Universities in Wales must improve their links with industry and promote higher-level apprenticeships if they wish to access a £20-million grant for 2017-18, the Welsh government has decreed.
The fund replaces a £21m grant given to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) with an alternative that has strings attached.
Speaking to Research Fortnight, Kirsty Williams, education secretary in the Welsh government, said she wanted universities to be “at the forefront of implementing and developing economic and industrial strategy”. She is in discussions with other ministers on the subject, and is seeking to secure a city region deal for Swansea in the autumn statement on 23 November. “Universities will be at the heart of that deal,” she said.