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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES
This report is being produced at a significant and opportune juncture in the development of education in Wales, across the UK, and internationally. Around the world, education is widely recognised as bringing “significant benefits to society, not only through higher employment opportunities and income but also via enhanced skills, improved social status and access to networks.”2 Yet, today, globalization, technological and demographic change, and the combined effects of the prolonged nature of the Great Recession, resource absorption challenges, and accelerating economic competitiveness are placing considerable pressures on education to deliver and demonstrate better value and benefit for citizens and society.3 Wales faces demographic, social and economic challenges alongside a combination of uneven regional development, weak education and employability skills, a changing labour market mix, and the lack of major large centres with the primary exception of Cardiff.4 At the same time, there are on-going modifications in the relationships between UK nations, and between the UK and the European Union. The recently published UK government consultation paper, Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice, proposes a new governing architecture for higher education (HE) in England with knock-on implications. All these developments are changing the policy environment in which Wales operates while also opening up new opportunities.
E. Hazelkorn (2016) Towards 2030: a framework for building a world-class post- compulsory education system for Wales. Final report. Review of the oversight of post-compulsory education in Wales, with special reference to the future role and function of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). Cardiff: Welsh Government. http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/publications/reports/review-of-the-oversight-and-regulation-of-post-compulsory-education-and-training-in-wales/?lang=en