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News & briefing information


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In Conversation with….The Rt. Hon. The Lord Heseltine CH PC

As part of our on-going partnership with Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre we are pleased to be holding another ‘In Conversation with….’ event on 1 May 2014 at 5.45pm at the Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay.
Lord Heseltine will be in conversation with Rob Humphreys, Director of the OU in Wales, and will discuss his career as an MP, Cabinet Minister and member of the House of Lords. With a political career spanning from 1966 to the present day there will be no shortage of fascinating insights and opinions from the Conservative politician and this promises to be a highly engaging event.

This event is free and open to everyone but you do need to register – to register please email wgc@cardiff.ac.uk

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Welsh part-time study research to be rolled out across the UK

Ground-breaking research into part-time students’ experiences undertaken by The Open University (OU) in Wales and NUS Wales is to be rolled out across the UK.
The research project, ‘It’s about time’, surveyed more than 1,300 students across Wales. The Open University (OU) in Wales and the National Union of Students (NUS) Wales piloted the study to find out why students choose part-time courses and what barriers they face.
Preliminary results from the research suggest that part-time and flexible provision in higher education is crucial to improving access to education, employability and skills in Wales.
The final report of the Welsh research will be available later this year.
The UK-wide research will be led by the OU’s Dr John Butcher, Deputy Director of Access and Curriculum, and has been commissioned by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Over a 12-month period, thousands of students across the UK will be consulted to glean their views on what it is like to study part time.

Rob Humphreys, Director of The Open University in Wales said:

“We’re delighted that our research project has been so successful that it will now be broadened out to take account of the wider UK picture. The work done here in Wales has provided valuable findings and a firm foundation for this next phase.

“This project highlights the ability of both the OU and NUS to work proactively in Wales with our students here and to develop that work further through our UK-wide reach.”
Stephanie Lloyd, NUS Wales President, said:
“To truly make education accessible to people from all walks of life, we must have strong provision for part-time study. That’s why NUS Wales joined forces with the OU on this research.
“Part-time study is vital to our nation’s success in building a better work force that can compete globally. This and so many other reasons are why part-time students are now getting well deserved attention in this UK-wide study.”
Following the highly successful start to this work in Wales this study will allow essential analysis and comparisons to be made of part-time study across the four UK nations as higher education policy in the UK becomes increasingly divergent.

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In Conversation with….Professor Linda Colley, Princeton University

As part of our on-going partnership with Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre we are pleased to be holding another ‘In Conversation with….’ event on 10 March 2014 at 5.30pm at the Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay.

Professor Linda Colley is the Shelby MC Davis 1958 professor of history at Princeton University, she is the author of ‘Britons: Forging the Nation 1707 – 1837’ and ‘Acts of Union and Disunion’ which was accompanied by a BBC Radio 4 series earlier this year. In the year of the Scottish referendum and the continued development and debate around devolution in Wales Professor Colley will discuss her work and her views on the future of the United Kingdom.

This event is free and open to everyone but you do need to register – to register please email wgc@cardiff.ac.uk

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Report reveals flexible provision and targeted support are essential for carers to access education

A new report produced by the Open University in Wales offers valuable insights into the needs of carers if they are to access, and succeed, in higher and further education. The report reveals that flexible provision of education, such as the distance learning approach offered by the Open University, is essential for carers whose lives are busy, unpredictable and often stressful.

The report also highlights the importance of targeting information materials and support specifically for carers as well as demonstrating the essential role of carers’ organisations and trusted intermediary bodies in helping carers to access educational opportunities.

The report, ‘Extending opportunities for carers’ is an evaluation of the work undertaken with carers over the past 3 years by The Open University in Wales, funded by The Waterloo Foundation. The evaluation research involved a survey of the carers who had engaged with the project alongside follow-up interviews to get to the heart of the everyday experiences of those looking to learn alongside their caring responsibilities.

The report identifies the issues and barriers faced by carers considering or undertaking study and also makes recommendations for higher education institutions and the education sector in general for supporting carers in learning.

Carers report

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A year of impact.

The Open University’s Annual Report 2012/13 highlights our impact on individuals, on business and across the world. With stories from Wales, across the UK and around the globe the report showcases a year of innovation and life-changing impact.

Open University Annual Report

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Skills for Health Quality Mark

The Open University has been awarded the Skills for Health Quality Mark, for two of its Certificates – ‘Certificate in Healthcare Sciences’ and ‘Certificate in Health Sciences’.

The Open University in Wales becomes the first provider to offer quality marked courses in health science in Wales. Receipt of the Quality Mark means the University will now appear on the Skills for Health list of accredited courses helping to increase recognition of, and registrations on, these qualifications.

The Skills for Health Quality Mark, the first for the UK's health sector, provides a framework that defines and endorses superior learning and training standards that healthcare employers need to cultivate a world-class workforce.

The Open University in Wales’ Employer Engagement Manager, Kevin Pascoe, said:

“The Skills for Health Quality Mark has reinforced what our own students have been saying for many years about the high quality of our courses, and this shows why The Open University continues to be the largest provider of university level learning for health and social care support workers across Wales.

“Every year over 700 support workers register on Open University courses in Wales to improve their knowledge and extend their roles.”

Skills for Health is the name of the Sector Skills Council for health, which helps the UK health sector develop a more skilled and flexible workforce. It develops solutions to help improve productivity and the quality of health and healthcare.

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OU in Wales hosts successful ‘University of the Air’ event

Watch a video of the full performance here.

Over 130 people made their way to Cardiff’s historic ‘Tramsheds’ on Friday 6th December to see The Open University in Wales’ University of the Air event – ‘Trajectory’.

‘Trajectory’ by Steve Geliot, Jo Fong and Tanja Råman, was an innovative combined arts presentation using large scale back projection, recorded soundtrack, animation and filmed content blended with choreographed live and filmed dance.

The audience were invited to witness a life transformed by The Open University and discover more about the OU’s world-class research in Social Sciences.

