The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has announced an extra £8m investment to support digital learning in Further Education (FE) colleges over the next three years – with a total investment of over £30m in digital since 2019.
The fund calls on FE colleges to be innovative and have digital learning central to their plans. The money will help colleges to continue to invest in digital equipment and infrastructure improvements.
The new funding will help to ensure that the FE sector in Wales is at the leading edge of innovation, creativity and collaboration and give learners the technology and skills they need to progress into meaningful, fulfilling work.
The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said:
This funding provides an exciting opportunity to harness the potential of technology to enhance the learning experiences and widen access to learning opportunities for students in Wales.
This will prepare them for progression into employment, including in high-tech industries where equipment and practices are constantly evolving.
I want our FE sector in Wales to be at the leading edge of innovation, creativity and collaboration. I am very pleased to see many examples of this type of activity already taking place, and to be able to confirm further investment over the next few years.
Colleges are already taking innovative approaches to digital learning, including Bridgend College, whose learners are already benefitting from previous Welsh Government funding to support digital learning. The college have developed a high-quality video capture and streaming service which will improve learners’ experience across a number of subject areas.
The animal care department are able to live stream animals in their natural environment, allowing learners to witness activity such as lambing without being physically present.
Scott Morgan, Head of Digital Innovation and IT Services at Bridgend College said:
We have used digital technology to innovate our teaching practices across a number of areas, from Hair and Beauty to Performing Arts, with great success. This has resulted in interactive learning experiences, and has allowed us to use technology to support demonstrations and assessments, with significantly more uses to be explored in future.
Annual Welsh Government funding to Jisc enables FE colleges to access a range of digital services and support. Jisc is a key partner for the Digital 2030 strategic framework for digital learning in Wales, and is carrying out research that will help identify opportunities to maximise the potential of digital learning in the FE sector in the future.