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Education

International students bringing nearly £80m of economic benefits to Ceredigion and enriching its culture, new report says

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Aberystwyth University

CEREDIGION’S economy has benefited from almost £80 million because of the impact of new international students, as well as the cultural and societal benefits that come from a more diverse population, a new report has found.

The Higher Education Policy Institute and Universities UK International’s report, The Costs and Benefits of International Higher Education Students to the UK Economy, written by the consultancy London Economics, broke down the economic benefits of first year international students attending universities across Wales and the wider UK.

For the 2018/19 academic year, a single first year student in Ceredigion boosted the economy by over £87,000. This was through a mix of tuition fee income, living costs and their spending in the wider economy, as well as money spent by friends and family while visiting.

However, the report said the value of international students should not just be measured in economic terms, noting that they are also a key contributor to a culturally richer society.

Within Aberystwyth, around a fifth of the University’s student body for the 2021/21 academic year is from overseas.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said: “A diverse university is a successful university. International students bring a richness to the Aberystwyth University experience through making friends, building relationships with staff and immersing themselves in the wider community.

“International students don’t just get a higher education experience; they learn about Wales and Welsh culture. Our students from Wales and the wider UK build upon their own cross-cultural skills so it’s win/win – we ultimately create more employable graduates with a broader mindset for the future.

“I have always been heartened by Aberystwyth University’s ability to build relationships across the globe. Our alumni have an affection for the town and for Wales that you don’t see at other universities. When they return to their home countries, they become ambassadors for Wales and the UK.”

The report tracked the last full academic year that was not disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also found that during the 2018/19 academic year, every 14 students from the European Union and every 10 non-EU students generate £1 million worth of net economic impact for the duration of their studies. Across Wales international students in the 2018/19 academic year brought a net economic benefit of £1.08bn.

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Education

Review to be held on the post-16 education provision in Ceredigion

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The last review on post-16 provision in Ceredigion took place in 2007-2008

A REVIEW will be held in the near future to gather information and facts about the post-16 education provision in Ceredigion.

The review will coincide with the reforms made through the establishment of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (CTER), which is responsible for overseeing the post-16 sector in Wales, along with the recommendations made by Estyn Thematic Review on post-16 partnerships.

The last review on post-16 provision in Ceredigion took place in 2007-2008, therefore it was agreed during a Cabinet meeting held virtually on 11 January 2022 that it would be timely to undertake a further review.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Support and Intervention, said: “It is timely to conduct a review of post-16 provision to gather facts and views on what works and what can be developed.”

It was noted that there were 701 pupils in years 12 and 13 in all Ceredigion schools in January 2020. It was also added that less than 5 pupils were following 51 of the 199 A Level courses provided in Ceredigion schools during the academic year 2021-2022.

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Education

£18m to support children and young people with additional learning needs

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NEW funding to support children and young people with Additional Learning Needs has been announced by Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language.

£18m will be made available to provide extra support for children and young people with ALN who’ve been affected by the pandemic and to help educational settings as learners move to the new ALN system from this month.

£10m of the funding will be used to support learners with ALN affected by the pandemic and to improve their wellbeing. During the pandemic, many disabled children and young people, including learners with ALN, continue to experience a negative impact on their mental health and difficulties accessing education.

The funding will add to existing support for ALN learners, such as intensive learning support and speech and language therapy. The funding can also be used to provide extra resources to target the impacts of the pandemic, such as mental health support and tailored support to help with attendance.

£8m will be allocated to schools, nurseries, local authorities and Pupil Referral Units to move learners from the old Special Educational Needs (SEN) system to the new ALN system, as the roll-out of the Additional Learning Needs Act continues.

The new ALN system, being rolled out over three years, will ensure children and young people with ALN are identified quickly and their needs are met. The Act makes provision for new individual development plans, designed to put the views of learners at the heart of the decision-making process, alongside those of their parents or carers.

Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles said:

“We are determined to deliver a fully inclusive education system in Wales – a system where additional needs are identified early and addressed quickly, and where all children and young people are supported to thrive in their education.

“Schools and nurseries are already doing a fantastic job of supporting their learners, but we know they need more resources to do this. That’s why I’m announcing this additional investment to support learners to overcome the effects of the pandemic and prevent the entrenchment of inequalities on their education, employment opportunities, their health and wellbeing.”

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Education

Over £100m of new funding will help make schools and colleges Covid-secure

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Schools and colleges to receive additional funding

SCHOOLS and colleges will receive £103 million in Welsh Government funding, as learners return for the January term.

£50m will be provided via local authorities through the Sustainable Communities for Learning programme. The funding will help schools carry out capital repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, such as improving ventilation. The funding will also be used to support decarbonisation.

£45m of revenue funding will also help support school budgets, assisting schools as they continue to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and to prepare for the requirements of the new curriculum.

An additional £8m will be provided to further education colleges, to ensure learning can continue safely and ensure the most disadvantaged learners are not further impacted by the pandemic.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, said:

“I know schools and colleges have faced a very difficult time and everyone across the workforce has worked incredibly hard to meet the challenges of the pandemic. This funding will further support our schools and colleges to keep settings as Covid-secure as possible.

“While we want to support the sector in recovering from the pandemic, we also have to make sure we continue to plan for the future, and help all education settings across Wales fulfil our collective goals of making Wales a net-zero nation.

“The funding announced today will help us to ensure sustainability across the sector – be that the environmental sustainability achieved through decarbonisation, or sustainability in provision.”

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