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Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language

First published:
21 October 2021
Last updated:

I wrote to Members on 16 July to inform them of progress made to-date on the International Learning Exchange Programme, including the forthcoming appointment of the Advisory Board’s unremunerated Chair.

Significant progress has since taken place in relation to programme development (led by International Learning Exchange Programme Limited) with several key appointments made to advance policy formulation in relation to higher education and further education and the youth and schools sectors. These appointees are engaging widely with stakeholder groups to inform and shape plans.

An interim Executive Director has also been appointed, who will provide overall operational leadership with interviews for a permanent appointee scheduled for next month.

International interest in the programme remains high, and officials are continuing to engage with interested institutions, embassies and counterparts to highlight and promote opportunities.

The Advisory Board will hold its inaugural meeting this month and will provide strong oversight, with members drawn from nationally representative organisations in all parts of the education sector from across Wales.  I am also pleased to inform Members that after an executive search and a series of interviews, the International Learning Exchange Programme have now appointed Kirsty Williams CBE as the Chair of the Advisory Board.

Kirsty Williams has proven leadership across the education sector in Wales and a strong track record of advancing Wales’ international links and partnerships.  As Chair, she will ensure that the ambitions of all parts of our education sector and the wide range of providers in Wales are reflected in the Programme’s development and delivery.  

The Programme remains on course to invite applications in Spring 2022 for the 2022/2023 academic year.

The Programme will shortly undertake a consultative exercise to select a programme brand, to inspire applicants and partners from Wales and around the world to participate in this innovative made-in-Wales global education exchange initiative.  

I will provide a further update in the new year.