Set in Cardiff’s disused tram depot, a listed building with its own unique atmosphere, the audience were treated to an unforgettable performance which ran 3 times throughout the evening.

Rob Humphreys, Director of the OU in Wales, said:
“Since Harold Wilson set out his vision for a ‘University of the Air’ 50 years ago The Open University has built a proud reputation as a world-class institution that changes people’s lives.

“We were delighted to be able to work with our artists and Cardiff Council on this unique performance and are really pleased that so many people came along to be informed and, hopefully, inspired by it.”

Audience members, who couldn’t fail to be impressed by the sheer scale and ambition of the project, described ‘Trajectory’ as “thought-provoking” and “really enjoyable.”

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Response to the Finance Committee’s inquiry into Higher Education Funding in Wales

The Open University in Wales has responded to the National Assembly for Wales Finance Committee’s inquiry into the funding of higher education. Our response stresses the need to consider the future funding of, and support for, part-time higher education alongside the future of full-time HE. You can read our full response here

Response here

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The Stuart Hall Project

Join the Open University in Wales for a panel discussion and Q&A about Stuart Hall’s life and work - Sunday 29 September, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.

The Stuart Hall Project will be shown at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, at 5pm on Sunday 29 September. Stuart Hall is Emeritus Professor at The Open University, where he was Head of Sociology from 1979 until 1997. The film includes some rarely seen material telling the rich story of Stuart's intellectual and political contributions; as a pivotal figure in the development of cultural studies, through his inspiring work at Birmingham and the OU and his long involvement in the politics of the left.

Following the screening on Sunday 29 September, you are invited to join colleagues who worked with Stuart for a glass of wine and discussion of his contribution to culture and politics.

The Stuart Hall Project

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‘University of the Air’ celebrated by Welsh art commission

A unique collaboration between Welsh performance artists Tanja Råman and Jo Fong and visual artist Steve Geliot has been commissioned by The Open University. The artists will develop a brand new combined arts piece to promote and celebrate the impact that The Open University and its research programme has had on society since its inception.

Press Release - 'University of the Air'

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Nine years running – OU in Wales on top for student satisfaction

The Open University remains the top university in Wales for student satisfaction, according to the National Student Survey (NSS) results released today (13th August 2013).

The results show that 91% of OU in Wales students declare themselves to be “satisfied with the quality of their course”, with the OU being the only Higher Education Institution in Wales to score above 90%.

This is the ninth successive year that students at The Open University in Wales are more satisfied with the quality of their higher education than those at any other university in Wales.

Rob Humphreys, Director of The Open University in Wales, said:

“As Wales’s largest provider of part-time higher education, we are proud to be able to deliver quality, support and access at scale and distance. Students are at the heart of what we do and we are thrilled to remain top in Wales for overall student satisfaction.
“It’s our mission to continue to provide students right across Wales with the best study opportunities and experience possible. I’d like to congratulate staff right across the OU who have helped achieve this result.”

News Release

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Dulais community workers receive honorary degrees from The Open University

May 2013

Two community workers from the Dulais Valley who run a “ground breaking centre for community development and regeneration” have received honorary degrees from The Open University in Wales at this year’s prestigious graduation ceremony.

Julie Bibby and Lesley Smith who together run the DOVE (Dulais Opportunities for Voluntary Enterprise) workshop in the Dulais Valley were honoured for their notable contribution to public services, education and culture in Wales.

Receiving their awards at the ceremony in St David’s Hall, Cardiff Julie and Lesley said:
“We’re very proud to receive this award on behalf of ourselves, the team at DOVE and the community.
“Receiving this award and being recognised for the work that we do at DOVE is a reflection of the importance of partnership working and working with our community.”

Honorary graduates

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New research to investigate part-time students’ experiences and economic impact

April 2013

A ground-breaking piece of research will investigate the experiences and economic benefits of part-time study in Wales. The research is a joint project between the National Union of Students Wales and The Open University in Wales.

The research will survey part-time students studying in Wales to explore their full experiences and consider how this mode of study affects the wider economy.

The research was launched jointly by NUS Wales President Stephanie Lloyd and Assistant Director of The Open University in Wales Simon Horrocks at the Future Directions for part-time higher education Wales event.

Part time research

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Future directions for part-time higher education in Wales

26 April 2013 from 10:30. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

For students, employers and the economy, part-time study is a vital part of the Welsh higher education landscape. This one-day conference will examine where the sector is now, and where it needs to change going forward.

Keynote speakers: Leighton Andrews AM (Minister for Education and Skills, Welsh Government)
Martin Bean (Vice-Chancellor, Open University)

To reserve your free place at this event, please email Wales-external-affairs@open.ac.uk

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UK universities embrace the free, open, online future of higher education powered by The Open University

Students from Wales, across the UK and around the world will have free access to some of Britain’s top universities thanks to Futurelearn Ltd, an entirely new company being launched by The Open University (OU). The universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick have all signed up to join Futurelearn.

Futurelearn will be independent but majority-owned by the OU. It will:

• Bring together a range of free, open, online courses from leading UK universities, that will be clear, simple to use and accessible;
• Draw on the OU’s expertise in delivering distance learning and pioneering open education resources to underpin a unified, coherent offer from all of its partners;
• Increase accessibility to higher education (HE) for students across the UK and in the rest of the world.

Support

FutureLearn has been welcomed by governments across the UK, including Leighton Andrews AM, Minister for Education and Skills in the Welsh Government, who said:

“The area of Open Educational Resources is a fast-moving field in which the power of the internet and information technology can transform access to learning globally. I have encouraged the higher education sector in Wales as a whole to engage with this in a serious way and I am delighted that this new initiative from the OU – which already has a pan-UK and global reach – takes a lead in charting an exciting path into the future from which learners in Wales will be beneficiaries. It is especially pleasing to see that The OU will be working with Cardiff University to explore new ways of providing learning opportunities that can take some of the best of higher education in Wales to the world, and bring the world to learners and HE in Wales.”

