Shaping the future together
The Faculty of Education and Training was established in 1999 and since then it has more than trebled in size.
The Faculty of Education and Training has more than doubled in size during the last decade, developing to become one of Wales’ most flourishing Education Faculties in terms of the numbers of its programmes and its students. It has evolved from being a Faculty which concentrated, essentially, on initial teacher training and education in 1999 to become a Faculty which by today provides a range of programmes across the education spectrum.
The Faculty contains four academic Schools:
- School of Initial Teacher Education and Training
- School of Early Childhood
- School of Social Justice and Inclusion
- School of Welsh and Bilingual Studies
in addition to the Associate Faculty which provides university level modules for 16-19 year old students in schools and colleges within the region and beyond.
The Faculty has over 30 academic programmes ranging from Certificates of Higher Education at Level 4 to higher degrees at Level 7. There are programmes in the fields of Primary Education Studies, Early Years Education, Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status, Youth and Community Work, Psychology, Celtic Studies, Bilingual and Multilingual Studies, Language Policy and Planning, Social Inclusion, Inclusive Studies, Nursery Management to name but a few.
Alongside traditional degree courses, a range of programmes are provided which provide professional development to various workforces connected with education in its broadest sense. Some of the most popular programmes are the Graduate Certificate in Professional Development, the Higher Education Certificate in Welsh and Bilingual Practice in Early Years, a Foundation Degree in Inclusive Studies for Teaching Assistants, a Foundation Degree in Multi-Agency Working and a series of MA degrees including some in the fields of Education, Early Years Education and Inclusive Studies.
The Associate Faculty is a totally unique development offering university level education for 16-19 year olds studying in schools or colleges. It was launched by the Minister for Education in the Senedd in March 2009 and since then approximately 1200 students have followed Level 4 modules either on the University campus in Carmarthen or in their schools. As the Associate Faculty goes from strength to strength, we know that over 500 school and college students from across South and Mid Wales have already registered on Associate Faculty modules for 2011/12.
The Faculty welcomes students from all backgrounds. There are local students here, students from other parts of Wales, students from other parts of the United Kingdom, a growing number of international students who come straight from school or further education, mature students, students studying full-time, part-time and by flexible learning methods on weekends and on evenings. Whatever the background of the student, we ensure that that he/she will receive the care and support they need.
From the Day of Registration, through Induction Week, and on through their period of study, the Faculty staff will be there to offer advice and encouragement to all students. The Faculty Schools know their students well and they will receive excellent pastoral care throughout their time at the University.
Student experience is greatly enriched by a host of events of an academic and social nature arranged by the Schools. Well-known guest lecturers are invited to address students, overseas educational trips are arranged by all Schools while opportunities are also arranged for them to volunteer in the town of Carmarthen and the area.
Core to all its academic programmes is the Faculty’s utter commitment to prepare the individual student for the world of work, and, as a result, all Schools give a great deal of attention to the promotion of students' communication skills – orally and in writing - alongside other key skills that will be crucial to their efforts to find work on graduation.
All Faculty Schools have ensured that students have an opportunity to experience workplace placements as part of their studies. Sometimes students are allowed to visit a work situation for a day or two at a time; at other times they may take advantage of some weeks in the workplace.
It is, therefore, no surprise, that the Welsh Government’s latest figures showed that a very high percentage (over 90%) of its students were in work within six months of graduating.
From September 2012, the University will offer all its students a Skills Passport – a scheme which hopefully will further strengthen students’ ability to find work after graduation. As part of the this scheme, students will have an opportunity of studying modules accredited on sports skills, learning and improving Welsh, Chinese and leadership to name but a few.
External Examiners’ Reports show each year that the Faculty’s academic provision is consistently high and compare very well with the provision in similar institutions. Student comments in end of programme questionnaires report that they are very happy with the standard of the Faculty programmes generally. 96.4% of graduates in 2010/11 noted that they were satisfied with the provision while 98.9% confirmed that the knowledge and skills they developed on their programme would be useful to them in the future. Similarly, the Faculty student satisfaction level in the National Student Survey in 2011 varied between 89% and 92%.
The Approach to Learning and Teaching
Students come across a mixture of learning and teaching methods as part of their studies within the Faculty. As well as traditional lectures, they have an opportunity of participating in seminars, practical workshops, question and answer sessions with guest speakers, group activities including problem based learning and educational visits to places of interest including work placements.
The Faculty has invested heavily in information technology resources in recent times and students and staff will have regular opportunities to use these in order to enhance teaching and learning experiences. Students’ learning period is also enhanced by the availability of electronic teaching resources – including a significant number of e-books and e-magazines – while they will also have an opportunity to submit their work and receive feedback electronically.
Welsh Medium and Bilingual Provision
The Faculty is the main provider of Welsh medium and bilingual programmes in education according to the number of students studying through the medium of Welsh and the number of programmes taught in Welsh or bilingually. Two undergraduate degrees are fully provided through the medium of Welsh: BA Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status and BA Early Years Education while an increasing number of its other programmes are available to be studied through the medium of Welsh e.g. BA Youth and Community Work, BA Social Inclusion and BA Primary Education Studies. It is seen that a Welsh-speaking Personal Tutor is allocated for all Welsh-speaking students while language improvement modules are provided for those who study through the medium of Welsh or bilingually.
The Faculty has a very good relationship with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and three new posts and one PhD scholarship were awarded to the Faculty during the last two years. About £100,000 of funding was also ensured from the College to develop Welsh medium teaching resources in some of the fields referred to above.
The Faculty is also home to Canolfan Peniarth, the University’s educational resource publishing unit, and already, in the short time since it was set up, it has succeeded in attracting national contracts worth £800,000. Canolfan Peniarth employs five full-time members of staff at present and there are exciting plans afoot to expand the initiative to new areas during the next two years.
The Faculty has regularly shown in the thirteen years since it was set up, that it can operate suddenly and proactively providing an increasing range of varied learning opportunities for its students. As the University works towards its merger with Swansea Metropolitan University and later with the University of Wales, the Faculty will certainly discover new opportunities. The School of Initial Teacher Training and Education is working closely with Swansea School of Education at Swansea Metropolitan University to create the South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education. Successful partnerships have also been set up with various movements and bodies across Wales by continuing to cooperate closely with these and energetically applying themselves to the provision of an increasing range of programmes of an academic and professional nature, we trust that the Faculty will be able to respond successfully to the needs of learners in the region and beyond on the one hand and to the Welsh Government’s policies in the areas it covers by it on the other.
Gwilym Dyfri Jones
Dean of the Faculty of Education and Training
Phone: (01267) 676675
Fax: (01267) 676755