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27 January 2009
Young people will get the chance to participate in important archaeological field work, study space debris, help develop a junior music academy and express views on genetics, ethics and online storytelling thanks to first-round funding awards from the Beacon for Wales.
More than £70,000 has been allocated to projects at the University and the University of Glamorgan by the Beacon, which will draw on the experience of university experts in astronomy, maths, music, archaeology, genetics and social sciences. They will explore innovative approaches to feed back into academic research, as well as help develop closer links in local communities around issues that affect people’s daily lives.
Seven projects, ranging in value from £6,000 to £17,000, will benefit from the first wave funding of £73,000, which is part of a total £1.2M secured by the Beacon for Wales.
The projects are:
Bruce Etherington, Beacon for Wales Manager, said: "The great thing about the successful projects is that they are designed from the start to be a partnership between young people and university staff so that they can work and learn together to increase knowledge and understanding.
"The Beacon for Wales is working to help institutions reach out even further into their communities and share their knowledge, helping both the wider community and the academic communities make more informed decisions that are relevant to the 21st century."
Colin Johnson OBE, Chair of the Project Advisory Group, was enthusiastic about the response to the first call for funding. He said: "We've had a fascinating range of project ideas submitted already. The quality and creativity we've seen so far will get the Beacon for Wales off to a flying start."
Applications for the second round of Beacon for Wales funding will open soon to people from all over Wales who are involved in or who have plans for partnerships between universities and their communities. Projects will be considered under any of the four themes below:
o Our Place In The Future - 14-19 year olds
o Climate and Sustainability - Rural Communities
o Health and Wellbeing - Communities First
o The Welsh identity in the 21st Century - Cultural Minorities
The Beacon for Wales will be running sessions across Wales to help strengthen links between the public and their universities. For further details, please contact the Beacon for Wales team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Beacon for Wales, officially launched in 2008 and based at Cardiff, is a partnership between the University, University of Glamorgan, BBC Wales, National Museum Wales and Techniquest, which aims to help universities in Wales engage more with the communities of which they are part. Part of the UK-wide Beacons for Public Engagement scheme the Welsh Beacon also encourages people to play a more active role in the work of higher education institutions.
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