Minutes of inaugural meeting of NPC Wales, Saturday 16 March 2002, The Graduate Centre, Cardiff University. 2pm.
Those present: David Manning (PGSRC Chair, Cardiff), Ian Hibble (Academic Affairs Officer, Cardiff), Charlotte Craig (PG Forum, Bangor), Steve Swinburn (PG Forum, Bangor), James Groves (NPC UK Gen Sec).
Apologies: Natasha Hirst (Cardiff and UCMC), Richard Cobley (PGO Swansea Uni), Jo Salmon (Lampeter).
2.0 The Structure and Organisation of NPC Wales
NOTED this was the inaugural meeting of NPC Wales, and that the meeting needed to decide how we should be run.
2.1 Frequency of meetings
AGREED to aim for three meetings a year, moving around Wales as much as possible.
2.2 NPC Wales Officers
NOTED NPC Scotland sub-committee.
AGREED to have a chair, vice-chair secretary and treasurer. The chair would also sit on the management sub-committee of NPC UK, and the treasurer on the financial sub-committee of NPC UK.
2.3 Methods of communication and consultation
- the opportunity to raise the profile of the NPC in Wales, hence the formation of NPC Wales.
- the need for posters to be bilingual to be displayed in most students unions
- that frequently used pages on the website should be bilingual, and that Wales specific pages should be bilingual wherever possible
- Geoff, UCMCs translator who is very helpful
- to set up a dedicated space on the website www.npc.org.uk/wales, an email address firstname.lastname@example.org, and a jiscmail list, email@example.com
- to write to all students unions and guilds in Wales, hopefully including the first copy of pn Wales/Cymru, targeting pg officers, presidents and education sabbaticals
- to write to UCMC
- to produce an NPC Wales poster (bilingually)
2.4 Recruiting new NPC Affiliates
- Cardiff and Swansea are the only affiliates in Wales
- there are 14 HEIs in Wales
- Lampeter and Bangor have both expressed an interest in affiliating
- the desire to recruit more affiliates so that NPC Wales can become truly representative of the pg community in Wales
- the NPC has already started delivering for Wales pgs with a very well received submission to the "Rees" investigation into student hardship in Wales.
- communicating with students unions, actively campaigning, and institutional visits will all help to recruit new NPC affiliates.
James Groves gave a verbal report on his work on Welsh issues.
4.0 Assembly Learning Grants
JG reported that ALGs will be introduced from September 2002 for Welsh domiciled students, but pgs will not be eligible to apply. He reported on his correspondence with the Assembly on this issue which had confirmed that this would be the case. In addition the level of Access funds (now called Financial Contingency Funds (FCFs)) has not yet been announced for 2002/3, and that pgs will have a greater need to call on these funds as they cannot apply for ALGs.
- The Assembly's draft proposals exclude postgraduates from these, which we felt could increase still further the hardship experienced by postgraduates in Wales - especially those with childcare reponsibilities.
- To try and submit a petition to the National Assembly on this issue.
We also discussed the "Rees" Report in general, noting its recommendations about postgraduates and AGREED to write to Jane Davidson asking what progress has been made on implementing these recommendations.
5.0 Reaching Higher - Higher Education and the Learning Country
This latest document by Jane Davidson responded to some issues raised by the HE Review (by the ELL committee), bedding down some of the more controversial issues (size and shape of HE), and offering rhetorical support to others (increasing participation).
6.0 Election of NPC Wales Officers
The meeting elected two officers - David Manning as Chair and Ian Hibble as Vice-Chair. The position of Treasurer was left vacant - David Manning assumed the role for the time being. NOTED the NPC Wales budget for the year was £250.
7.0 Date and venue of next meeting
To be arranged.
8.0 Any other business
AHRB Postgraduate Review. It was AGREED that the NPC's submission to this review should highlight the lack of guaranteed support by AHRB for postgraduate study in Welsh, Welsh Literature and Celtic Studies. At present, proposals in these disciplines have to compete with the whole range of Modern Languages (other than English) and Linguistics; given that HEFCW funds AHRB we felt it was reasonable for AHRB to do more for postgraduate students in Welsh-specific disciplines.
The meeting closed about 4.30pm.