ColegauCymru’s conference ‘A World of Opportunities – reaching and exceeding international standards’ on 6 June, emphasised the importance of drawing on different educational models and practices from around the world in order to shape and deliver a world class system for Wales.
Post compulsory education in Wales is facing change and this conference evidenced that further education colleges and institutions are committed to staying ahead of the curve and value the mutual benefits of learning from overseas. They take full advantage of engaging with international colleagues and are involved in learner and staff mobility opportunities through Erasmus+ and British Council Wales partnerships.
Focussing on two broad themes of innovation and leading and learning from the wider world, the Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning and Professor Ellen Hazelkorn focussed on the crucial role of colleges in executing and achieving Welsh Government’s vision and ambition for education. Joining them on stage were Digipen, Tknika and Go Compare who shared a range of educational messages relating to technology and innovation in vocational educational training (VET) policy, drawing on world-wide examples. Delegates were enthralled by a comprehensive programme of workshops, on activating future generations, innovation in skills recognition, good governance, qualifications in the local and global market, building a better, more skilled and resilient Wales and how competing on the world stage is inspiring skills excellence in our learners and colleges. Hosted by the well known political and sport BBC correspondant Carl Roberts, it was clear that the conference had a very modern outlook on the bigger picture of overall employability and career ambition for our learners in Wales.
The support from stakeholders new and old was evident, Welsh Government, British Council Wales, Jisc, City & Guilds, Sport Wales, Qualifications Wales, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Capital Law and Brewin Dolphin. WJEC, Emsi, Barclays, Learndirect, Simply Do Ideas, Ncfe / cache, Empowering Learning and Canvas were among the exhibitors.
Iestyn Davies Chief Executive of ColegauCymru, the post compulsory education charity said ‘we have much to be proud of in terms of the way we operate in Wales, but we are adamant not to become complacent and will cherry pick any particularly efficient global practices and adapt them for our model in Wales.
“Our annual conference was an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that the post compulsory sector of further education colleges and institutions is committed to international benchmarking to ensure Wales continues to punch well above it’s weight in delivering quality education, skills and training for the benefit of our learners, our employers, our communities and the economy of Wales”.
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