Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Assembly for Wales

Y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg | Children, Young People and Education Committee

Craffu ar ôl deddfu ar Ddeddf Addysg Uwch (Cymru) 2015 | Post-legislative scrutiny of the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015

HEA 02

Ymateb gan: Coleg y Cymoedd

Response from: Coleg y Cymoedd



1.          Has, or is the Act, achieving its policy objectives, and if not why not?

Yes we think so but as a non-designated HE provider, offering qualifications through an exclusive franchise arrangement with our local HE provider we are a little bit at “arm’s length” from the direct effects of the legislation. The policy objectives associated with the Act were clear and as far as we are concerned appear, from a little distance, to be being met by current arrangements.


2.           How well are the Act’s overall arrangements working in practice, including any actions your organisation has had to take under the Act?

Fee and access plan drafting and submission works well for us as a formalised element of our planning of the provision. However, the detail of the submission and the restrictions on expenditure patterns can cause some issues especially whilst attempting to identify some of the costs around promotional activity – staff hours and social media costs aren’t always easy to quantify accurately?

The fact that we receive no feedback to the submissions is disappointing and doesn’t allow us to plan improvement in our provision – feedback is a standard feature of our interaction with welsh government and its agencies as an FE Institution and so we are more acutely aware of its absence in this case.

The data input required for postponed data project was of some concern as there is variation in the systems used to generate data sets between the FE and HE sectors and between the institutions in those sectors.


3.           Are the costs of the Act, or your organisations own costs for actions taken under the Act, in-line with what Welsh Government stated they’d be?

As a non-designated provider working solely through one franchise partner we are planning and monitoring costs through our relationship with our partner rather than against the Act so this is difficult to comment upon for us?


4.           Has the Act achieved value for money?

We receive no feedback  on vfm from USW or HEFCW so we are unable to offer any insight on this issue?


5.           Have there been any unintended or negative consequences arising from the Act?

Some changes are communicated very late in the day to us as they come, filtered to us through our partner institution and this can be difficult to manage late in the day. A review of the processes to become a designated institution could be helpful as it would allow more direct interaction with the policy aims of the Act.


6.           Are there any lessons to be learned from the Act and how it is working in practice that may be relevant to the proposed Post-compulsory Education, Training and Research (PCETR) Bill?

Given the volume of franchised activity offered within Wales, especially by the FE sector how do you consult directly with that sector to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to HE delivery and is this an issue when looking for consistency in the PCET developments where institutions are operating across sectors ?


7.           Are there any lessons to be learned from how this Act was prepared in 2014/15 (formulated, consulted on, drafted etc)?

None that we can see from the proximity to the Act that we experience?