The Open University in Wales and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol are working in partnership to provide free online resources in Welsh and English for learners to try something new, increase their skills or sample a Higher Education course.
The new resources available through the website OpenLearn Cymru were launched this week at an event attended by Kirsty Williams, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“It is a pleasure to highlight the potential of open educational resources for higher education in Wales and to launch these exciting new modules and courses. This is an excellent example of organisations working together to meet the needs of learners.
“The modules and courses launched today support a range of Government priorities and commitments: Supporting individuals to study medicine and science, the benefits of studying bilingually, caring for adults and supporting children’s development. All of these subjects are essential to develop the skills of the future workforce required in Wales so that public services are developed in line with the aspiration of the Government and the people of Wales.”
Originally launched in 2014, OpenLearn Cymru now features a wider range of resources and courses from the OU and two new resources developed in partnership with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, the body with responsibility for ensuring more study opportunities for Welsh-medium students. The Coleg resources on OpenLearn Cymru support learners interested in studying either medicine or the natural sciences in Welsh at university.
Dr Dafydd Trystan, Registrar of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol said:
“We are very pleased to work with the Open University, one of the World’s foremost open educational institutions, to develop materials for students in Welsh. Open access educational resources are a key part of the Coleg’s strategy in expanding the numbers of students who study elements of their course in Welsh, by offering taster courses to build student confidence and engagement. We believe that the further development of Open Learn Cymru is an important contribution in the post-16 education sector to delivering the Welsh Government’s ambition of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.”
OpenLearn Cymru builds on the success of The OU’s OpenLearn site which offers over 700 free courses and is visited by over 5 million people a year. OpenLearn Cymru offers free courses (with materials taken from accredited OU study) and resources across a broad range of disciplines including Welsh history; skills and employability; social work and psychology.
John Darcy, Interim Director of The Open University in Wales said
“Working with The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol co-producing free bilingual learning resources right across Wales is testament to the strength of collaboration, strengthening our support to Welsh learners to use, study and maintain the Welsh language”.
The courses and learning resources will be useful for people who might be thinking about university study but are not quite sure if it’s for them. Trying an OpenLearn Cymru course will give learners a taste of what university study is like, how distance learning works and will help give individuals the confidence to take the step into higher education.
OpenLearn Cymru can be found online at www.open.edu/openlearncymru .