11 October 2010
The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Method (WISERD) has appointed a new Director, based at Cardiff University.
Professor Gareth Rees will lead the Institute which aims to strengthen social science research capacity across Wales through cooperation, joint projects and associated links with centres of excellence across the UK and internationally.
WISERD is a new initiative that brings together researchers from Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Glamorgan and Swansea universities; and it is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council of Wales (HEFCW) and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Professor Rees said: "I look forward to building on the success of WISERD. Our researchers have internationally recognised expertise in methods of recording and analysing economic and social changes and the experiences of everyday life. They have been centrally involved in developing new ways of mapping Wales and the lives of its people. They will play a vital role in the coming years, informing policy makers and practitioners as Wales enters a further period of change and uncertainty."
Professor Rees is well-known for his research on education and regional economic development, especially in relation to participation in lifelong learning. He has also researched extensively on the relationships between devolved forms of governance and the development and implementation of education and training policy. Much of his research has been based in Wales and he has contributed significantly to improving understanding of contemporary Welsh economy and society.
Professor Rees is particularly concerned to apply research findings to the development of policy and he has acted as a consultant and advisor to numerous national and international policy bodies and government departments, including the OECD, the European Commission, the Welsh Assembly Government and Education and Learning Wales (ELWa). Most recently, he was the research advisor to the Webb Review of further education in Wales.
He replaces Professor Huw Beynon, who retired in August having established WISERD in 2008 as a major centre for social science research excellence.
Notes to editors
For more information about WISERD visit: http://www.wiserd.ac.uk/
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.
Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.
As part of the WISERD Civil Society Seminar series, Tom Jones OBE presents an insider’s perspective on the role of civil society organizations in policy-making in Wales, the UK and Europe.
As part of the WISERD Centre for Welsh Politics and Society Seminar Series, Dr Taulant Guma from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University presents emerging findings from the WISERD/Civil Society project on ‘Migrants, Minorities and Engagement in Local Civil Society’.