As we prepare to launch a revised academic strategy in the autumn, building upon the present strategy which was published in 2012, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is pleased to announce a new development in our ongoing relationship with The Open University in Wales.
The development will specifically support and enhance part-time and distance learning opportunities through the medium of Welsh. We 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. Within the context of the new academic strategy, the Coleg will seek to address this area of work.
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 Open Learn 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.