OU expertise

Martin Bean, the Vice-Chancellor of The Open University said:

“MOOCs represent an enormous development in Higher Education, one that has the potential to bring about long-lasting change to the HE sector and open up access to learning for a wider range of students than ever before. The OU has decades of experience in world-class distance learning – each year we teach around 250,000 registered students, with literally millions of others accessing our free, informal online offerings. FutureLean will take this proud heritage and work with some of Britain’s best-known universities to write the next chapter in the story of British higher education.”

Leadership

The Open University has recruited one of the key architects of the development of BBC Online, Simon Nelson, to head up the company as launch CEO. Nelson spent 14 years at the Corporation where he helped set up iPlayer and its forerunner, Radio Player and led all digital activities for, first its radio division and then across all television content. He said:

“There has been rapid and widespread growth in open online courses but until now, UK universities have only had the option of working with US-based platforms. FutureLearn will aim to bring together the leading UK universities to create a combined and coherent offer for students in the UK and internationally. I look forward to using the OU’s proud history of innovation and academic excellence to create something the UK will be proud of and the world will want to be a part of.”

Wales

Rob Humphreys, Director of The Open University in Wales, said: “The Open University’s mission to open up higher education to all who can benefit, whether in Wales, the UK or across the world, has always been founded on the best use of modern technology and putting the leaner at the centre of things. I’m delighted that FutureLearn will have a strong Welsh flavour, and that The OU in Wales and Cardiff University are together taking a lead in meeting the challenges laid down by the Minister in the area of educational resources.”

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University said: “Cardiff is a global player, with an academic community recognised for its international distinction and impact. We’re pleased to partner with the Open University as one of the first universities to join FutureLearn and to lead the sector in Wales. This exciting initiative provides a real opportunity to extend access across the world to our high quality education experience.”

Cardiff University and The OU in Wales also recently launched a series of events at The Pierhead aimed at promoting and facilitating debate about politics and government in modern Wales and beyond. These events, such as the Wales Governance Centre lecture given by the Deputy Prime Minister earlier this year, will be available to the world through The OU’s OpenLearn and iTunesU platforms.

UK

FutureLearn has been warmly welcomed by UK higher education leaders. Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University said:

“Online education is becoming an important approach which may open substantial opportunities to those without access to conventional universities. This OU initiative is an exciting means to build on its established success and expand its mission.”

Futurelearn will announce future details of its structure and courses early in the New Year. Quotes from the UK and Scottish Governments are also available on request.

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OU in Wales welcomes Welsh Government statement on part-time student support

Commenting on today’s Welsh Government statement regarding the part-time higher education funding system, Rob Humphreys, Director of The Open University in Wales, said: “The OU in Wales is committed to working with the Welsh Government, the Funding Council and other stakeholders to ensure that any new funding system works for both students and institutions, learning from the full-time experience in Wales and changes to part-time funding elsewhere in the UK.

“This delay should ensure that there is as little turbulence as possible for universities and most importantly students, and potential students. I welcome the Minister’s confirmation that the existing support package for students will remain in place for 2013/14.

“These are challenging times for the higher education sector, not only in Wales, but across the UK. Our priority at The Open University is to deliver the best student experience possible – promoting social justice and economic prosperity through the development of knowledge and skills and opening up higher education to all who can benefit from it. Part-time study has a crucial role to play in securing economic renewal and cultural enrichment in today’s Wales and into the future.

“I wish to welcome the consensual and progressive approach adopted by the Minister, his officials and HEFCW to the challenge of maintaining the Welsh Government’s commitment to part-time higher education. The OU in turn will continue to work with the Government and HEFCW to develop a fees and funding system that works for Wales.”

Notes

The Open University in Wales is the largest provider of part-time higher education in Wales, with over 9000 students.

The Open University has been top for student satisfaction in Wales for 8 years running according to the National Student Survey.

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OU in Wales wins UK award for work with carers – with Welsh HEIs in 2nd and 3rd as well!

March 2012

It was a successful night for The Open University in Wales at the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Awards (UALL) as The OU’s ‘Access to Education for Carers Project’ scooped the main prize at the annual UK conference.
The project, funded by The Waterloo Foundation, was led by The OU in Wales’s Gayle Hudson and included work with organisations such as the North East Wales Carers Information Service in the Flintshire area. It focused on engaging carers of all ages in learning opportunities, raising their aspirations and opportunities. One such carer, Kim Crocombe from Wrexham sums up the impact of the project:
“I’m a wife, mum and a carer, now I’m a student too. This is my thing, I’m learning for me too.”

UALL Award

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OpenLearn Wrexham launched

OpenLearn Wrexham

January 2012
A first for Wrexham today, as the town’s library service teams up with The Open University to improve access to free online learning, through the OpenLearn Wrexham project.

The new project was launched at Wrexham Library today, and will give local people improved and signposted access to OpenLearn, the UK’s biggest free learning website, with a choice of over 500 study units, spread across 12 subject areas. OU tutors will be on hand to support people in getting online and the project will also train local OpenLearn Champions to show others in the community how to use OpenLearn.

wrexham OpenLearn

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Open University announces undergraduate fees in Wales

24th November 2011

The Open University has today announced that its undergraduate fees for students in Wales will remain at current levels plus inflation for the academic year 2012/13. This means students will pay an average of £1,610 for 120 credits of study (the equivalent of a year of full-time study). Many students study on a module basis, a standard 60 credit module will be priced from £735.

Unlike any other university, The Open University successfully operates across all four Nations of the UK and has introduced differential fees across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, reflecting the different levels of funding in each Nation. In setting its fees across the UK, the OU has taken into account government funding and has kept fees as low as possible while sustaining high quality and remaining true to its mission of being open to all.

10,000 students from virtually every community in Wales study with The Open University and it is the nation’s leading provider of part-time undergraduate study. In 2011, for the seventh successive year, The Open University was top in Wales in the National Student Satisfaction ratings.

The OU will announce its fees for postgraduate students soon.

Further information

Dewi Knight
07919 915868 / 029 20 262708
Policy & Public Affairs manager
Wales-external-affairs@open.ac.uk

About The Open University
The OU is a world leader in flexible learning and has developed the unique “supported open learning” model. Students can fit studies around their other commitments, and the OU supports them through a tutor network of over 7,000 Associate Lecturers, online forums and through contact with their peers via tutorials, online conferencing, social networks, study groups and events. It is through this proven model of education, together with the OU’s scale, reach and expertise that the University is able to continue to offer excellent value. The OU will retain its open access policy and continues to welcome all students, with a particular commitment to supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Open University has developed a website for current and prospective students with information around its fees and funding options: http://www8.open.ac.uk/study/explained/fees-2012/fees-and-funding-wales

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7UP for The OU in Wales – remains on top for student satisfaction

OUiW graduates

The Open University remains the top university in Wales for student satisfaction, according to the National Student Survey (NSS) results released today (17th August 2011).

The results show that 92% of OU in Wales students declare themselves to be “satisfied with quality of their course”, with The OU being the only HEI in Wales to score above 90%.

7UP for The OU in Wales – remains on top for student satisfaction

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University View, Western Mail July 2011

“It’s too early to say” was Zhou Elai’s famous response in 1972, when the Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister gave his assessment of the French Revolution. Although recent reports suggest that the long-time ally of Chairman Mao was actually referring to the student protests of 1968 and not the events of 1789, the more famous interpretation has long been considered as an example of the Chinese ability to take the longer-term view of what appear to be radical changes.

The fast pace of change in higher education in Wales means that any snapshot assessment of where we are, and where we are going, can often be made to seem more sepia than digital quality, with game-changers such as mergers, reports and Ministerial statements made on a regular basis. It may be “too early to say” but it’s far from too early to act and engage.

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HUW EDWARDS SET TO TELLTHE STORY OF WALES

Huw Edwards

BBC News at Ten presenter Huw Edwards is to tell the story of Wales from pre-history to modern times in a landmark television series commissioned by BBC Cymru Wales from Green Bay Media.

The series will be made in partnership with The Open University - the first direct collaboration with BBC Cymru Wales to receive OU funding. Filming will start in the summer of 2011.
Huw will be getting to grips with Welsh history in The Story of Wales, a six-part series to be shown on BBC One Wales early in 2012.
The Story of Wales will start with a reconstruction of the earliest known human burial in Western Europe - the “Red Lady” of Paviland, 29,000 years ago. Its epic story runs through Hywel Dda’s uniting Wales under one law, the Welsh at the heart of the Tudor court, through the immense pace of change in the country as coal mines and iron works flourished, with technological and educational innovations putting Wales ahead of the world in the Industrial Revolution, and right up to present day devolution.

HUW EDWARDS SET TO TELLTHE STORY OF WALES

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OUiW response to Government part-time student support statement

Responding to the Welsh Government’s statement on part-time HE student support, Rob Humphreys, Director of The Open University in Wales, said:

“The government’s commitment to equitable treatment of part and full-time students is not only a welcome point of principle, but a policy that should further promote the flexibility, social justice and economic development that part-time higher education delivers for Wales.

“80% of OU students work whilst studying, contributing to the economy both through their taxes and their actions in retraining and reskilling. It is right that they, and the four in ten of students in Wales that study part-time, have a similar level of support for the cost of learning as full-time students.

“We look forward to working with the Welsh Government and HEFCW in ensuring that this public investment in higher-education allows providers such as The OU in Wales, that commit to part-time opportunities, can continue to deliver in widening participation and skill development.”

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Adult learners succeed against the odds

Hafal Group

Neither blindness nor serious mental illness can stop determined adult learners, as Open University students in Wales have proved.
The OU in Wales has formed a partnership with Hafal, a national mental health charity, to encourage individuals recovering from serious mental illness to study.
Now four Hafal students (pictured above) were announced as winners at the Inspire! Awards, organised by NIACE Dysgu Cymru which promotes adult learning in Wales.

Adult learners succeed against the odds

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DJ Huw Stephens becomes an Honorary Doctor of The Open University

Huw Stephens

Huw Stephens, the Cardiff-born BBC Radio 1 DJ and founder of the Swn Festival, has received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of The Open University for ‘Exceptional contribution to education and culture’.
Huw was one of 300 people to receive degrees at the ceremony on Saturday at St David’s Hall, central Cardiff.

7 May 2011

DJ Huw Stephens becomes an Honorary Doctor of The Open University

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University View, The Open University in Wales, April 2011

Parties make time in manifestos for Part-Time
With 40,000 people in Wales currently studying in part-time higher education, it’s a large constituency of potential voters in this year’s Welsh General Election. In fact, at 40,000 the number of part-time students is broadly similar in size to some actual electoral constituencies in North Wales.

University View April 2011

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OU in Wales supports Middle East ‘Active Citizens’ Cardiff celebration

Active Citizens: Hugh Mackay

Guests from Jordan and Egypt joined the national celebration for Wales’s Women Making a Difference programme at Cardiff’s Mansion House recently, as part of the British Council’s ‘Active Citizens’ project.

OU in Wales supports Middle East ‘Active Citizens’ Cardiff celebration

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WELSH GENERAL ELECTION QUESTION TIME COMES TO THE OUiW

Question Time Flyer

A not-to-be missed opportunity to put your questions to highprofile
representatives of all four main parties, including Education Minister Leighton Andrews AM.


When:16/04/2011 10.30am - 12.30pm.
Where/Ble: The Open University in Wales National Centre,
18 Custom House St
Cardiff city centre
CF10 1AP
Places are limited so please book ASAP (with a deadline of 11th April), also submitting your question(s)
T: 02920 235277
E: c.dawkes@swales.wea.org.uk

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Party Politics Like its 1999 – Welsh Election Rewind

What did 1999 mean to you? Fears about the Millennium Bug, Wales hosting the Rugby World Cup and the first ever Welsh General Election?

If it’s the last of those three that stands out, or even if you only recognised it as the year the National Assembly opened and have forgotten the election campaign, you will be interested in a project that The Open University in Wales is running over the next 6 weeks.

99 Rewind will run during the 2011 election campaign and reflect the 1999 election, tweeting (2 or 3 times a day - bilingually) news from the 1999 cycle that occurred at the same time as this year's campaign, reflecting where the 2011 campaign echoes the 1999 one, and teasing out what makes Alun - Rod - Dafydd - Mike different from Carwyn - Nick - Ieuan – Kirsty.

We'll also be featuring new blogs and other content from academics and key figures from politics in Wales on our world-leading OpenLearn website as part of the project, to support further learning about devolution, the Welsh general election and politics in general to a worldwide audience. The project will also signpost relevant free material, such as podcasts, videos and writings from The Open University courses 'Understanding Contemporary Wales', 'Small Country, Big History: themes in the history of Wales’, and ‘Social Sciences’ modules.

On twitter www.twitter.com/OUcymru and #OU_99walesrwd
99rewind homepage: www.openuniversity.co.uk/99rewind
OpenLearn politics: www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/society/politics-policy-people

For more information, contact:
Dewi Knight
02920 262 708
07919915868
d.n.knight@open.ac.uk

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OU in Wales response to 'Higher Education Funding and Finance 2012/13' consultation

The Welsh Government 'Higher Education Funding and Finance 2012/13' consultation (changes in full-time fee regulations) closed today. This response from the OU in Wales sets out our position ahead of a future part-time fees consultation:

OUiW response

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Red carpet rolled out for OU award success

University View, The Open University in Wales, January 2011

With the awards season in full swing, from the Golden Globes to the Baftas and leading up to Hollywood’s big night in a few weeks, universities got in on the act just before Christmas with the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

University View January 2011

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Open University and UNISON win award for widening participation

9th Dec 2010

A partnership between The Open University and UNISON has been named Widening Participation Initiative of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards.

The partnership was set up to increase participation in education among public sector workers and has so far helped over 5,500 people to access Open University courses and training.

The OU’s work with UNISON in Wales has resulted in 700 sponsored learners in the last three years. Learners are encouraged to study any short-course subject, to ensure an important initial engagement with higher education learning. This is then used as a platform to progress to 60 point courses, more closely related to their employment.

Open University and UNISON win award for widening participation

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OU in Wales becomes first university to win TUC Quality Award

The Open University in Wales has received a ‘Quality Award’ from the Wales TUC for its trades union learner engagement activities – the first university to win that honour from the national federation of unions.

The award was presented at the Wales TUC’s Union Learning Representatives conferences in Cardiff and Wrexham over the last week, and specifically commended The OU’s ‘Openings’ programme of short, introductory courses. Wales TUC’s national officers, Julie Cook and Marion Burke, presented the award and delivered the citation.

OU in Wales becomes first university to win TUC Quality Award

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The OU in Wales takes care of national partnership

Care Forum Partnership

The Open University in Wales has agreed a national partnership with Care Forum Wales at their annual awards dinner at Cardiff City Hall.
Care Forum Wales is a not-for-profit organisation which acts as the collective voice for independent care providers in Wales, working with government and the public sector. It has over 550 members, from across private and voluntary sector, engaged in the running of care homes, day care centres, home help services and respite care facilities for adults and children across Wales.

Care Forum Partnership

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Back to the future with Browne, Thatcher and Miners?

Western Mail, University View, October 2010

28th October 2010

At first glance there might not seem to have been many connections between the big stories jostling for the headlines this month. University funding and rescued miners were near the top, and although it was copper that was being mined, a certain Iron Lady could claim to be a common factor.

With Lady Thatcher celebrating her 85th birthday a few days ago, the legacy of Britain’s first female PM was much in focus across newspapers, bulletins and blogs.

University View October 2010

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Open University in Wales union work nominated for national award

Nurse

27th Sept 2010
The Open University has been shortlisted for ‘Widening Participation Initiative of the Year’ in the Times Higher Education Awards for 2010. The OU’s unique partnership with the trade union UNISON widens participation in higher education, reaching students working within the NHS, social care and in schools as teaching assistants.

Open University in Wales union work nominated for national award

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OU hosts leadership conference at national skills event

Expert Panel discussion at SkillsCymru conference

Thousands of students from across south Wales converged on central Cardiff in the last few days as the Millennium Stadium hosted the SkillsCymru careers and training event. The Open University was also there at the home of Welsh sport, with a stall on the exhibition floor and as the headline sponsor of the first day’s conference.

Staged by the Welsh Government, to promote high-skill opportunities, the SkillsCymru event attracted hundreds of organisations from the further education, university, training and private sectors.

OU hosts leadership conference at national skills event

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Consultation Response: Delivering Digital Inclusion

OU iPod

The Open University in Wales views digital inclusion as a hugely important issue, but is also concerned that unequal access to technology and related skills may exacerbate, and even create new, social (economic and educational) divides and exclusion. This is especially a risk with regard to high level skills and the ability of the most disadvantaged to access learning opportunities (and to go on to work and grow the economy at both local and national levels).

Consultation Response: Delivering Digital Inclusion

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OU in Wales remains top for student satisfaction

Students

The Open University remains the top university in Wales for student satisfaction, according to the National Student Survey (NSS) results, released today (18th August 2010).

The results show a 3% increase in the OU in Wales’s ratings, with 94% of students (in Wales) declaring themselves to be ‘satisfied with the quality of their course’. This is the sixth successive year that students at The Open University in Wales are more satisfied with the quality of their higher education than those at any other university in Wales.

OU in Wales remains top for student satisfaction

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45% increase in young students at OU in Wales

Young Students

With A-level results due next week and reports emerging of universities already declaring themselves full, The Open University in Wales has seen a 45% increase 18-24 year olds as students seek an alternative route to gaining a degree.

