Ten years of life-changing learning celebrated by OU and Wales TUC partnership

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News Release: Ten years of life-changing learning celebrated by OU and TUC partnership

For immediate release: 09/05/17 http://www.open.ac.uk/wales/news/ten-years-life-changing-learning-celebrated-ou-and-tuc-partnership 

The Open University in Wales and Wales TUC Cymru are celebrating ten years of working together to widen access to education in the workplace. Over 1500 learners have directly benefited from learning opportunities through the partnership since 2007 and hundreds more have been offered information, advice and guidance.

Both The Open University in Wales and the Wales TUC are built on a common purpose - to support the personal development, career development, and lifelong learning of people throughout Wales – and in 2007 the organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding which broke new ground in its commitment to widen access to higher education. The tenth anniversary of the partnership was celebrated with an event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday 9 May, supported by Hannah Blythyn AM.

Over the past ten years the two organisations have worked together to develop progression pathways for workforce development in vocational learning; bridge the gap between essential skills attainment and all levels of higher education; address opportunities for continuing professional development and up-skill union learning representatives so that they can signpost members to OU provision.

Learners have gone on to undertake further study, develop their careers, and passed on their knowledge and experiences through the union learning programme.

One such learner is Steve Donoghue from Llanelli. Steve had support from his employer and his union to study with the OU and received extra support from the university because of issues with his sight. He was initially worried about how he would cope with university study following a negative experience of education at school but the OU and Union support enabled him to achieve his degree and continue to study for a second qualification. Steve went on to become a union learning rep himself, giving advice and support to those who want to know what is on offer or just need the confidence to sign up.

Speaking at the celebration event Steve said:

“My experiences of school learning were far from positive, so it took a lot for me to get back in to the learning habit. Thanks to my trade union PCS, I found The Open University's flexible approach suited me well and things blossomed from there. Not only did I get the learning bug that has helped my own career, but I found the confidence and enthusiasm to become a Union Learning Representative myself, and use my experiences to encourage others to take that first step.”

Congratulating the organisations on their ten-year anniversary Hannah Blythyn AM said:

“I am delighted to be part of the ten-year celebration of this important partnership. Up-skilling and developing our workforce is essential to Wales’ economic prosperity and the work of the OU and the TUC is fundamental in ensuring that learners have access to flexible, accessible and supported learning that meets their needs.”

Speaking at the Senedd event Hannah Pudner, Assistant Director – External Strategy for The Open University in Wales, said:

“We see the Wales TUC as a natural and important partner in our mission to widen access to higher education, develop Wales’ workforce and ensure that higher education is open to all. We are very proud of the achievements of our learners over the last ten years and look forward to seeing many more lives changed through learning.”

Siân Cartwright, Head of Learning Services at the Wales TUC Cymru said:

“Our relationship with The Open University in Wales is one of genuine partnership which will continue to enable working people in unionised workplaces in Wales to access first rate higher education learning, opening doors to greater opportunities in their career development and throughout their lives.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

OU in Wales media contact: Michelle.Matheron@open.ac.uk 029 2026 2708 / 07841 345159

About The Open University in Wales

The Open University is the largest provider of part-time undergraduate higher education in Wales. It is a world leader in providing innovative and flexible distance learning opportunities at higher education level.

Over 7000 students from virtually every community in Wales are currently studying with The Open University.  More than three out of four Open University students are in employment while they study.

The Open University is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 200,000 current students, including over 15,000 overseas.

The OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale.  Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 39 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 70 million downloads.

In 2010, The Open University in Wales won the Times Higher Education Supplement Award for Widening Participation Initiative of the Year for its work with Unison Cymru in delivering Health and Social Care qualifications to higher level learners.

In 2014 The Open University was also the first university to receive three Wales TUC Quality Awards for workplace outreach activity to support engagement with OpenLearn, FutureLearn and Access modules amongst non-traditional learners.

About Wales TUC Cymru

With over 50 affiliated trades unions representing more than 400,000 workers across the public, private and third sectors, the Wales TUC represents the views of workers in communities across the whole of Wales.

A constituent part of the British TUC, the Wales TUC has devolved responsibility for Welsh issues including all matters within the remit of the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh government.

Wales TUC Cymru and its affiliate Unions have transformed workers’ skills across Wales rolling out workplace learning opportunities with demonstrable advantages for Welsh businesses, public services, workers and our economy. 

