Public sector organisations are currently facing a major programme of reform. Alongside the economic circumstances which are leading a drive for greater efficiency in the delivery of public services, there is also a desire on the part of government to ensure those responsible for the delivery of key services are engaged in different ways of working to deliver improved outcomes for the people of Wales. Doing more and better with fewer resources is clearly part of the agenda and this environment is unlikely to change in the near future.
The various public services in Wales – statutory, third and private – need to work across organisational boundaries. It is recognised that a major element of the solution to delivering better public services is joint joint working both between sectors and also across service areas.
Supporting public services
In her lecture to the University’s Public Affairs Forum in February 2011, Dame Gillian Morgan, the Permanent Secretary, spoke of the need to ensure public service staff in Wales are geared up for a ‘multi agency approach’ to delivery. In A Picture of Public Services in Wales (2011), the Wales Audit Office also underlines the importance of collaborative working across the public services. Those involved in the delivery of these services, it states, are the key to reform, stressing that more opportunities for training and personal development of staff at all levels of organisations is essential to ‘support better services’.
We have a long history of public services courses, research and consultancy in the field. Our expertise is already recognised by external stakeholders in several key areas and is characterised by:
This combination of scholarship and research excellence, with practical understanding and a commitment to effect change in the real world is unique in Wales.
Research and development
We have strengths in a range of areas of public policy. The Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care is the leading centre of its kind in Wales. The University, too, has arguably the strongest grouping of researchers in Wales working in the field of criminal justice. But, more widely, among senior researchers at the University we have leading experts working on key issues in public management, social enterprise, community development, sustainability, education and youth policy, among other areas.
We also have a longstanding commitment to educating public service professionals. We are the only university in Wales to offer a programme of public service education and training across all levels of study, from HND and FdA through to taught and research postgraduate degrees including the Doctorate. Our alumni are to be found in leading positions in public service organisations in Wales and beyond.