Dyddiad | Date 24 November 2021

Pwnc | Subject: Tertiary education and Research (Wales) Bill

Dear Jeremy,

Thank you for giving evidence to the Committee on 18 November on the Bill. As I noted during the

session, there were some outstanding questions which we agreed to write to you on. To help inform

our scrutiny, we would appreciate a response by Monday 13 December.

Policy objectives and need for legislation

1. What is Welsh Government’s evidence base for believing the Bill will realise Welsh

Government’s intent? Your cost-benefit analysis by Alma Economics identified gaps in the

evidence-base and appears to have had some misunderstandings about the nature of the

proposed reforms. For example it indicates that the Commission will bring together the sector

under one regulatory umbrella, and cites that this will eliminate confusion around overlapping

roles of a number of organisations, it then lists a number of organisations which are outside

devolved competence, such as the UK Government Department for Education and Skills; and

the QAA.

2. No clear rationale is present in the Explanatory Memorandum on why some options were

dropped early on in the process. This makes it very difficult to understanding Welsh

Government’s decision-making process for this new Bill. Can you explain why there isn’t more

information on this available to us?

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

Senedd Cymru Bae Caerdydd, Caerdydd, CF99 1SN

SeneddPlant@enedd.cymru senedd.cymru/SeneddPlant

0300 200 6565

— Welsh Parliament

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1SN SeneddChildren@senedd.wales

senedd.wales/SeneddChildren 0300 200 6565

Jeremy Miles MS

Minister for Education and Welsh Language

CYPE(6)-07-21 - Paper to note 7

Commencement and implementation challenges

3. How will the regulatory and funding transition be managed considering providers will need to

apply for registration and prepare those applications?

Welsh Ministers influence over the Commissioner and providers

4. What is the rationale for not giving the Commission powers to establish its own coherent

funding framework, but to instead set eligibility for funding based on Welsh Minister’s

regulations?

5. HEFCW tell us that: “The legislation enables Government to fund research around the

Commission through retaining powers under the Science and Technology Act 1965 and the

Higher Education Act 2004. The logic for this is unclear”. Can you set out the logic for this?

Barriers to lifelong learning and collaboration

6. What is the rationale for not expecting all providers to meet the equality of opportunity on-

going condition for registration? Which providers will be expected to meet this condition?

Quality assurance and Estyn

7. To what extent have you addressed HEFCW’s concerns regarding the consideration of quality

arrangements for transnational education, validation arrangements and degree

apprenticeships?

8. Post legislative scrutiny of the HE Act found that the quality assurance system for further

education providers that delivered higher education meant subjecting institutions to both QAA

and Estyn requirements. The Bill appears to continue this situation – can you set out the

rationale for this.

Apprenticeships and sixth forms

9. During the session, you agreed to respond in writing to this question: Do main apprenticeship

contractors currently need consent from Welsh Government to pass on funding to sub-

contractors, and if not, what's the rationale for changing this in the Bill to require consent?

Learner Voice

10. How do you envisage Learner Protection Plans will support students who wish to transfer

courses when there are often systemic barriers to doing so, such as recognising advanced

standing and credit transfer?

11. To what extent will there be consistency of expectation across all tertiary education providers

regarding the level of commitment and content of their Learner Protection Plan?

During the session, you also agreed to share with us the legislation implementation plan. Can you

confirm when you will be able to share this with us? You also agreed to provide the Committee with a

note on how you envisage the relationship between employers, awarding bodies, the Commission

and Qualifications Wales will improve through the Bill.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely,

Jayne Bryant MS

Chair

Croesewir gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg neu Saesneg.

We welcome correspondence in Welsh or English.