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06 June 2013
A unique collaboration that helped develop and stimulate demand for adult education in Cardiff is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
In 1913, the first adult education tutorial took place in Cardiff thanks to a partnership between the ‘University Extension’ and the Workers' Educational Association (WEA).
Since then, adult education in Cardiff has flourished and over the last 100 years, communities, individuals and organisations have experienced the transformative effect of lifelong learning.
Today’ s Centre for Lifelong Learning, created in 1999, provides more than 500 part-time courses for people from all walks of life, alongside its bespoke and professional courses.
Its Pathways to a Degree programme gives adult learners the chance to study a degree at Cardiff University, while its diverse range of business-related courses help individuals and organisations improve their skills and knowledge.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the collaboration, the Centre recently held an event during Adult Learners Week to reflect on the past and highlight recent developments, such as the newly developed pathways to undergraduate degrees. Guests at the event included Jeff Cuthbert AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology and representatives from the WEA.
Dr Zbig Sobiesierski, Co-Dean of Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning, said:
"This is a great opportunity to celebrate the history of the Centre and highlight the breadth of activity the Centre provides. Our core mission is to support and facilitate quality, accessible and flexible higher education for a diverse range of communities, organisations and individuals, including: widening access, pathways for progression onto degrees, the Choices programme, enhancing the undergraduate student experience, professional development and languages for all."
Jeff Cuthbert AM Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology said: "The work of the Joint Committee shows what can be achieved through real collaboration. One hundred years on, the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning continues to attract learners from all age groups and from all backgrounds by offering a wide variety of stimulating, accessible and well-respected courses.
"To this day, the Centre continues to promote one of the main principles and objectives of the Joint Committee, which was to widen access to education for all.
"As we celebrate Adult Learners’ Week, I would like to congratulate the Centre on its excellent work in promoting lifelong learning. I hope the good practice we have seen here will continue to encourage other organisations to pull together their resources and expertise, helping to widen access for all of Wales’ adult learners."
Viv Davies, Chair of the Learning Committee at the WEA commented: "The reason WEA was formed, was to create an alliance between labour and learning. The extension programme at Cardiff University enabled working people to engage in further learning throughout their lives. This is still as relevant today as adult community learning plays an important part in providing first steps for learners who may want to progress to higher education."
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