Public Appointments logo

This vacancy is closed to applications.