Strategic Regional Collaboration

The Strategic Regional Collaboration team, based within the Planning and Strategic Projects Unit, is responsible for creating and sustaining strategic partnerships which have a real impact on the regional economy and address key priorities in the region such as tackling poverty, health and wellbeing and social inclusion.

The team promotes Swansea University and establishes positive partnerships and collaboration in the region, particularly with FE colleges, focusing on skills for growth and pathways to Higher Education. CUSP (College University Skills Partnership) was established in order to facilitate this and an Employer Advisory Group ensure that the work is informed by the needs of industry.

The team ensures that the strategic aims of the University are promoted and aligned with wider, regional initiatives in the following ways:

  • We represent the interests of the University on Regional Collaborative Boards, including Swansea Bay City Region, South West and Central Wales Regional Learning and Skills Partnership, and the Swansea Public Service Board and its sub-groups
  • We enhance the international and national reputation of the University, City and region by contributing to the Learning City, Healthy City, Smart City, Swansea Bay City Region and City Deal agendas
  • We develop and sustain a regional collaboration network that can respond swiftly to opportunities,  through using  research and an evidence base in order to have a positive impact on sustainable regional development
  • We use the University’s project management framework (link) to develop strategic regional projects which have been identified by SMT.

We work with external partners to ensure that they are informed and supportive of new developments.

The team’s role is to:

External engagement

  • Support Senior Managers and Academics across the University in securing user engagement, support and buy-in from external partners and funders
  • Represent the University through engaging with senior representatives in a range of external organisations and agencies, including UK and Welsh Government, local government, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Welsh European Funding Office, further education and higher education providers, the Regional Learning Partnership, the Swansea Bay City Region Board and employers. This will include negotiating on the University’s behalf and influencing others to shape and achieve positive outcomes for the University and partner organisations
  • On behalf of Swansea University, initiate, develop and maintain extensive, multi-sector and multi-disciplinary networks across the Swansea Bay City Region
  • Represent the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the Local Service Board

Regional collaboration

  • Ensure high professional standards are established for regional working across campus
  • Take a leadership role in the University’s contribution to the South West Wales regional strategies for Higher Education in Wales, working with further and higher education providers, the public and third sector and employers through the Regional Learning Partnership 
  • Support the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the City and County of Swansea
  • Ensure the University has a coherent, coordinated portfolio of regional collaboration opportunities and activities that are aligned with the University’s strategy and ambition with a particular focus on skills and widening participation
  • Enable the effective oversight and monitoring of key strategic opportunities and activities and ensure visibility to the Senior Management Team including the provision of progress updates and highlight reports to the Strategic Development Programme Board and SMT
  • Support the development and promotion of the vision of the impact that Swansea University has on the Swansea Bay City Region
  • Provide high level support and project championing including the provision of advice and assistance to relevant Academic and Professional Services staff in relation to regional collaboration and to help with the resolution of issues and the management of risks.

Higher Level Skills agenda

  • Support the Swansea Bay City Region Board Skills Pillar
  • Lead the development and maintenance of the College University Skills Partnership (CUSP) working with Further Education providers and employers
  • Identify and develop strategic opportunities for skills pathways, securing major external funding for projects that are aligned to the University’s strategic aims and supporting regional economic growth and social inclusion
  • Work collaboratively to develop pathways to higher level skills in response identified skills gaps and regional economic priorities

Major strategic opportunities

  • Support the setup and progression of regional strategic opportunities ensuring all projects and activities comply with the University’s Project Management Framework
  • Identify and develop opportunities for regional multi-disciplinary research and innovation, including securing major external funding for projects that are aligned to the University’s research ambitions and support regional economic growth and social inclusion
  • Assist the Project Sponsor (PI) with the resolution and escalation of issues, and the unblocking of barriers or obstacles to ensure success
  • Ensure projects are scoped and costed in order to make the implementation phase as smooth as possible
  • Produce concept papers, business plans and funding proposals for potential funders including UK and Welsh Government, the Welsh European Funding Office and the European Investment Bank as required
  • Provide management information and evidence to support the development of strategy, concept papers, business plans and funding proposals
  • Develop high quality written material to support internal and external communication and marketing