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Datganiad newyddion: Deng mlynedd o ddysgu sy'n newid bywydau yn cael ei ddathlu gan Y Brifysgol Agored a phartneriaeth TUC

I'w ryddhau ar unwaith: 09/05/17

Mae'r Brifysgol Agored yng Nghymru a TUC Cymru yn dathlu deng mlynedd o gydweithio i ehangu mynediad i addysg yn y gweithle. Mae dros 1500 o ddysgwyr wedi cael budd uniongyrchol o gyfleoedd dysgu drwy'r bartneriaeth ers 2007 ac mae cannoedd mwy wedi cael cynnig gwybodaeth, cyngor a chanllawiau.

Mae'r Brifysgol Agored yng Nghymru a TUC Cymru yn seiliedig ar nod cyffredin - cefnogi datblygiad personol, datblygiad gyrfaol, a dysgu gydol oes pobl yng Nghymru - ac yn 2017 llofnododd y sefydlidau Femorandwm Cyd-ddealltwriaeth a wnaeth dorri tir newydd yn ei ymrwymiad i ehangu mynediad i addysg uwch. Dathlwyd y bartneriaeth deng mlynedd gyda digwyddiad yn y Senedd ym Mae Caerdydd ddydd Mawrth 9 Mai, a gefnogwyd gan Hannah Blythyn AC.

Dros y deng mlynedd diwethaf mae'r ddau sefydliad wedi cydweithio i ddatblygu llwybrau dilyniant ar gyfer datblygu'r gweithlu ym maes dysgu galwedigaethol; cau'r bwlch rhwng cyrhaeddiad sgiliau hanfodol a phob lefel o addysg uwch; mynd i'r afael a chyfleoedd ar gyfer datblygiad proffesiynol parhaus a gwella sgiliau cynrychiolwyr dysgu undebau fel y gallant gyfeirio aelodau at ddarpariaeth Y Brifysgol Agored.

Mae dysgwyr wedi mynd ymlaen i ymgymryd ag astudiaeth bellach, datblygu eu gyrfaoedd a throsglwyddo eu gwybodaeth a'u profiadau drwy raglen dysgu'r undebau.

Un dysgwr o'r fath yw Steve Donoghue o Lanelli. Cafodd Steve gefnogaeth gan ei gyflogwr a'i undeb i astudio gyda'r Brifysgol Agored a derbyniodd gefnogaeth ychwanegol gan y brifysgol oherwydd ei broblemau gyda'i olwg. I ddechrau roedd yn poeni am sut y byddai'n ymdopi ag astudio yn y brifysgol yn dilyn profiad negyddol o addysg yn yr ysgol ond drwy gefnogaeth Y Brifysgol Agored a'r Undeb llwyddodd i ennill gradd a pharhau i astudio ar gyfer ei ail gymhwyster. Aeth Steve ymlaen i ddod yn un o gynrychiolwyr dysgu'r undebau ei hun, yn rhoi cyngor a chymorth i'r rhsi sydd am gael gwybod yr hyn sydd ar gael iddynt neu angen hyder arnynt i gofrestru.

Yn ystod y digwyddiad dathlu, dywedodd Steve:

"Roedd fy mhrofiadau o ddysgu yn yr ysgol ymhell o fod yn gadarnhaol, felly fe roedd angen tipyn o ymdrech i mi ddod yn ôl i'r arfer o ddysgu. Diolch i fy undeb llafur PCS, darganfyddais fod dull gweithredu hyblyg Y Brifysgol Agored yn addas i mi a datblygodd pethau o hynny ymlaen. Nid yn unig yr oeddwn i'n awyddus i ddysgu mwy sydd wedi helpu fy ngyrfa, ond fe wnes i fagu'r hyder a'r brwdfrydedd i ddod yn Gynrychiolydd Dysgu'r Undebau, a defnyddio fy mhrofiadau i annog eraill i gymryd y cam cyntaf."

 Wrth longyfarch y sefydliadau yn dathlu deng mlynedd dywedodd Hannah Blythyn AC:

"Mae'n bleser gennyf fod yn rhan o'r dathliad deng mlynedd o'r bartneriaeth bwysig hon. Mae gwella a datblygu ein gweithlu yn hanfodol i ffyniant economaidd Cymru ac mae gwaith Y Brifysgol Agored a'r TUC yn allweddol i sicrhau y caiff dysgwyr fynediad i addysg hyblyg, hygyrch a chefnogol sy'n diwallu eu hanghenion."

