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Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language

First published:
22 December 2022
Last updated:

I am delighted to confirm the appointments of Professor Dame Julie Lydon as the Chair of the Board for the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (CTER) and Professor David Sweeney as Chair of the Research and Innovation Committee and Deputy Chair for the CTER Board.

This was an extensive and highly competitive public appointments exercise run in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. I am incredibly grateful to all candidates for contributing their valuable time and sharing their experiences as part of the process. I am also grateful to the Children, Young People and Education Committee for their report which endorsed both candidates following their pre-appointment hearing on 15 December 2022.

Professor Dame Julie Lydon brings a wealth of education experience to the role of Chair. Julie has significant experience of the Welsh context, having worked in Wales since 2006 and led one of Wales’s largest universities for eleven years. During her career, Julie has had regular interaction with the Welsh Government and Ministers to secure support for the Universities of the Heads of the Valleys Institute and for the university sector. 

Julie also has experience in large-scale change and transformation, notably through the creation of University of South Wales in 2013. She brings non-executive experience through her role as Chair of Universities Wales, Deputy Chair of University Alliance and Deputy Chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

Professor David Sweeney brings extensive understanding of the research environment and relevant education experience through his role as Director for Research, Innovation and Skills in the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), as well as previous experience at Royal Holloway, University of London. Through his research work and his role at the HEFCE, David has interacted with Wales’ education sector and brings an understanding of the Welsh context. He brings a strong understanding and experience of the role CTER will play as a funder, having worked for HEFCE and as Executive Chair of Research England for nearly 15 years.

I welcome both Julie and David and look forward to working with them over their five year term of appointment to deliver our innovative and ambitious vision for Wales’s tertiary education and research sector.

The Commission will be the first ever national steward for the whole tertiary and research sector bringing together responsibility for overseeing Wales's higher and further education, school sixth forms, apprenticeships and research and innovation in one place.  Through the reforms provided for in the Tertiary Education and Research Act 2022 we are seeking to shape a new structure and system to better support learners, and provide them with the knowledge and skills for lifelong learning, development and success.

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.