Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
I am pleased to inform Members that I have today made the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act (Commencement No.1) Order 2022, the first Commencement Order in respect of the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022 (“TERA 2022”).
This is the first of a series of Commencement Orders I intend to make to effect the implementation of TERA 2022, with my intention being to make the next Order in Summer 2023 in line with the proposed establishment date for the Commission.
This first Commencement Order will bring into force, on 15 December 2022, section 1 of TERA 2022 which provides for the creation of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research and introduces Schedule 1, which makes further provision about the Commission such as membership, staffing, procedure, committees, and audit.
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 TERA 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.
Within Schedule 1, the necessary provision is brought into force so as to enable the appointment of the Chair of the Commission, the Chair of its Research and Innovation Committee (who is also the Deputy Chair of the Commission), its ordinary members and the Chief Executive Officer.
The appointment process in respect of the majority of these posts is already in progress and the preferred candidates for the Chair and Deputy Chair are due to attend their pre-appointment hearing with the Senedd’s Children, Young People and Education Committee tomorrow, 15th December.
Relevant provisions within paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 of Schedule 1 TERA 2022 are also brought into force to enable the process of appointing the associate learner and associate workforce members to commence. I anticipate consulting on the list of bodies who may nominate eligible candidates for these posts next Spring.
Finally, provisions of section 9 of TERA 2022 are brought into force which require the Welsh Ministers to designate a person to give advice to the Commission for the purpose of assisting it to discharge its strategic duty to promote tertiary education through the medium of Welsh. I anticipate making this designation in the late Spring, ahead of the Commission being established.
I will make a further statement shortly to confirm the appointment of the Chair and Deputy Chair.