Coleg y Cymoedd recently welcomed visitors from Estonia for a guided tour of the Nantgarw campus and to investigate how educational institutions in Wales recognise prior learning for students entering back into education or changing route in their studies.
Ten visitors including four delegates from Foundation Innove and six directors of study from different vocational colleges and training centres in Estonia took part in the visit to Wales which was coordinated by Agored Cymu.
The group visited on a European funded trip as part of the work they are doing to ensure that member states of the EU establish national systems for the validation of informal learning as part of the EU strategy for creating jobs and growth.
The group were tasked to find out more about how educational institutions recognise informal learning in Wales and were particularly interested in how further education colleges use Recognition of Prior Learning and how the system of Quality Assured Lifelong Learning is applied.
John Phelps, Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “We, at Coleg y Cymoedd, welcome visits from international partners because it enriches everyone’s learning experience, both staff and learners. We shared our processes and policies relating to recognising prior achievement and experiences and pitfalls that we have identified and how we implement these systems in partnership with City and Guilds who approached us as one of their partner colleges we work closely with.”
As well as the visit to Coleg y Cymoedd, the group visited, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Acorn Learning Solutions and met representatives of Welsh Government, NIACE Dysgu Cymru, Creo Skills, Siawns Teg and YMCA Community College. The group has also visited the Netherlands to see how their Recognition of Prior Learning system works in contrast.
Janet Barlow CEO of Agored Cymru said “It’s always a privilege to share our approaches to learning with colleagues from other countries and discover how much we have in common as well as how much we can learn for one another”.
Foundation Innove was established in 2003 by the Government as a non-profit foundation that coordinates the lifelong learning development activities and implements the relevant programmes and projects and the EU structural aid.