Speaking at the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education Conference in Cardiff, the Minister announced his intention to produce a new Higher Education policy statement in the New Year.
Leighton Andrews said:
“If we are to strengthen and enhance Higher Education in Wales it is important that we move beyond For our Future, our previous policy document on HE.
“It is imperative that we play to the real strengths of individual institutions in Wales, not pretending that every institution can have the same mission, the same potential or the same model for growth.
“We need a clear view of what is really world-class. There needs to be a real role for government in promoting the quality and strength of Welsh higher education internationally.
“I therefore intend to produce a new HE policy statement in the New Year, building on For our Future, but moving beyond it, in partnership with the sector.
“The focus will be outward, not inward. It will recognise that we now have a Welsh HE sector based on a smaller number of stronger universities, able to promote themselves and Welsh HE more vigorously in the UK and globally. It will be developmental, building on the strengths that we have, aiming for continuous improvement of teaching and learning, research and innovation, access and participation.
“It will have a clear vision for an HE sector that is world-class. It will have a clear commitment from government to invest in success.
“The stakes are high. Our ambitions should be high also.”
In his keynote address Leighton Andrews also announced his intention to impose terms and conditions of funding on Higher Education Funding Council for Wales to ensure that the Council promotes regional coherence in the provision of higher education throughout Wales when exercising its functions to allocate funding to institutions.
“There are significant financial imperatives for collaborative planning and development of greater regional coherence in Higher Education.
“Current financial conditions mean that for the medium to long term it will be necessary for the HE sector to maximise value for money and demonstrate substantial returns on investment of scarce public funding.”