1. ITV Report

New body to be created to oversee further and higher education including research funding

The Hazelkorn review made several recommendations about further and higher education in Wales. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images

Higher and further education research funding and skills will be overseen by a new body, following an independent review.

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams AM announced this afternoon that the Welsh Government has accepted the recommendations of the review carried out by Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, which was published in March last year.

The recommendations in the report included:

  • creating a single regulatory, oversight and co-ordinating authority for higher and further education, which would have responsibility for funding provision including research
  • establishing clear and flexible learning and career pathways
  • ensuring there is equal value and support for vocational and academic pathways
  • improving connections between qualifications and the labour market.

Ms Williams said she had given the proposals careful consideration and said Professor Hazelkorn's findings were based on what had been tried and tested in successful education systems.

The various sectors and providers in Wales are regulated and funded in different ways by different bodies, resulting in competition, gaps and confusion for learners.

Professor Hazelkorn concluded that the current system does not focus sufficiently on learners and does not fully achieve value for money. Her report emphasised the need for post-compulsory education and training to operate as a single sector.

I have given these proposals careful consideration and the model she puts forward builds on what is tried and tested in successful education systems, and I want Wales to enjoy those same advantages.

– Kirsty Williams AM, Education Secretary

A public consultation will be held in the spring.