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CTER Chair and Deputy Chair

Appointments to Commission for Tertiary Education and Research

Penodiadau i’r Comisiwn Addysg Drydyddol Ac Ymchwil

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has announced the appointments of Professor Dame Julie Lydon as the Chair of the Board for the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (CTER) and Professor David Sweeney as Chair of the Research and Innovation Committee and Deputy Chair for the CTER Board.

The Commission will be the first ever national steward for the whole tertiary education and research sector, bringing responsibility for overseeing Wales' higher and further education, school sixth forms, apprenticeships and research and innovation together in one place. Through the reforms provided for in the Tertiary Education and Research Act (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.

Jeremy Miles said:

“I am glad to confirm the appointments of Professor Dame Julie Lydon and Professor David Sweeney. I look forward to working with Julie and David over their term of appointment to deliver our innovative and ambitious vision for Wales’s tertiary education and research sector.”

Professor Dame Julie Lydon said:

“I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the Board for the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research. The opportunity of working with key stakeholders, partners and the board of the commission to realise the vision and ambition of the Welsh Government for the tertiary education sector and research is exciting and challenging.”

Professor David Sweeney said:

“I am pleased to be appointed Chair of the Research and Innovation Committee and look forward to working with all stakeholders to build the global contribution of Welsh research and innovation, the impact of Research and Innovation for the people of Wales, the pursuit of research and innovation in the medium of Welsh and an education system which delivers highly-skilled people to fill jobs in Wales."

Notes to editors

Professor Dame Julie Lydon

Professor Dame Julie Lydon brings a wealth of education experience to the role of Chair. Julie has significant experience of the Welsh context, having worked in Wales since 2006 and led one of Wales’s largest universities for eleven years. During her career, Julie has had regular interaction with the Welsh Government and Ministers to secure support for the Universities of the Heads of the Valleys Institute and for the university sector. 

Julie also has experience in large-scale change and transformation, notably through the creation of University of South Wales in 2013. She brings non-executive experience through her role as Chair of Universities Wales, Deputy Chair of University Alliance and Deputy Chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

Professor David Sweeney

Professor David Sweeney brings extensive understanding of the research environment and relevant education experience through his role as Director for Research, Innovation and Skills in the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), as well as previous experience at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Through his research work and his role at the HEFCE, David has interacted with Wales’ education sector and brings an understanding of the Welsh context. He brings a strong understanding and experience of the role CTER will play as a funder, having worked for HEFCE and as Executive Chair of Research England for nearly 15 years.

Further information

The appointments will run from January 2023 to January 2028 and were made in accordance with the principles of the Governance Code on Public Appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  In accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for any political activity of appointees, if any declared, to be published.

Professor Dame Julie Lydon is a member of the Labour Party and has canvassed for the party within the last 5 years.

Professor David Sweeney has not declared political activity in the last 5 years.

Neither Julie nor David hold any other ministerial appointments.

The Chair of the Commission will be paid £394 per day with a time commitment of 4 days per month. The Chair of the RIC/Deputy Chair will be paid £366 per day with a time commitment of 4 days per month. This payment is in line with Welsh Government criteria for reimbursement of members of boards of Welsh public bodies.