THE president of the National Union of Students (NUS), Wales and the general secretary of the Welsh TUC have been appointed to a panel on higher education funding and student finance.

Education minister Huw Lewis asked Professor Sir Ian Diamond, vice-chancellor of Aberdeen University, to chair the review, with an expert panel, in November, last year.

Starting in spring, the review is designed to produce “clear advice and costed recommendations for the future funding of the higher education sector and student finance in Wales.”

The professor will write a summary of evidence in autumn 2015 and a final recommendations report in September 2016.

Mr Lewis has identified widening access, skills, part-time and postgraduate provision, and “long-term financial sustainability” as key criteria.

Funding from the Higher Education Funding Council Wales (HEFCW) will increase by 23 million year on year and and including incoming tuition fee payments, every higher education institution in Wales will receive more than it did in 2012/13, he said.

The panel is: Professor Colin Riordan, president and vice-chancellor at Cardiff University and chairman of Higher Education Wales; Rob Humphreys, former director for Wales of National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE); Stephanie Lloyd, president of NUS Wales; Martin Mansfield, general secretary for Wales of TUC and former economic development special advisor to first minister and cabinet; Professor Sheila Riddell, director of Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity, University of Edinburgh; Dr Gavan Conlon, former adviser to the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department of Education, the European Parliament and OECD; Glyn Jones OBE, the chief executive of Grp Llandrillo Menai; Ed Lester, former chief executive of Student Loans Company and former CEO of NHS Direct; and Gary Griffiths, Airbus UK head of early careers programmes. Dr David Blaney, chief executive and council member of HEFCW will observe, and opposition leaders will pick another representative.