Advancing education research in Wales
31 October 2012
The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) has secured a £1M investment into the development of education research in Wales with the establishment of WISERDEDUCATION.
The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) funded project has the potential to change the landscape of education research in Wales and will put Wales at the forefront of research capacity building developments in the UK and beyond.
WISERDEDUCATION was launched by Cardiff's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, and the new Chief Executive of HEFCW, Dr David Blaney.
The programme will build on WISERD's existing networks and infrastructure to develop a unique combination of data integration and longitudinal studies to provide a resource for ongoing and sustainable increases in educational research activity.
It will draw together high-quality research expertise from across the Welsh universities to focus on the educational issues confronting Welsh society, thereby contributing to the development of more effective educational provision, from early years through to higher education and lifelong learning.
The establishment of a series of cohort and institution studies in different areas of Wales will be one of the most innovative and exciting aspects of WISERDEDUCATION's programme. The data from these studies will create a virtual laboratory for social science research which can be used to increase engagement and promote capacity building in a cost-effective way.
Professor Sally Power, the Co-Director of WISERD who will lead WISERDEDUCATION, said: "This investment will place Wales at the forefront of educational research capacity building and harness the impetus that has been developed through WISERD to foster increased educational research activity in Wales."
Another major feature of the programme is to offer less experienced and novice researchers the real opportunity of working with more experienced education researchers, either within Wales or elsewhere. WISERDEDUCATION will seek to extend the skills of education researchers, particularly in the area of quantitative and mixed method approaches, by providing a framework for capacity building which emphasises the importance of actually doing research.
In addition, the enhanced research infrastructure will generate robust data for a series of research projects and provide a highly effective vehicle for developing new forms of collaborative activity, across the Welsh universities and more widely.
WISERD is a collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea.