17 May 2007

New Director for The Open University in Wales

The Open University in Wales this week is welcoming an expert in adult learning as its new director.

Rob Humphreys took up his new post as Director for Wales on Tuesday, May 8. He was previously Director for Wales of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and has particular research interests in citizenship adult education and widening participation in higher education. He has published widely in these fields.

Rob’s contribution to adult education in Wales has already been recognised by the Welsh Assembly Government in his January 2007 appointment to the Ministerial Advisory Group for Education Lifelong Learning and Skills. In the past he has advised on European project funding in industrial South Wales and been a panel member for both the first and second ‘Rees Reviews’ of higher education funding and student hardship and fees and the Graham Review of part-time higher education fees and funding.

As the first co-ordinator of the innovative and award-winning Community University of the Valleys project (based initially in the Dulais Valley), Rob is looking forward to building on the strengths of The OU in Wales.

"This is an exciting role. Part-time higher education has a vital role to play in individuals’ lives and in Wales’ growth. I am looking forward to and working with colleagues to engage in new partnerships and give more people in Wales the opportunity to develop personally and professionally by studying with the OU," said Rob.

In his new role, Rob will also join the Directors of the OU in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the English Regions to contribute to the wider development and implementation of Open University policies and strategies.

Rob Humphreys is a member of the City and County of Swansea Citizenship Group and in 2003-2004, was Chair of the All Wales Ethnic Minorities Association ‘Active Citizenship’ Committee. He was a founder member and Chair of the Swansea Festival of Learning in 2005. He is a Fellow of the National Centre for Public Policy and in 2004, was awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Wales, Swansea for his work with adult part-time students.

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