Cardiff Connect, Why Universities?

Universities are for shaping our communities and government

Julie Morgan (alumna) is Welsh Assembly Member (AM) and former Member of Parliament for Cardiff North. She sits on various committees including the committee for Children, Young People and Education

I believe we in Cardiff are truly fortunate to be home to a successful University. The economic and scientific contribution the University makes to Welsh life is inestimable, generating jobs and supporting research that amazes and benefits us all.

One significant, but less well-known, area of research impact is in shaping political ideas and government policy.

I chair several Cross Party Groups at the National Assembly and we often invite academics to give presentations. Cardiff University research helps us develop policies, and the data it provides is key to shedding light on how those policies are working in practice.

This happens frequently: for example, I’ve just hosted an event with Cardiff’s Wales Governance Centre which published some extremely useful research on Welsh prisoners and prisoners living in Wales. Until this research was carried out, there wasn’t any easily-accessible, Wales-specific data on the prison population.

University research is also helping to reform the National Assembly itself. There are increased law-making powers arriving in Cardiff Bay, and the work of Professor Laura McAllister (PhD 1995, Hon 2013) has been invaluable in providing models for how the National Assembly can operate in a sustainable way in future.

The University, staff and students are a wonderful addition to the fabric of our multicultural city, both helping our communities to thrive and shaping the way those communities are governed.

Read the next Why Universities article:
Universities are for saving, changing and enriching lives

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