Fighting fund banner


Wales highlight map

UCU Cymru

17 November 2006

UCU Cymru represents members in both higher and further education in Wales

Jump to:

@UCUCymru : This link opens in a new window Facebook - UCU Cymru : This link opens in a new window
Wales office contact information

News from UCU Cymru

Read more on the UCU Cymru news page.

Information Please click here for the latest FE Wales pay news

Post-16 education and UCU in Wales

The Welsh government and its executive determine how much funding colleges receive each year. Because of changes to the HE funding mechanism the funding follows the student and therefore universities are very dependent on the student numbers allocated by the Higher Education Funding Council in their fee planning policy. Both funding mechanisms have to be funded by the budget available to the Welsh government.

Education policy is a devolved matter and UCU Cymru spends a significant amount of time and energy ensuring that all politicians are aware of the issues which affect UCU members in both sectors in Wales. Every college of further education and every university has a branch of UCU with branch officers who are trained to provide advice on the policies and procedures operated by your employer.

Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022

Covid-19 info for members in Wales

UCU Cymru Covid-19 protocols for HE, review, May 21 [149kb]
UCU Cymru: carrying out workplace inspections [313kb]
UCU Wales responds to the Welsh Assembly post-Covid recovery consultation [201kb]
[Archived] UCU Cymru - Covid-19 and annual leave [386kb]
Covid-19: Wales FE early returner guidance [252kb]
Agreed FE Wales workplace return protocols [876kb] - these protocols for FE have been agreed in the national negotiating Forum (WNCFE) in Wales by the employer representatives and the joint trade unions (JTU). It is the view of the WNCFE that employer and staff should abide by these protocols to help look after the safety and well-being of all. It is the view of the JTUs that these agreed protocols take precedence over the government guidance.
Covid-19 impact on HE in Wales, LE, May 20 [1mb]
Covid-19: H&S in Wales [259kb]

Further education in Wales


See our FE Wales pay page for the latest pay news.

Wales national contract

All colleges should have implemented the national contract by 1 September 2016. The implementation agreement [86kb] sets out the requirements in relation to staff working in colleges. See the FE agreements in Wales page for further information.

See also: Campaign to improve the national workload agreement

Manifesto priority for adult (community) learning

UCU Cymru position paper on adult community learning (ACL) and the 2021 Welsh assembly election: Adult (community) learning: a manifesto priority

Acceptable student behaviour

Joint report on student behaviour in FE from trade unions in Wales: Acceptable student behaviour

Wales FE student behaviour policy, Mar 21 [325kb]

Education Workforce Council

The professional body for the education workforce, including FE lecturers, came into force on 1 April 2015. Information on the aims and purposes of the EWC can be found here: UCU Cymru branch officer briefing on the Education Workforce Council Wales, Jan 19 [116kb]

National pay scales in Wales

All lecturing staff should be paid on the rates laid out in the following pay scales:

  • part time hourly pay rates
  • lecturer grades
  • management spine

available from the Wales FE pay scales page.

Junior apprenticeships

Key findings of a Wales joint trade union survey relating to junior apprenticeships, including UCU's policy position: Junior apprenticeships in Welsh further education

Key member information:

Higher education in Wales

The main policy focus of UCU Cymru is to ensure that higher education is high on the agenda of the Welsh government and that strategic developments are beneficial to staff and the universities.
The minister for education and skills announced in November 2013 that he had asked Professor Ian Diamond, vice chancellor of Aberdeen University to chair a review of higher education funding and student finance arrangements in Wales. The final report was published in September 2016.
The Welsh Government issued a consultation on their proposals in response the final report in November 2016.  You can read the  UCU Wales submission to the consultation here [194kb].
Further details can be found on the Welsh government website or contact Wales press office.

Key member information:


London Economics analysis of the scale of the likely impact of the Covid-19 crisis on higher education in Wales:  Covid-19 impact on HE in Wales, LE, May 20 [1mb]

Initial teacher training

Following publication of the Furlong report into initial teacher training and education (ITT) in Wales, UCU Cymru were concerned that the reforms to ITT moved rapidly ahead and, from our point of view, with very little expert practitioner input. We put together a pack of the initial information:

Review of ITT in Wales: UCU Cymru consultation response, Mar 13 [277kb]

The minister subsequently agreed to invite all 12 of the education trade unions to participate in the strategic stakeholder group formed to develop the 'approach to implementing the recommendations of Successful Futures and Teaching Tomorrow's Teachers': Wales ITT stakeholder group: minister agrees union invite, 25 Nov 15 [268kb]
The bidding process for ITT provision began in September 2016 with the programme rolled out during late 2018.

