Lynne Neagle AM, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee

Higher Education (Wales) Act and the future

The National Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee is launching its report examining how well the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015 has worked. The Committee wanted to make sure that the lessons from this Act are reflected in the new tertiary education bill, due to be introduced in 2020.

This bill will replace the Higher Education Act and is expected to significantly change post-16 education, bringing very diverse education providers under one new arms-length tertiary education Commission.

The Committee heard strong criticisms of the Act from a range of stakeholders including universities and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). It was told that the law doesn’t give HEFCW oversight over some higher education provision, placing student interests and public funding at risk. It also heard that the Act isn’t able to deal effectively with suspected poor governance at universities, an issue which is important to get right.

What matters to students

The Committee also made recommendations for principles it expects to see in the new tertiary education bill, all based on the lessons from this inquiry.

The Committee believes that student interests are poorly reflected in the current legislation which is out of touch with what really matters to students such as:

  • Mental-health provision
  • Having access to affordable accommodation
  • Getting value for money
  • The facilities on campus
  • Their employability, and
  • Access to student services

The new bill must improve this and have a far better and broader idea of student interests, and it must safeguard them.

Lynne Neagle AM, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee said:

“Student interests must be at the heart of the tertiary education bill”

“We have learned a lot of lessons from the Higher Education Act, lessons we are very keen to see reflected in the new tertiary education bill. This new bill is a once-in-a-generation chance to create a vision for post-16 education that has students and learners at its centre, learners who are able to realise their full potential, whatever their background.

“We want to ensure that the original ambitions for the reforms – which include prioritising learners’ needs and realising the talents of all learners  – are not squeezed and wrung out of the tertiary education bill. I urge the Welsh Government to consider carefully our recommendations and to maintain that original ambition. The HE Act is focused on providers - the new bill must be focused more on learners”.


Deddf Addysg Uwch (Cymru) a'r dyfodol

Mae Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol yn lansio’i adroddiad yn edrych ar ba mor dda y mae Deddf Addysg Uwch (Cymru) 2015 wedi gweithio. Roedd y Pwyllgor eisiau sicrhau bod y gwersi o'r Ddeddf hon yn cael eu hadlewyrchu yn y Bil addysg drydyddol newydd, sydd i’w gyflwyno yn 2020.

Advertisement

Bydd y Bil hwn yn cymryd lle’r Ddeddf Addysg Uwch a disgwylir iddo newid addysg ôl-16 yn sylweddol, gan ddod â darparwyr addysg amrywiol iawn o dan un Comisiwn newydd ar hyd braich ar gyfer addysg drydyddol.

Clywodd y Pwyllgor feirniadaeth gref o'r Ddeddf gan ystod o randdeiliaid, gan gynnwys prifysgolion a Chyngor Cyllido Addysg Uwch Cymru (CCAUC). Clywodd nad yw'r gyfraith yn rhoi goruchwyliaeth i CCAUC ar rai meysydd darpariaeth addysg uwch, sy’n peryglu buddiannau myfyrwyr ac arian cyhoeddus. Clywodd hefyd nad yw'r Ddeddf yn gallu delio'n effeithiol ag amheuaeth o lywodraethu gwael mewn prifysgolion, mater sy'n bwysig ei gael yn iawn.

Beth sy'n bwysig i fyfyrwyr

Hefyd, gwnaeth y Pwyllgor argymhellion ar gyfer egwyddorion y mae'n disgwyl eu gweld yn y Bil addysg drydyddol newydd, yn seiliedig ar wersi'r ymchwiliad hwn. Mae’r Pwyllgor yn credu nad yw’r ddeddfwriaeth gyfredol yn adlewyrchu buddiannau myfyrwyr yn dda, ac nad yw’n deall yr hyn sy'n wirioneddol bwysig i fyfyrwyr, fel darpariaeth iechyd meddwl, cael mynediad at lety fforddiadwy, cael gwerth am arian, y cyfleusterau ar y campws, eu cyflogadwyedd a mynediad at wasanaethau myfyrwyr. Rhaid i'r Bil newydd wella hyn a chael syniad llawer gwell ac ehangach o fuddiannau myfyrwyr, ac mae’n rhaid iddo’u diogelu.

Dywedodd Lynne Neagle AC, Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg:

“Rhaid i fuddiannau myfyrwyr fod yn ganolog i’r Bil addysg drydyddol”

“Rydym ni wedi dysgu llawer o wersi o’r Ddeddf Addysg Uwch, ac rydym yn awyddus iawn i weld y gwersi hyn yn cael eu hadlewyrchu yn y Bil addysg drydyddol newydd. Mae'r Bil newydd hwn yn gyfle unigryw i greu gweledigaeth ar gyfer addysg ôl-16 sy’n gosod myfyrwyr a dysgwyr yn ganolog iddo – dysgwyr sy'n gallu gwireddu eu potensial llawn, waeth beth fo'u cefndir.

“Rydym ni am sicrhau nad yw’r uchelgeisiau diwygio gwreiddiol – sy’n cynnwys blaenoriaethu anghenion dysgwyr a gwireddu doniau pob dysgwr – yn cael eu gwasgu a’u gwthio allan o’r Bil addysg drydyddol. Rwy’n annog Llywodraeth Cymru i ystyried ein hargymhellion yn ofalus a chefnogi’r uchelgais wreiddiol honno. Mae'r Ddeddf Addysg Uwch yn canolbwyntio ar ddarparwyr – rhaid i'r Bil newydd ganolbwyntio mwy ar ddysgwyr.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


The FE News Channel gives you the latest breaking news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation.

Providing trustworthy and positive news and views since 2003, we publish exclusive peer to peer articles from our feature writers, as well as user content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, webinars, video interviews and news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page