45% increase in young students at OU in Wales

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Planting ideas for part-time higher education

Western Mail, University View, July 2010

Instead of stealing an idea, the corporate espionage specialists in the latest Leonardo DiCaprio film ‘Inception’ have to use all their skills and subterfuge to plant an industry-changing idea. The politics of Welsh higher education may not quite be as glamorous as the world portrayed on screen by Michael Caine, Ellen Page and DiCaprio, but Leighton Andrews has made his intent clear – to plant, grow and bring to fruition, sector-changing ideas and policies for universities and students, right across the country. And all with a fierce urgency that is every bit as striking as the special effects that have wowed ‘Inception’ audiences in cinemas across the globe.

University View July 2010

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OU in Wales formal agreement with FE and Director to chair government review

ColegauCymru

The Open University in Wales has signed a Memoranda of Understanding with ColegauCymru, the umbrella body for further education colleges in Wales. The agreement, which was formally launched at ColegauCymru’s recent annual conference, supports the mission of The OU and further education in Wales to widen access and improve workforce development.

OU in Wales formal agreement with FE and Director to chair government review

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Consultation Response: Economic Renewal Programme

Money

The Open University in Wales welcomes this opportunity to contribute to the government’s consultation on the Economic Renewal Programme. Our response focuses on the contribution of higher education, particularly part-time study and widening access, the infrastructure for a high-skilled and competitive workforce and economy and the relationship between government, higher education and the economy.

Consultation Response: Economic Renewal Programme

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OU in Wales hosts seminar to celebrate Carers’ Week

Carers Seminar

At the start of Carers’ Week The Open University in Wales hosted a lively seminar on learning opportunities for disabled people and carers at its national centre in Cardiff.

The first day of the UK wide event and celebrations, which this year has ‘A life of my own’ as its theme, saw staff from the OU, carers and disability organisations, and students, come together to debate how access to learning can support a ‘life of their own’ for carers and disabled people.

OU in Wales hosts seminar to celebrate Carers’ Week

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OU makes Hay at summer festivals

Eisteddfod 2010

With the World Cup underway, the summer festival season in Wales has also kicked off. The Guardian Hay Festival and Urdd National Eisteddfod attracted tens of thousands of visitors, and The Open University in Wales took the world of inspiring learning to both the border town of Hay on Wye and the maes (eisteddfod field) of one of Europe’s biggest youth festivals.

OU makes Hay at summer festivals

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A double triumph for Open University students

Katrina Sumner

It was a successful night for OU in Wales students at the Inspire Adult Learner Awards in Cardiff Bay on Thursday.

Tracey Hudson from Cardiff won HE Learner of the Year and Katrina Sumner won Distance Learner of the Year. The national awards are organised by NIACE Dysgu Cymru, which is celebrating 25 years of promoting adult learning in Wales, and recognises learners whose achievements have been inspirational or life-changing.

A double triumph for Open University students

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When the general election becomes a student election

Western Mail, University View, April 2010

The television debates are causing a stir, leaflets are dropping through the letterbox and posters have started appearing in gardens and windows. With the election campaign in full swing, pundits are predicting that it will be the closest since 1992, and are looking for parallels between the two campaigns.

University View April 2010

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Ready to meet the all-Wales challenge

University View, Western Mail, January 2010

As Rhodri Morgan stepped down from the helm of the good ship WAG, much of the farewell celebrations congratulated the former First Minister on steering devolution through early stormy waters and anchoring it as an accepted part of life in Wales, taking the cue from his own pledge for “an Assembly of the people, not the establishment”. It’s with a mixture of personal perspective, a clear separation of the Welsh executive from the Assembly and perhaps ambitious sights set on further horizons then, that his successor has pledged to be a leader for the “whole of Wales”, with his eyes fixed on the country rather than the Senedd.



University View Jan 2010

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40 years of inspiring learning in Wales

The OU in Wales celebrated its 40th anniversary year right across the nation, from Llandudno on the northern coast, to Hay-on-Wye on the Powys-Herefordshire border, through to Swansea in the South West.

A series of events throughout the year, involving alumni, current students, staff and ex-staff including associate lecturers, supporters and VIPs, took 40 years of inspiring learning to almost a thousand people across Wales.

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - November 2009

OPEN UNIVERSITY ON ITUNES U HITS 10 MILLION DOWNLOADS
The 10 millionth Open University track on iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com), was downloaded last week, making the OU a top provider of free university content on iTunes U. The Open University launched its first piece of educational content on iTunes U in June 2008 and now has an average of 375,000 downloads a week.

OU WINS PRIZE FOR TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN AFRICA
The Open University is one of 20 winners of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. The Queen's Anniversary Prizes are awarded for exceptional contributions by institutions in the higher and further education sectors to the wider community. The Open University’s winning entry was the ground-breaking Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa programme. Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) is now Africa’s largest teacher education research and development community, extending across thirteen institutions and nine African countries.

OU STUDENT IS HEALTHCARE ASSISTANT OF THE YEAR
An Open University student has been named joint Nursing Standard Healthcare Assistant of the Year. Natalie Rowles, a healthcare support worker in continuing care at Gwent Healthcare Trust, is based at County Hospital in Griffithstown, Pontypool and was recognised for her work providing a complex package of care for a young girl with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning difficulties. She received her award at an event held at the Dorchester Hotel earlier this month.

News Bulletin November 2009

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OU and Neath Port Talbot collaboration launched by Treasury Minister

Neath-Port Talbot College is to become the first college in the UK to deliver the Open University’s foundation degree (FD) in Financial Services.

At the Plaisterer’s Hall in London last week, Paul Myners, Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury, launched the Foundation Degree with representatives from the college and OU in attendance. Also there was OU Honorary graduate Evan Davis, economist, journalist and Dragon’s Den presenter, to show his support for the new qualification.

OU and Neath Port Talbot collaboration launched by Treasury Minister

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - October 2009

This month’s edition features news and links on the new Vice Chancellor of the OU, the latest Small Business Survey and OU events coming soon.

