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The latest on the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (CTER).

First published:
12 September 2023
Last updated:

Establishment of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research

Today marks a key milestone in the implementation of Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022 as the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research is established and its first Chief Executive Officer, Simon Pirotte, takes up his post.

Establishing the Commission now enables the required operational and governance arrangements to be in place, to support a smooth transition to becoming fully operational from 1st April 2024.

Between now and April HEFCW will retain responsibility for the funding, quality and regulation of higher education, whilst the Welsh Government will retain responsibility for further education, apprenticeships, sixth forms etc.

During this period of parallel working a protocol will set out clear lines of responsibility and decision making in relation to the work required to establish the Commission, the preparatory activities it undertakes, and its engagement with stakeholders.

The Commission will be equipped to identify and develop key deliverables required to support the implementation of the reforms. Simon will initially be supported in this work by an interim Team within the newly established Commission.

I am honoured and thrilled to be taking up post as the first CEO of the Commission, and look forward to working with staff and partner organisations to build on our strengths in tertiary education and research in Wales, and to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.

There is a lot to be done between now and April to ensure a seamless transition, but I’m excited to be taking up this challenge and eager to get started.

Simon Pirotte, Chief Executive Officer, Commission for Tertiary Education and Research

Meet the board

The Commission’s board will play a pivotal function in assisting the Commission’s Chair, Julie Lydon, and Deputy Chair, David Sweeney, in shaping the Commission’s strategic vision as well as evaluating and enhancing the organisation’s business strategy and performance objectives.

The initial seven board members are drawn from a variety of backgrounds and boast extensive expertise in both executive and non-executive roles:

  • Gwenllian Davies
  • James Davies
  • Cerys Furlong
  • Stephen Marston
  • Chris Millward
  • Rob Humphreys
  • Jayne Woods

Five board members take up appointment today, whilst Rob Humphreys and James Davies are currently members of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and so will take up appointment on 1 April 2024 when the Council is dissolved.

Things you may have missed

  • A bilingual presentation and accompanying background information on tertiary education reform, which provides high-level information on the TER Act, the changes that are being made and the rationale behind them was published on the Welsh Government website. The presentation can be downloaded, edited, and tailored to specific audiences whilst ensuring that the information delivered is consistent and accurate. The presentation will be updated as further progress is made with implementation. The Background Information supplements the slides and provides further information to inform a presentation.
  • A set of themed factsheets was also published, which provides a succinct overview of how the establishment of the Commission will affect different parts of the education sector. The purpose of the sheets is to give tailored information to groups of stakeholders and equip them to talk to their networks about the reforms. They have therefore been developed, using a thematic, rather than an overarching approach, to allow stakeholders to understand what the reforms mean specifically for them. We hope this will enable you to communicate the changes in a concise way.
  • The Minister for Education and Welsh Language made a written statement confirming the appointment of seven Board Members for the Commission following an open public appointments exercise.
  • The Minister also made a written statement informing Members of having made the second Commencement Order relating to the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022, which provides for provisions to come into force on 4 September 2023, in relation to the establishment period, and 1 April 2024 in respect of the Commission’s operational date.
  • A consultation seeking stakeholders’ views on the list of trade unions and learner representation bodies which may nominate individuals for the purpose of appointing the associate members of the Commission closes on the 29 September. We would be grateful if you could circulate the link to any interested parties.