A ground-breaking new scheme which aims to inspire a love of learning among children and young people in North Wales by promoting access to extra-curricular activities is being expanded after securing more than £800,000 of funding.
Bangor University will work with Wrexham Glyndwr University (WGU) and a number of other partners to pilot the scheme over the coming year as part of a shared civic mission commitment to work in partnership to end social inequality in the region.
The new funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) will enable partners to build on the success of the Wrexham and Flintshire Children’s University pilot project, enabled by WGU and the Wrexham and Flintshire Public Service Board.
The pilot project worked with schools, community groups and learning destinations across the area, encouraging children and young people to complete 30 hours of extracurricular and volunteering activity, with the overarching aim of raising aspirations and rewarding participation.
As part of the scheme’s expansion, Bangor University will lead the roll out of the Children’s University in North-West Wales.
Thanks to HEFCW funding, the Children’s University can support the implementation of the New Curriculum for Wales and other key Welsh Government priorities.
Nina Ruddle, Head of Public Policy Engagement at WGU, said: “Securing this funding is an exciting leap forward for the Children’s University in North Wales and an important part of our civic mission at Wrexham Glyndwr University to end social inequality across the region.
“It is testament to the strong partnership approach that we have here in North Wales that a wide range of partners including Bangor University, GwE, Coleg Cambria, Grwp Llandrillo Menai, the public service boards, local authorities, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and many others have joined together to support this important scheme for our region’s children and young people.
“We anticipate that thanks to this funding, we will be able to reach far more children and young people and engage them in this exciting scheme. Crucially, the scheme is also creating a number of new jobs to support the delivery of this ambitious project across the region.”
Professor Andrew Edwards, Pro Vice-Chancellor for civic mission at Bangor University, said: “Bangor University are delighted to be working with WGU and partners throughout the region to expand the Children’s University into North-West Wales.”
Dr Lowri Hughes, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Civic Engagement at Bangor University, added: “Raising aspirations and improving quality of life is at the heart of Bangor University’s new civic engagement strategy. The partnerships fostered through Children’s University will play an important role in supporting children and young people to reach their potential.”
Since the launch of the Children’s University pilot in 2021 across Wrexham and Flintshire, more than 6,100 hours of activities were completed by 170 pupils, who engaged with the six-month pilot.
Pupils from both Welsh and English medium primary and secondary schools participated in the pilot. Those who completed the pilot attended a special graduation ceremony with their parents, carers and teachers.
Those who have taken part in the scheme earned stamp codes to reward their learning time in validated activities to demonstrate their time and progress.
The scheme is currently advertising a number of vacancies based in North West Wales, please click here for more information
More about the Children's University here: www.childrensuniversity.co.uk