News Bulletin October 2009

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Western Mail article October 2009, The new 3 Rs

The “three Rs” are often seen as the basics of an all-round education. For higher education in Wales recently, it’s Reviews, Reports and Recession that have been the foundations for the future of the sector.

The most recent addition, published last week, was the Assembly Enterprise & Learning committee’s report on the Economic Contribution of HE. At almost two years in gestation the final report covers a time period from before the economic downturn through to policy changes on top-up fees and the publication of Professor Merfyn Jones’s Review of HE.

University View October 2009

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - Aug/Sept 2009

This month’s edition features news and links on a new link up with Bangor University, a surge in number of younger OU students and the OU in Wales topping the table for student satisfaction.

News Bulletin - Aug/Sept 2009

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Western Mail article, July 2009 - Study & sites, and all things Maes

So, to Bala for this year’s National Eisteddfod, leaving the cricketers of Cardiff to deal only with thousands of English and Australian incomers this summer, instead of the big pink pavilion scuffing the wickets of Pontcanna fields.

Western Mail article, July 2009 - Study & sites, and all things Maes

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - July 2009

This month’s edition features news and links on the OU’s National Eisteddfod activities, as well as news on the developemnt of a new recession Wales website.

Open University in Wales News Bulletin - July 2009

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - June 2009

26 June 2009
This month’s edition features news and links on the return of Coast to BBC Two, details of the university response to the Welsh government’s foreign languages strategy and HEFCW funding success for the OU in Wales which will increase widening participation and employer engagement work.

Open University in Wales News Bulletin - June 2009

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OU RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT LANGUAGES STRATEGY

25 June 2009
The OU in Wales has responded to Making Languages Count, the Welsh government’s modern foreign languages strategy consultation. The OU welcomes the focus on provider partnerships and the intercultural aspect of language learning; and provides examples of free online resources to support learning at levels and ages as well ideas for targeted student support.



OU RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT LANGUAGES STRATEGY

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - May 2009

29 May 2009
This month’s edition features news and links on the Urdd Eisteddfod, the OU in Wales’s evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee and details of a new campaign on affordable study.

Open University in Wales News Bulletin - May 2009

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OU says “Croeso” to a taste of Welsh at the Urdd

20 May 2009
It will be “Croeso” to the Open University at the Urdd Eisteddfod next week, as for the first time in recent memory the UK’s leading distance-learning university has an official presence at the youth festival.
The OU will be hosting an Open Doors Café on the Maes in Cardiff Bay. Visitors will find out more about Croeso, the OU’s beginners’ Welsh course, learn about Openings, the university’s inspirational first steps to study courses and discover Open Learn, high-quality free online resources.

OU says “Croeso” to a taste of Welsh at the Urdd

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - April 2009

23 April 2009
This month’s edition features news and links on the OU in Wales graduation day (9th May), confirmation of the OU in Wales lecture at the Hay Festival and information on Adult Learners Week events.

Open University in Wales News Bulletin - April 2009

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40 years of inspiring learning

20 April 2009
The Open University celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2009/10. April 23rd 2009 is the 40th anniversary of the Royal Charter establishing The Open University. Throughout the year there will events to mark 40 years of inspiring learning.

The Charter was to establish The Open University for the "advancement and dissemination of learning and knowledge by teaching and research by a diversity of means such as broadcasting and technological devices".

For more information please read the attached dedicated 40th anniversary pack, with facts and figures about the OU in Wales, details of anniversary events and much more. For further dedicated resources on the 40th anniversary please visit www.open.ac.uk/media

40 years of inspiring learning

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - March 2009

26 March 2009
This month’s edition features news and links on the exciting increase in the number of OUiW students, a report on the recent OUiW/RCN Wales conference and how to go green with the OU.

Open University in Wales News Bulletin - March 2009

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Open for 40 years - Open University celebrates anniversary with Pembrokeshire event

12 March 2009
You may remember 1969 as the year man first went to the moon, that Richard Nixon become President or that the Beatles played their famous last gig on top of the Apple building. But 1969 was also a ground-breaking year for higher education in the UK with the establishment of The Open University (OU).

The Haverfordwest Branch of the OU Student Association (OUSA) will be marking the 40th anniversary of the University’s Charter Day - 23rd April - by holding a dinner at the Harbourmaster Restaurant, Milford Haven. The Director of the OU in Wales, Rob Humphreys, will be guest of honour and will give an insight into the future of the University and the growing importance of part-time study, particularly in the current economic climate.

Open for 40 years - Open University celebrates anniversary with Pembrokeshire event

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Western Mail article – March 12th 2009

12 March 2009
The digital revolution can mean more to Wales than a set-top box offering hundreds of TV channels all showing repeats of Only Fools and Horses or endless US shows from the 1970s. To paraphrase the Six Million Dollar Man’s commanders, “We can reskill this country. We have the technology”.

Western Mail article – March 12th 2009

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Written submission to Welsh Affairs Committee Inquiry: Digital Inclusion in Wales

The submission concentrates on the benefits of digital inclusion with regard to education. This includes, although is not limited to, the potential for digital technology to improve links between (higher) education and the economy, to increase access to learning opportunities and materials, widen access to high-level learning, the competitiveness of Welsh Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the global marketplace and the role of government in relation to all of the above.

Digital Inclusion in Wales

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin - February 09

26 February 2009
This is the second of the new monthly news bulletins from the Open University in Wales. This edition features news and links to the employability of OU graduates, the University’s response to WAG’s student finance proposals and Darwin activities.

Open University in Wales News Bulletin - February 09

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CONSULTATION RESPONSE - Proposals to refocus higher education student finance

17 February 2009
The Open University in Wales broadly supports the proposals set out in the document, but we note that this consultation only relates to full-time undergraduates and that Phase 2 of the Review of Higher Education is considering the “increasingly significant role of part-time study in Wales” .

