Big five Welsh universities form strategic collaboration group
On 1 March 2009, Wales’ five major universities announced their intention to act together, combining their strengths and talents to drive forward the knowledge economy in Wales.

Together, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea Universities represent over 70% of all students in Wales and more than 95% of the nation’s research activity. With a combined annual turnover of approaching £1 billion, with a significant contribution from international sources, the big five are a substantial economic generator for Wales.

Working together, Wales’ five big research & innovation Universities have declared:

“Wales’ development needs to be driven by real innovation. Such innovation will come from the depth and breadth of knowledge that our universities represent. We are already collaborating in fields including sustainable development, primary healthcare services, social recovery policies. We know that, collectively, our staff and our students can offer real help to business, the public sector and to individuals. Our first priority will be to help Wales work its way out of the current recession and, beyond that, to create a vibrant knowledge-led society and economy that puts Wales ahead of the game.

“Our five commitments are:

1 Creativity: We will find solutions to business and individual needs which work and can take effect quickly.

2 Consultation: We will work with business, the voluntary sector and government to determine what are the real priorities for Wales.

3 Capital Investment: We will continue our ambitious capital investment programmes, securing construction jobs and supporting Welsh business by local sourcing of suppliers wherever possible.

4 Collaboration: We will work with our international business and education partners to build our vision for Wales. Our extensive contacts, from New York to New South Wales, offer expertise in everything from Architecture to Zoology and will be made available to all in Wales for the benefit of Wales.

5 Consensus: We will be part of a One Wales solution, working with government and other partners to inform and develop economic and social policy.

“We firmly believe that by building on the intellectual capital and academic excellence of our universities, we can help Wales create an innovative and dynamic economy and a just society for the 21st century.”

The full press release can be found on all five university websites including Glamorgan and was reported by the BBC.

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Developing Document Delivery in Wales – A time to collaborate
FIL Document Supply Workshop
Thursday 14 May 2009 10.45 am – 3.15 pm
To be held at: The Library, University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC)
Cost – Free to FIL members and £30 to non-members, lunch included. Subsidised overnight accommodation may be available for participants wishing to travel from North Wales. For more information or a booking form contact: Marie Lancaster, UWIC at email: mflancaster@uwic.ac.uk

The focus of document delivery & inter library loan departments is changing to include scanning and other activities. If you would like to join this informal discussion workshop, we would welcome participants willing to share practical experiences and those wishing to have an opportunity to network. The Forum for Interlending (FIL) has very kindly agreed to sponsor this inaugural event. We would like to encourage cross sector participation and hope to see colleagues from all parts of Wales. 

Sessions will include: past, present and future of document delivery: experiences at UWIC and Swansea University; British Library update; open discussion – suggested topics include future collaboration – what can it do for you, problems supplying journal articles from electronic subscriptions, alternative ILL sources.

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After an excellent study tour to Dublin in November, the photos of the various libraries we visited are now available on Flickr.  This is a photo from the start of the tour:

kells

Every year HEWIT and WHELF organise a residential colloquium at Gregynog for IT and library staff to discuss recent developments and to exchange experiences. This year it is being organised by Aberystwyth University and will be held on 8th– 12th June.

The programme is filling up, but there is still time to suggest further interesting projects – have a look at the website  for themes and topics and contact the organisers at gregynog2009@aber.ac.uk

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First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Education Minister Jane Hutt have praised the work of staff and students at Trinity College Carmarthen following the grant of university college title to Trinity by the Privy Council. This means that Trinity will now be known as Trinity University College/ Coleg Prifysgol Y Drindod.

Trinity College was awarded taught degree awarding powers by the Privy Council in December 2008 which enables Trinity University College to award its own degrees as well as those of the University of Wales. The First Minister said: “I want to offer my warmest congratulations to everyone at Trinity University College.  This is a great achievement for Trinity.  It is a recognition of the progress the College has made and the maturing of the institution as a whole.”

Read more in Trinity press release and Welsh Assembly press release

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If you’re already using tools like Twitter, YouTube and Google Apps, Netskills would like to hear about your experiences with them and would value any advice you have for new users.

Netskills is writing a series of JISC guides to emergent web technologies for researchers, teachers and administrators. These guides are being written for new users, perhaps considering using web 2.0 tools for the first time.  

To help make this guide as relevant to the community as possible, please share your thoughts via this form: http://twurl.cc/ebb

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Case Study: Search Engine Optimisation impact on Organisation’s Websites
JISC is looking for three organisations, ideally a University Archive, Museum or Library, to take part in a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) case study as part of its Strategic Content Alliance initiative.

To propose your organisation, simply send an e-mail with your organisation’s name, website address, a contact name and a contact phone number to Stuart Dempster at s.dempster@jisc.ac.uk by February 11.

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a process that aims to increase the visibility of a website in important search engines like Google.
For further information, click on this link: http://sca.jiscinvolve.org/

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The annual Horizon Report for 2009 profiles six key emerging technologies for higher education. These are – mobile devices, cloud computing, geo-everything, the personal web, semantic-aware applications and smart objects.

To link to the press release and download the full report: http://www.nmc.org/pdf/PR-2009-Horizon-Report.pdf

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The Times Higher Education’s annual Student Experience Survey highlights a host of institutions bent on making the university experience first rate in every way.  Welsh institutions scored very well, taking three of the top 15 places. Aberystwyth University (eighth) led the field ahead of Swansea University (tenth) and Bangor University (15th).

The story and links to the tables are here:
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=404989&c=2

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LILAC 2009 (The Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference) will take place in Wales this year. The venue is Cardiff University, and the dates are 30 March to 1 April 2009.

This years conference themes are as follows:
* Inquiry based learning and IL
* Emerging technologies
* Information literacy for life
* Supporting research

Booking is now open: http://www.lilacconference.com/dw/index.html

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