Ensuring a legacy for future generations

Posted on 9 February 2017
UWRET

Mr Alun Thomas (Chair of the University of Wales Council), Mrs Margaret Evans (Vice-Chair of the University of Wales Council), Mr Dick Roberts (Chairman of the Trust) and Professor Medwin Hughes (Vice-Chancellor)

In August 2015, the University of Wales announced the creation of the UW Restricted Endowments Trust (UWRET), an independent charitable trust established as part of Adduned Cymru – The Wales Pledge to manage the numerous donations and bequests received by the University, and safeguard their legacy for future generations.

These ‘restricted endowments’, which were given over many years for dedicated purposes or to support particular types of beneficiaries, have been held by the University in a trustee capacity and, at the end of the 2015/16 financial year, together had a value of some £5.8 million.

Providing financial support for prospective students, current students and Graduates, as well as recognising and highlighting work deemed to be of the highest standard, these donations and bequests cover a wide range of subjects from research and travel, to music.

Scholarships such as the Vernam Hull Memorial Prize, and Sir Ellis Griffith Memorial Prize recognise and highlight work which is judged to be of the highest standard of Welsh research-based publication; the Aberfan scholarship serves to encourage and assist students from Aberfan and the surrounding Merthyr Valley to pursue higher education; and the Geoffrey Crawshay Scholarship fund and Gareth Jones Memorial Travelling Scholarship enable successful candidates to travel abroad with the intention of enriching the student's aesthetic experience in a branch of the Fine Arts or to facilitate study of international affairs. 

UWRET was established in February 2015, and until now the University has continued to administer these endowments on its behalf. However, all matters have now been fully transferred with these ‘restricted endowments’ placed in a new fund created by the trust – the ‘Y Werin’ legacy fund.

UWRET is one of the first initiatives to be delivered under Adduned Cymru – The Wales Pledge, a series of strategic arrangements announced by the University as part of its on-going transformation through merger with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Speaking about the importance of this announcement, Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor said:

“This significant move confirms the University’s commitment to safeguard the academic and cultural activities it supports, and ensures continuity of its contribution to Welsh learning and scholarship both throughout, and after the merger of the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.”

Mr Alun Thomas, Chair of the University of Wales Council, added:

“The University of Wales has a long and proud history, playing an important role in the development of higher education in Wales. By taking these steps, the University shows that it remains faithful to its core values and strives to maintain its legacy for future generations, and Wales as a whole.”

The trustees will now manage the restricted endowments in a manner consistent with the charitable purposes of the trust and the charitable intentions of the original benefactor of each endowment. They will make all strategic decisions regarding the investment and management of the restricted endowments and set the criteria for and assess any applications for awards or prizes.

Mr Dick Roberts, Chairman of the Trust said:

“This move should provide assurance to the wider community that these gifts, generously given, will continue to be awarded and used only for their original purpose. This transferral of complete authority to the trust and the creation of Y Werin demonstrates that the University understands the importance of protecting the traditional services associated with the University and its commitment to ensuring that the historic assets it holds continue to benefit the whole of Wales, both during and after merger.”

Further details of the new structure and a new website for Y Werin, which will contain information about all the different awards and prizes available to Students and Graduates, and details on how to apply, will be available soon.

/ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Some examples of previous recipients of the restricted endowments are:

Christie Williams - In 2015, Christie Williams received £1,500 as the recipient of the University of Wales Aberfan Scholarship. Studying for a degree in Welsh at Swansea University, the scholarship helped to support her through her first year of studies.

James Foster, Nina Kirk and Katie Bale – In 2013, three students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David were announced as the recipients of the Ellen Thomas Stanford Travel Grant.  Providing funding to students looking to proceed in studies relating to Classics, Greek or Latin, each student received £1,500 of funding to aid them in attending vacation courses or travels abroad to visit museums and archaeological sites relevant to their programme of study.

Dilys Jones - In 2012, mature student Dilys Jones received £1,000 as winner of the Geoffrey Crawshay Scholarship. Then a final year PhD student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), the scholarship enabled her to travel to a conference in New York and present a research paper to fellow academics working in the same field.

Anthony Savagar - In 2012, Anthony Savagar received £2,000 as winner of the University of Wales Gethyn Davies prize. Undertaking a PhD in Economics at Cardiff University, his research interests lay in computational economics, with the prize money enabling him to further his computer programming qualifications.

Jason Edwards - In 2011, Jason Edwards was awarded £3,000 as one of the winners of the University of Wales Gareth Jones Memorial Travelling Scholarship for his investigative reporting on food poverty in America, undertaken as part of his Masters studies. Jason used the money from the award towards funding a documentary on the project.

For more information on The University of Wales please visit: www.wales.ac.uk

For press and media information, please contact the University of Wales Communications Team by email - communicationswales.ac.uk

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