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Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language

First published:
31 August 2023
Last updated:

I am delighted to confirm the appointment of seven Board Members for the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research following an open public appointments exercise. The appointments were carried out in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

The successful candidates are Gwenllian Davies, James Davies, Cerys Furlong Stephen Marston, Chris Millward, Rob Humphreys and Jayne Woods. The appointments will run for a 3-year period with five Board Members taking up appointment on 4 September 2023. Rob Humphreys and James Davies are currently members of the Higher Education and Funding Council for Wales and so will take up appointment on 1 April 2024 when the Council is dissolved.

Drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds, operating in both executive and non-executive capacities, the Board Members will bring a rich pool of knowledge and extensive experience to the Commission. As a collective, they will play a crucial role in supporting the Chair, Professor Dame Julie Lydon, and Deputy Chair, Professor David Sweeney, in setting strategic direction and ensuring appropriate governance arrangements are in place to deliver the Commission’s full range of legal and financial responsibilities.

This was a highly competitive appointments exercise which attracted over one hundred applications. Whilst I am delighted with the calibre of the appointments, I wish to ensure that the Commission is able to draw on the perspectives from all of our communities in Wales including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. I have therefore decided to readvertise for the appointment of additional Board Members later this year and, to ensure the Commission is both representative and inclusive of the sector in Wales, targeted actions will be taken including:

  • working closely with the Black Leadership Group, the voice of anti-racism in the Further and Higher Education sectors in the UK, on the appointment process, removing potential barriers to applications from ethnic minority candidates;  
  • working with our staff networks and equalities leads on the appointments process to make it as clear as possible that our focus is to improve the Board’s diversity whilst ensuring we remain compliant with the Commissioner for Public Appointment’s Code; and
  • proactively encouraging applications from ethnic minority candidates as part of the appointments process.

I am very grateful to all candidates for their enthusiasm and engagement throughout this process and I look forward to the Board Members making a real contribution to delivering a more engaged, excellent, and equitable tertiary education and research sector in Wales.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.