Pounds 9m Project Aims to Create a More Accurate Picture of Life in Wales; EDUCATION WALES Centre of Excellence Will Help to Make Effective Policy, Says First Minister
Byline: Moira Sharkey
FIVE Welsh universities have teamed up to deliver a pounds 9m project which will help government, policymakers, and businesses better tackle social problems in Wales. The centre of excellence will be known as The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (Wiserd).
The institute, which will be co-ordinated from a hub at Cardiff University, brings together leading social scientists from across Wales who will work together to develop a more detailed picture of the people of Wales, through the collection, analysis and dissemination of data in areas from economic activity and growth to education, community participation, health and social care.
The project is jointly funded for three years by the Economic and Social Research Council and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
The new inter-disciplinary social science research centre builds on existing social science expertise at Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Swansea University and University of Glamorgan.
The institute will seek to engage the people of Wales in discussions about the places in which they live and how they can be changed for the better, which together will help inform future policy decisions.
It will create a critical mass of expertise in social sciences in Wales and provide a solid research base to support policy development by the Welsh Assembly Government. It is also anticipated that it will enable Wales to better compete for future research funding.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "This is a substantial advance in social research of relevance to Wales. This new centre of excellence will take us much further down this road because making effective policy depends on high quality data and when that information has been assembled it becomes a starting point for problem-solving and policy development.
"The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods work will enable the social science community to make a bigger contribution to addressing the key issues we face here in Wales. …