National Assembly for Wales

Enterprise and Business Committee

Inquiry into EU funding opportunities 2014-2020

Evidence from Cardiff University – EUO 04

Cardiff University’s response to the NAfW Enterprise and Business Committee’s Inquiry into EU funding opportunities 2014-2020


1.       Inter-regional Co-operation (INTERREG) Programmes

1.1  Ireland-Wales Cross Border Cooperation Programme

.1       The University’s participation has been very limited, due to being outside the programme area.  In the most recent programme 2007 to 2013 Cardiff School of Engineering has worked as a subcontractor to Aberystwyth University on the Smart Coasts project.


.2       The University was pleased to learn that those organisations outside the immediate programme area would be able to be full partners in projects in the new 2014 to 2020 programme, providing their participation was shown to be essential for the success of a particular project.

1.2  Atlantic Area Programme

.1       The University has been an active and successful participant in this programme (2007 to 2013) securing in excess of £1.5M of funding across six separate projects and co-ordinating three of these (PREMI, MAREN and MAREN 2), which have all been led by academic staff from Cardiff School of Engineering.


.2       There have been some issues with this funding scheme in that payments to all UK partners, and by default non UK partners involved in UK-led projects, were suspended at one stage because one British organisation had omitted to provide the necessary documentation in its claim for funding (large scale, as the organisation in question was the co-ordinator).  This led the Managing Authority to deem that the UK had a ‘system failure’.  This caused major difficulties to Cardiff at the time, especially in those projects where the University was the lead.


.3       In a previous iteration of this programme there were issues for Cardiff in relation to the advice and guidance given to applicants/funded projects by the Managing Authority.  This aspect has improved considerably in recent times.   


.4       This programme is one that Cardiff University will continue to apply to in the 2014 to 2020 programme period.


1.4  North West Europe Transnational Co-operation Programme:

.1       The University has secured funding for its participation as a partner in four projects from this particular programme, through IM-CORE (Cardiff School of Earth and Ocean Sciences), ENEVATE, NISTO and Eco-Laserfact (Cardiff School of Engineering). Together, these projects have brought in just over £1M of funding during the period 2007 to 2013.


.2       This has been a consistently well-run programme, with clear guidance and advice being given by the Managing Authority.

1.5  INTERREG IV/V Programme

.1       Cardiff University is not eligible for participation.

1.6 Conclusions

.1       All the INTERREG programmes have enabled us to collaborate with transnational partners, and these have tended to be through long-standing links developed by our academic and research staff.


.2       More support from the Welsh Government and the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) to give these programmes greater visibility within Wales would be welcome. Previously information and advice for the Atlantic Area and North West Europe Programmes has been provided on a UK-wide basis.


.3       The University will continue to engage with the INTERREG programme, recognising the complementary nature of these schemes in relationship to our aspirations for our participation in Horizon 2020.


2.       Erasmus and Erasmus +

2.1  Erasmus

.1       Cardiff University continues to be one of the largest participants in the Erasmus Programme in the UK and is the Welsh institution that sends the highest number of students abroad through the programme. The Erasmus programme has been embedded in the institution since its inception in 1987 and enjoys widespread support and commitment across the University. The University is currently putting measures in place to address the imbalance between outgoing and incoming students.


.2       The University’s commitment is demonstrated by the target which has been set to increase outward student mobility to 17% of graduating students by 2017. In pursuit of this target, a central office, the ‘Global Opportunity Centre’, is currently being developed to support and promote outward mobility opportunities (work, study and volunteering) across the University.


.3       In line with the University’s aim to develop and support a culture that encourages an international environment and provide an education and experience that equips students to learn and contribute as global citizens, the University intends to take full advantage of the opportunities available through the Erasmus + Programme. This is not only in relation to increasing participation through Key Action 1, the Learning Mobility of Individuals, but also through Key Action 2 and the development of Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Alliances. The focus on developing relationships between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and enterprises will also be of particular benefit and there is also the aim of developing further joint Master’s degrees.


.4       Cardiff University will continue to develop degree programmes that allow for a period of mobility. Particular success at Cardiff University can be noted through the number of degree programmes that allow for mobility in areas that traditionally have not seen high numbers of mobile students from the UK, due to unavoidably restrictive curricula. These areas include Occupational Therapy and Pharmacy.


.5       Welsh HEIs would benefit from increased financial commitment from the Welsh Government to support outward student mobility through designating specific funding for a partial tuition fee reimbursement for students participating in year-long mobility activities. Ideally, this would be in line with the financial support offered to English universities. Not only would this be of financial benefit to Welsh institutions, but it would represent Wales’s commitment to supporting the outward mobility and internationalisation agendas of the higher education sector as a whole in Wales.


.6       Facilitating collaboration between sectors in Wales for joint applications to participate in Erasmus + activities would also be of benefit.


2.1    Erasmus figures 2012/13


.1       Number of bilateral agreements: 212 with universities in the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.


.2       Number of outgoing students: 243 (295 individual mobilities as some students had two placements in two separate countries as part of their courses).


.3       Number of incoming students: 451.


.4       Number of outgoing staff (teaching and administrative): 27 (44 individual mobilities).

2.2  Erasmus Mundus

.1       Cardiff University is looking to increase its participation in the Erasmus Mundus programme in the new Erasmus + programme.  A number of Schools are actively considering how they can engage with this important initiative.


.2       In 2012 the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography won funding through Erasmus Mundus to run a joint Masters programme with Universities in Sweden and the Netherlands.


The MSc in European Spatial Planning and Environmental Policy is a two-year, full-time programme being taught in collaboration with Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands and the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden.  Part of PLANET Europe, it is the first programme at Cardiff to be successful in a bid for support from Erasmus Mundus scheme, which will provide a number of scholarships for the programme over a five-year period.


Students begin their first semester at Radboud University Nijmegen, before deciding whether to go to Cardiff or Blekinge route for Semester 2. Their third semester will involve a work placement, while the fourth will be spent writing the Masters dissertation.


3     Creative Europe, COSME and the programme for Employment and Social Innovation

.1       The University has no direct experience of participating in these programmes but will be looking for opportunities where it can engage and add value to its activities.


Nick Bodycombe and Rose Matthews, Cardiff University 21st January 2014