We wish to see further proposals which place the funding and support of those who study, or wish to study, on a part-time basis on an equal footing with those who study full-time. We therefore urge the Government to ensure that Phase 2 of the Review of HE addresses this matter in a serious and comprehensive manner, building on the work of the Graham Review.

CONSULTATION RESPONSE - Proposals to refocus higher education student finance

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Evolve yourself: Monkey around with Darwin and the OU

11 February 2009
Celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday (12th February) by seeing yourself and friends as you would have looked millions of years ago with a fun face-morph tool Devolve Me, on the Open University’s Darwin website www.openuniversity.co.uk/darwin

By uploading a photo to Devolve Me, you can take your image back to how you might have looked as an Australopithecus afarensis (3.7million years ago), a Homo habilis (2.2million years ago), a Homo erectus (1.8million years ago) or a Homo heidelbergensis (500,000 years ago).

Evolve yourself: Monkey around with Darwin and the OU

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Open University in Wales News Bulletin – January 09

16 January 2009
This is the first of the new monthly news bulletins from the Open University in Wales. This edition features news and links to the OU’s “world-class” research performance, details of the first post-grad open day in Wales and the new OU website to help workers outsmart the recession.

Open University in Wales News Bulletin – January 09

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OU in Wales Western Mail article on HE Review

4 December 2008
What comes next after a Task and Finish group finishes its task? Well if it’s in Wales then it must be a... consultation!

That’s the immediate challenge - and opportunity - facing higher education in Wales following the Government’s response to Professor Merfyn Jones’s HE report.

And it’s a welcome opportunity to plot a course for universities, students and economy which can “widen access, help to tackle student debt, and provide a substantial investment boost”, all as envisaged by the Education Minister.

OU in Wales Western Mail article on HE Review

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Comment Ahead of Ministerial Statement on HE Review Group

Ahead of today’s ministerial statement on Higher Education, which is expected to respond to the first stage report of the HE Task and Finish Group, policy manager for the Open University in Wales, Dewi Knight, said:

“The benefits of part-time HE study are integral to Wales’s ability to adjust to the current and future economic climate.

“Government action on the role, purpose and cost of higher education - in the current economic conditions - has to recognise the changing demographics of Wales and harness higher-education as a tool for a high-skill adaptable economy.

“A high-skill adaptable economy needs a high-skill adaptable workforce. With 70% of 2020’s workforce already of working age, higher education must be promoted as a life-long opportunity. For the majority of the workforce, part-time study is the only option in accessing higher education. In any debate on what the cost of higher education is to students, we must recognise that 40% of HE students in Wales already study part-time and as the Government emphasises widening access, that figure is likely to increase.

“As the Graham Review made clear, parity of esteem between part-time and full-time study is important in balancing a way forward for higher education in Wales.”

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Former UN ambassador takes leading role in Open University Business School

31 March 2008
In addition to his high profile role preparing the way for a referendum on establishing a full law-making parliament for Wales, Sir Emyr Jones Parry has taken the chair of a new International Advisory Board for the Open University Business School (OUBS). There are currently over 600 registrations for OUBS courses in Wales which are used by individuals and companies to improve their business skills.

Former UN ambassador takes leading role in Open University Business School

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New partnership changes the face of healthcare education in Wales

6 March 2008
The landscape of healthcare learning in Wales is set to change with the launch of a strategic alliance between The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Wales and The Open University in Wales (OU in Wales). This new partnership will be celebrated at an event held in the Senedd, National Assembly for Wales on the evening of Monday 10th March. It is being hosted by Jonathan Morgan, AM and Chair of the Assembly’s Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee.

New partnership changes the face of healthcare education in Wales

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Helping Wales’ Nurses Develop

6 February 2008
Joint RCN Wales and Open University project explores learning needs of today’s Primary Care Nurses
The development needs of primary care nurses in Wales are wider and more complex than ever according to a joint report published today by The Royal College of Nursing in Wales and the Open University.

Helping Wales' Nurses Develop

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Celebrate European Day of Languages with the OU in Wales

17th September 2007
Whether you’re ordering a coffee in Calais or a meal in Mexico, being able to communicate in another language has real advantages.

European Day of Languages

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Open University in Wales tops student satisfaction ratings for third year running

12th September 2007
Students at The Open University in Wales are more satisfied with the quality of their higher education than those at any other Welsh university for the third successive year, according to the results of the National Student Survey 2007, published today.

Student Survey 2007

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Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

12th July 2007
Flexible PGCE (11-18 years)
This course, currently the only one of its type in Wales, is operational from March 2007. Students domiciled in Wales will be able to complete the course in Welsh schools.

PGCE

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Avanti ! OU offers fans Italian tips for Champions' League Final

21st May 2007
The Open University is launching a new course in Italian for beginners - L195 Andante. The course will start in November so anyone who wants to learn more after a summer holiday taste of Italian life can develop their skills.

Avanti!

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New Director for The Open University in Wales

16th May 2007
This week The Open University in Wales is welcoming an expert in adult learning as its new director.

New Director

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Opening Doors with the Open University in Wales

6th May 2007
New city centre study facilities have opened in Cardiff for students with The Open University in Wales.

Conveniently located close to the main rail station in the St David's 2 Cardiff Development, the new study centre is on the ground floor of the UNISON House building adjacent to The Open University in Wales' new offices. The investment is part of a £5 million move into updated more visible and more accessible City centre premises.

The Cardiff study centre joins a network of study centres across Wales, which are used to host meetings, tutorials and examinations, offering students face to face support for their part-time studies.

Doors are also opening for 369 students from across Wales who have already successfully used the OU's study facilities and materials to complete their degree studies. Their achievements were celebrated this weekend (Saturday 5 May) with friends, families, employers and tutors at a graduation ceremony in a packed Cardiff's St David's Hall.

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Wales TUC partnership opens the door to Open University learning for ½ million Welsh workers

4th April 2007
Nearly 20 per cent of adults in Wales could benefit from a memorandum of understanding signed between Wales TUC and The Open University in Wales in Cardiff today (Wednesday 4 April).

TUC Partnership

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