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South East Wales HE and FE Collaboration Project

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What is the project? 

The overall aim of the project is to develop a strong working partnership between HE institutions, FE colleges and industry partners in South East Wales. The partners involved are:

  • University of South Wales (Project Lead)
  • The Open University in Wales
  • Cardiff University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Coleg Gwent
  • Cardiff and Vale College
  • Merthyr College
  • Coleg y Cymoedd
  • Bridgend College

This partnership will help us:

  • identify what’s missing in terms of progression routes to industry for students;
  • upskill industry workers, HE staff and FE tutors so that we’re working cohesively;
  •  keep up with the changing demands of industry in an increasingly digital environment.

Strands and Themes

The project is split into three topic ‘strands’ and a cross-cutting theme. Each strand is being led by a different University, with The Open University in Wales contributing to all three strands.
  • Creative (led by University of South Wales)
  • Design (led by Cardiff Metropolitan University)
  • Compound Semi-Conductor (led by Cardiff University)
  • Digital and part time learning (led by the Open University in Wales)

What are we doing at the Open University in Wales?


We will hold several ‘masterclass’ workshops per strand, relating to each strand’s topic. For each workshop, there is £500 of funding available, which could contribute to staff costs, venue hire, resources or any other associated costs. These workshops could be delivered face to face or online, and there is an opportunity to collaborate with any or all five FE partners to deliver them.


Staff can also complete placements in the three stand areas. These are due to be funded through the Strategic Insights Programme (SIP) and are a chance for our staff members to spend time with an employer to benefit their work and the South East Wales region. Each SIP placement can be up to 50 hours long, and there is up to £2,500 available to cover staff costs. There is also an opportunity for ‘reverse SIPs’, where someone from industry spends time at The Open University in Wales, and for ‘digital SIPs’, which could be completed as remote or home working placements.

Find out more about SIP placements here.

How can you get involved?

If you have an idea for a masterclass, a specific research area you want to explore, or have a business in mind that you’d like to engage with through a placement opportunity, please get in touch.

To qualify for the funding, you can be based anywhere, but the placement and/or masterclass must benefit the South East Wales region.

To apply, download a masterclass application form or placement application form which you will need to complete and send to

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