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Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022

Part 1 – Strategic Framework for Tertiary Education and Research

5.Part 1 provides for the establishment of a new public body, the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (“the Commission”). The body will exercise new functions created by the Act, the existing statutory functions of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (“HEFCW”) and many of the existing further education and training functions of the Welsh Ministers. Most of these existing statutory functions are repealed in their current form and restated in the Act, with modifications to make them exercisable by the Commission (instead of HEFCW or the Welsh Ministers) and with modifications in other respects in some cases.

6.Part 1 sets out the strategic duties of the Commission, requires strategic planning for tertiary education and research by the Commission and abolishes HEFCW.

7.Provision is made for the Welsh Ministers to have an ‘arms-length’ supervisory role in respect of the Commission. The Welsh Ministers—

  • are required to publish a statement of strategic priorities for tertiary education and research, which is to inform the Commission’s strategic planning;

  • are to appoint the members of the Commission;

  • may confer supplementary functions on the Commission by regulations;

  • may give guidance to which the Commission must have regard when exercising its functions; and

  • may give general directions to the Commission about the exercise of its functions.

8.Duties are also placed on both the Commission and the Welsh Ministers to have regard, when exercising functions under the Act, to the importance of protecting the academic freedom of higher education providers and academic staff at such providers.

9.This Part introduces Schedule 1 which sets out the status of the Commission; makes provision about membership of the Commission including some terms and conditions; imposes a duty on the Commission to have a Research and Innovation Committee, a Quality Committee and a staff member appointment committee. It enables it to establish other committees including joint committees; makes provisions about memberships of the Commission (including workforce and learner representation), audit and accounts, a duty to ensure good value, annual reporting requirements as well as other operational requirements such as delegations, proceedings, register of interests and the exercise of functions.

10.This Part also introduces Schedule 2 which makes provision about the transfer of property and staff to the Commission.

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of Senedd Cymru.


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