Meeting updates

UEB 29 June 2015

  • UEB noted that the GW4 draft research vision had been well received at the recent GW4 Board meeting.  Agreement had been reached on the four research themes to be taken forward: Cities; Data Analytics; Healthy Living (Cardiff to coordinate); and Sustainable Futures.
  • It was noted that HEFCE’s consultation on the review on quality assessment had just been published.  It was agreed that the University’s response would come back to UEB prior to being submitted.
  • It was noted that during the 2013/14 session UEB had agreed that applicants meeting the University’s entry requirements and seeking asylum be charged home student fees rather than international fees.  It was now thought that this fee reduction was still not sufficient for students seeking asylum as they were not able to apply to the Student Loan Company and so were highly unlikely to be able to pay the home fee level.  It was agreed that a full tuition fee waiver be offered to the current applicants seeking asylum for 2015/16 and that a full fee waiver for a maximum of two students seeking asylum be implemented from 2016/17.
  • It was noted that Professor Holford had led a Physical Science and Engineering College delegation to KU Leuven last week and the productive visit had focussed on Horizon 2020, PGR activities and student exchange.
  • UEB received a paper outlining the extent of research collaboration that Cardiff University undertakes with the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea.  It was noted that the number and value of the projects is considerable.  It was agreed that Ms Sanders would work with her counterparts in the other universities to work out the best way to promote this information.

UEB received the following regular reports:

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor Monthly Report. The report updated on the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s monthly activity including the meeting of the League Table Working Group and the Long Term Planning Group.  The report also noted that the Deputy Vice-Chancellor had accepted the invitation from Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool to become a member of the 30% Club.  The 30% Club is a business led partnership set up in 2010 to encourage new thinking in the area of diversity.
  • PVC College of Physical Sciences & Engineering Monthly Report.  The report noted that as of 31 May research awards for the College are up £10.85M on the same point last year and that grant applications are also considerable up on the same point last year.  The College has appointed an Education Manager on a 12 month fixed contract, starting on 1 September. The second annual STEM Conference with St David’s College, took place on 19 June. An Advisory Teacher Panel has been convened to inform our engagement activities for the STEM Live event which will be held in September.
  • PVC College of Biomedical & Life Sciences Monthly Report. The report updated on developments over the last month.  It also highlighted that the College has launched an Education Seminar Series that will aim to showcase good practice across the College, bring in expertise from the sector and enable Schools to work together on common issues or challenges.  The first seminar was held last week on Peer Review of Learning and Teaching with 50 attendees from across the College who engaged with presentations and discussion on different models and challenges of implementing effective Peer Review.
  • Estates Projects Update.
  • Innovation System Update. The report updated on recent activity.  It noted that the main focus of the Innovation System team is the development of business cases for each of the capital buildings. The final business cases were endorsed by University Executive Board and Policy & Resources Committee on 3 and 16 June respectively.   Professor Thomas also presented at the meeting of the Lay Members of Council on 16 June. Feedback received from this group is currently being incorporated into the business cases.  The business cases will seek final approval from University Council on 6 July 2015.
  •  PVC Student Experience and Academic Standards Monthly Report.  The report updated on progress on the Centre for Student Life, with Council having approved the interim business case on 18 May 2015.  Work is currently in progress to assess the pre-qualification questionnaires received in response to the design competition, with a view to inviting a maximum of five design teams to tender for the project.  The report also noted that the Learn Plus and Timetabling and Room-bookings projects are on track, the Physical Learning Spaces is progressing with work underway to refurbish 11 large lecture theatres over the summer period.
  • PVC College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Monthly Report. The report noted the significant progress which been made in the confirmation and clearing project, which sees a number of strategic and operational changes to practice for August 2015.  The report also updates on some staffing changes.  Matthew Williamson has been appointed College Registrar (currently School Manager in the School of Healthcare Sciences). He will be transitioning into the new role during July and officially start on 1 August.  Matt replaces Anna Verhamme who takes up her new role as Director of Strategic Planning and Governance on 1 July.  Professor Stuart Allan has been appointed Head of School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.  Professor Kenneth Hamilton has been appointed substantive Head of the School of Music (previously acting Head).  Professor Gillian Bristow appointed College Dean for Research from 1 August 2015.
  • Chief Operating Officer’s Monthly Report. The report included updates from each of the corporate Professional Services Departments.
  • Monthly Activity Report on Research and Innovation. The report noted that the PVC Research, Innovation and Engagement had met with the lead academics for the six University RCUK Expert Groups. The Expert Groups were established earlier this year to provide advice to the PVC in relation to the University’s interaction with the Research Councils.  The report also updated on the Innovation and Impact Awards 2015 noting that the event was very well received and had attracted considerable publicity for the award winners.  Excellent feedback was also obtained from guests at the event, including strong endorsement of the value of the University’s influence with a range of external partners through collaborative working.