Key officers on UCU Cymru committees 2023/24

Wales Council
Chair: Estelle Hart
Vice-chair: John James
Secretary: Vacant

Wales HE sector committee
Chair: Chris Graves
Secretary: Vacant

Wales FE sector committee
Chair: Chris Jones
Secretary: Dave Roberto

Wales NEC members
FE: John James (Wales president from May 2024)
HE: Estelle Hart (Wales vice-president from May 2024)

UCU Cymru documents

UCU Cymru election manifesto 2021

Guidance for branches in Wales:

Some wise words from UCU Cymru branch reps

Recent consultation responses include:

  • UCU Cymru response: Modification of The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards [185kb]: UCU Cymru responds positively to Welsh Government's proposed modifications, noting how this can constitute a step towards a Welsh Apprenticeship Framework and genuine, tertiary system.
  • UCU Cymru response to A Renewed Economic Mission for Wales, Oct 23 [189kb]: Our three-part response provides a blueprint for an equality led boost to productivity. While Part 1 presents an outline plan to develop the 'Welsh missing middle', Part 2 takes uncompromising account of the processes behind intergenerational poverty, proposing whole-scale reform in qualifications and assessment. Finally, whether in terms of workload, contractual security or professional collaboration, Part 3 concludes with an overview of the tools which educators will require to get the job done.
  • UCU Cymru response to Draft Child Poverty Strategy for Wales 2023 [327kb]: In our response, UCU Cymru identifies a process whereby single parent families have become increasingly distant from well-paid, fair work and education. Briefly exploring the relationship between poverty and trauma, we explain how the current qualification system reproduces poverty by inculcating a 'lifelong dread of learning' in many of the disproportionately poorest children who do not achieve a 'C Grade' at level 2. Adopting a family approach model, we then use Welsh Government's current policy suite to explore a range of remedies which can simultaneously reengage parent and child in a beneficial learning experience whilst also tackling the systemic failures which contribute to withdrawal from educational opportunity.
  • UCU Cymru response: Full 14 to 16 Qualification Offer, Jun 23 [427kb]: UCU Cymru believes that the proposed qualifications provide a crucial opportunity to embed the dispositions necessary to support lifelong meta-learning. We identify the EPQ as an interesting, advanced project from which the regulator and wider sector can learn.
  • Draft innovation strategy for Wales - UCU response [208kb]: In this response, UCU focuses on how innovation in education can power a partnership designed to grow strategic elements within the Welsh economy. Taking portability, flexibility, and access to lifelong learning as prerequisite, we identify the new Commission for Tertiary Education and Research strategic role in scaffolding coherent learner pathways, a modern credit accumulation system and a world-class Welsh Apprenticeship Framework. UCU also argues for a suite of future proofed qualifications and the innovative deep learning that can serve tomorrows economic needs. Finally, we focus on international comparators to explore the conditions of professional autonomy which underpin innovation in teaching as well as the urgent need to address the demands of many Welsh postgraduate researchers (PGRs).
  • UCU Cymru response: HEFCW Quality Assurance Framework consultation [18kb]: in our response, UCU welcomes the move towards quality enhancement, the proposed framework lacks any mechanism through which professionals can engage around their own practice. In its absence, we are concerned that a metrics-led approach might not only lead to mission drift but also leave staff with the impression that 'things are being done to them - not with them'. UCU proposes that HEFCW re-examine its framework in line with the Future Generations Ways of Working with a focus on how governance objectives and institutional practice can be re-pointed to support genuine collaborative quality enhancement. We also propose that HEFCW consider best practice emerging from Scotland and elsewhere in Europe.
  • UCU Cymru response: HEFCW funding to support race equality consultation [24kb]: in our consultation response, UCU argues that a governing bodies decision to apply for or accept a Race Equality Charter mark should be subject to a wide-ranging campus consultation involving students, staff and trade unions. We further suggest that black members of the institution should be supported to challenge and that this challenge must be considered a crucial resource in achieving an anti-racist Wales by 2030.
  • UCU Cymru response to the violence against women (VAWDASV) national strategy, Feb 2022 [183kb]: sharp rises in the projected costs of living means that many more women are likely to feel trapped in abusive relationships. Similarly, evidence suggests how the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated both the level and occurrence of domestic abuse. In our submission to Welsh government's Domestic Violence Against Women Strategy Refresh, UCU argues for an approach which recognises the transformative role that education can play; both in moulding positive attitudes, disarming stigma and providing survivors with an opportunity to rebuild.
  • UCU Cymru response to LGBTQ+ equality action plan, Oct 2021 [155kb]
  • UCU Cymru response to the race equality action plan, Jul 2021 [139kb]

Click here to see all UCU Cymru documents.

Last updated: 21 June 2024