The University of Wales Trinity Saint David welcomed Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language Alun Davies to its Carmarthen Campus to discuss the opportunities afforded by collaboration between the Welsh Government and the higher education sector.
It was agreed that by working together, the Welsh Government and the university could ensure the best possible use of resources and bring to bear a better understanding of the conditions required to drive up standards.
In particular, Mr Davies and senior UWTSD staff considered the need to respond quickly and effectively to the Welsh Government’s Early Years and Childcare Plan and Foundation Phase Action Plan.
Allied to that, it was considered essential to have the relevant building blocks in place at the earliest stage in a child’s development in order to achieve the Welsh Government’s ambition to deliver one million Welsh speakers by 2050.
Mr Davies was given an insight into the university’s sector-leading work in early years education and met with academics specialising in the early childhood sector.
Lecturers in UWTSD’s School of Early Years boast a diverse range of expertise from previous careers including those who have worked as nursery and primary school personnel, nursery owners and managers, police child protection officers, early childhood development officers and researchers.
Lecturers also maintain close links with the early childhood sector in order to ensure students have the opportunity to link what they learn in university with real issues in the workplace.
Mr Davies’ visit followed the recent launch of the university’s Yr Athrofa – Institute of Education – and considered the potential for further collaboration between the Welsh Government and partners in higher education to develop shared solutions to national priorities.
Jane Waters, Assistant Dean of Research and Knowledge Transfer in UWTSD’s Faculty of Education and Communities, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language to our Carmarthen Campus, where we were able to showcase our work in the hugely important field of early years education.
“We share in the minister’s commitment to collaboration and, that by working jointly, we can ensure that every pound spent is spent well and all parts of the education system are working smartly together for the greatest possible benefit.
“In collaboration, we can make sure we all know what excellence looks like and plan to attain this benchmark consistently.
“The University of Wales Trinity Saint David looks forward to playing a full and active role in the future development of early years education and training in Wales, as we seek to realise the ambitions set out by the Welsh Government.”
Mr Davies said: “Ensuring the healthy cognitive, social and emotional development of young children merits the highest priority of every responsible government, organisation, community, family and individual.
“I’m impressed with the work the university has undertaken across several key policy areas – their contributions are vital as we look to shape and enhance education in Wales.”