The Open University in Wales was delighted to join the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol on the Maes this week to celebrate further plans to develop our partnership.
These developments will specifically support and enhance part-time and distance learning opportunities through the medium of Welsh. The Eisteddfod event was also attended by First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams.
Both institutions recognise that there are already a broad range of part-time study opportunities at a number of higher education institutions, but these are rarely designed with the specific requirements of students who study on a distance learning basis in mind. Students who are in full-time work or have significant caring responsibilities face a particular challenge and ensuring opportunities for students from the widest possible range of backgrounds to study through the medium of Welsh is important.
Over the past few years both institutions have already established a number of collaborative initiatives including:
A Coleg-funded lectureship in Social Work at the Open University in Wales;
An ongoing agreement to draw on OU expertise in distance learning in relation to the development of resources and staff training;
Coleg support for the OU’s Open Learn Cymru project, launched at the National Eisteddfod in Llanelli in 2014.
Detailed discussions on ways of building on this partnership work are taking place at present but we are pleased to announce that work will focus on the following key areas:
Support for the OU’s plans to develop and enhance OpenLearn Cymru and to ensure that materials from the Coleg’s Resources Library are utilised and signposted through Open Learn Cymru where appropriate;
Offering the Coleg’s Welsh Language Skills certificate to students who study through the OU;
Working with the OU to develop enhanced open access materials to support the Certificate;
Working in partnership with the OU to enable Welsh speakers who choose to study outside of Wales to access Welsh-medium materials and study opportunities, with a view to encouraging them to return to Wales to study, work and live following graduation;
Considering the feasibility of developing some OU programmes through the medium of Welsh as a pilot project.
“The Open University is very pleased to be developing our important relationship with the Coleg Cymraeg. We see this as a key partnership for us as we seek to ensure that opportunities to study part-time are available to as many learners as possible.”Rob Humphreys, Director of The Open University in Wales
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