University of Wales Lampeter Newsletter

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HEFCW E-Petition

August 12th, 2009 · No Comments

To: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales HEFCW

Cc: Nerys Evans & Alun Davies AMs

Re: Freedom of Information Request for a copy of the Haines Watts report into the Finances of the University of Wales Lampeter.

Further to my previous letters dated the 6th and 8th of August 2009, I am again attempting to resolve this matter without the need for an Information Tribunal. My e-petition below now has the required number of signatures to go through to the Petitions Committee for consideration and given the support by the Innovation, Universities, Science & Skills Select Committee for my evidence I expect the matter to be referred to the Enterprise and Learning Committee in due course.

Public Accountability and Consultation in Higher Education

We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh government to introduce an open and transparent system to scrutinise the standards of service and value for money offered by the Higher Education sector in Wales, and to ensure changes in service levels are subject to public consultation.
The DIUS Select Committee has stated that:

‘ the current system for safeguarding standards is out of date, inconsistent and should be replaced.’

‘Support for and treatment of part-time and mature students should be improved – the current system amounts to a form of discrimination. The Government’s forthcoming review of fees needs to examine all aspects of support for part-time and mature students, both direct financial support and changes to allow universities the flexibility to attract and retain part-time and mature students.’

‘Protection for whistleblowers should be addressed – current arrangements are inadequate.’

These issues all relate to my evidence to the DIUS Select Committee and the failure of HEFCW to undertake the task of providing value for money and ensuring standards. HEFCW has adopted a policy of concealment rather than proactive openness and transparency and has done nothing to safeguard whistleblowers.

I must again make the point that the financial failure and possible closure of Lampeter has arisen out of unacceptable academic standards, the active discrimination against mature students and its appalling treatment of whistleblowers that bring these issues to light. The public has a right to know that this situation is just as much about the failure of HEFCW as it is about the University of Wales Lampeter.

HEFCW has done nothing to stop this situation from worsening and to prevent other Universities from suffering as a result of the lack of public confidence in Welsh higher education

Tags: HEFCW E-Petition