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International education experts were given an insight into Wales’ education system during a recent visit to Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education.

A delegation from Norway, including a member of the Sami Parliament’s Education Department and a group of students and lecturers from the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, were welcomed to UWTSD’s Carmarthen Campus by Yr Athrofa’s Early Years team.

Assistant Professor of Education at the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Laila Aleksandersen Nutti, led the group on a study tour to explore Welsh-medium early years education and care in order to collect ideas to support their own cultural context.

During their visit, students visited Cwtsh Y Clos, Llanarthne, which is a Welsh-medium nursery owned and managed by past Early Years students Gwenllian Stephens and Ann Davies. They also visited the Foundation Phase of Ysgol Gymraeg Y Dderwen, where they were given a very warm welcome by children and staff.

There were also opportunities to further explore Welsh culture and the visitors had an opportunity to spend time with the university’s Professor Mererid Hopwood and to visit the new Canolfan S4C Yr Egin with Pro Vice-Chancellor Gwilym Dyfri to learn more about how this development is supporting creative and cultural innovations locally.

Jen Dafis also provided an interactive workshop exploring language and cultural awareness and Canolfan Peniarth also provided early years resources to support discussions on supporting minority cultures.

The Early Years team were also grateful that the visitors attended lectures with UWTSD students and provided wonderful presentations exploring Sami culture and traditions.

Dr Glenda Tinney, a senior lecturer in the Early Years at Yr Athrofa, said: “This has been a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas on different approaches to develop and support minority languages. This visit is seen as the beginning of a long-term partnership between our two Universities and we are looking forward to planning future projects together.”

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