Dywedodd Hannah Pudner, Cyfarwyddwr Cynorthwyol - Strategaeth Allanol Y Brifysgol Agored yng Nghymru a oedd yn siarad yn y digwyddiad yn y Senedd:

"Rydym yn ystyried TUC Cymru yn bartner naturiol a phwysig yn ein cenhadaeth i ehangu mynediad i addysg uwch, datblygu gweithlu Cymru a sicrhau bod addysg uwch ar gael i bawb. Rydym yn falch iawn o gyflawniadau ein dysgwyr dros y deng mlynedd diwethaf ac edrychwn ymlaen at weld llawer mwy o fywydau yn newid drwy addysg."

Dywedodd Siân Cartwright, Pennaeth Gwasanaethau Dysgu yn TUC Cymru

"Mae ein perthynas â'r Brifysgol Agored yn bartneriaeth wirioneddol, a fydd yn parhau i alluogi pobl sy'n gweithio mewn gweithleoedd sy'n rhan o undebau yng Nghymru i gael mynediad i addysg uwch o'r radd flaenaf, gan agor drysau i fwy o gyfleoedd yn natblygiad eu gyrfa a drwy gydol eu bywydau."

DIWEDD

Nodiadau i olygyddion

Cyswllt y Brifysgol Agored â'r cyfryngau:  Michelle Matheron Michelle.Matheron@open.ac.uk

029 2026 2708 / 07841 345159

Gwybodaeth am y Brifysgol Agored yng Nghymru 

Y Brifysgol Agored yw'r darparwr addysg uwch i israddedigion rhan amser mwyaf yng Nghymru. Mae'n arweinydd byd gan gynnig cyfleoedd dysgu o bell hyblyg ac arloesol ar lefel addysg uwch. 

Mae dros 7000 o fyfyrwyr o bob cymuned yng Nghymru gyfan fwy neu lai yn astudio gyda’r Brifysgol Agored ar hyn o bryd.  Mae mwy na thri chwarter myfyrwyr y Brifysgol Agored mewn cyflogaeth tra'u bod yn astudio. 

Y Brifysgol Agored yw'r sefydliad academaidd mwyaf yn y DU ac mae'n arweinydd byd ym maes dysgu hyblyg o bell. Ers ei sefydlu yn 1969, mae'r Brifysgol Agored wedi addysgu mwy na 1.8 miliwn o fyfyrwyr ac mae ganddi bron 200,000 o fyfyrwyr ar hyn o bryd, gan gynnwys 15,000 dramor. 

Mae'r Brifysgol Agored, a gaiff ei hystyried yn brif sefydliad e-ddysgu Prydain, yn arweinydd byd o ran datblygu technoleg er mwyn gwella mynediad at addysg yn fyd-eang. Mae ei phortffolio 'cynnwys agored' eang yn cynnwys unedau astudio am ddim ar OpenLearn, sydd bellach wedi cael mwy na 39 miliwn o ymweliadau, a deunyddiau ar iTunes U, sydd wedi'u lawrlwytho fwy na 70 miliwn o weithiau. 

Yn 2010, enillodd Y Brifysgol Wobr y Times Higher Education Supplement am Fenter Ehangu Cyfranogiad y Flwyddyn ar gyfer ei gwaith gydag Unison Cymru yn cyflwyno cymwysterau Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol i ddysgwyr lefel uwch.

Yn 2014, Y Brifysgol Agored hefyd oedd y brifysgol gyntaf i dderbyn tair Gwobr Ansawdd TUC Cymru am ein gweithgareddau allgymorth yn y gweithle er mwyn cefnogi'r gwaith o ymgysylltu ag OpenLearn, FutureLearn a modiwlau Mynediad ymhlith dysgwyr annhraddodiadol.

TUC Cymru

Gyda dros 50 o undebau llafur cysylltiedig yn cynrychioli mwy na 400,000 o weithwyr yn y sector cyhoeddus, y sector preifat a'r trydydd sector, mae TUC Cymru yn cynrychioli barn gweithwyr mewn cymunedau ledled Cymru gyfan. 

Mae TUC Cymru yn rhan rhan gyfansoddol o TUC Prydain, ac mae ganddi gyfrifoldebau datganoledig am faterion yng Nghymru yn cynnwys yr holl faterion o fewn cylch gwaith Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a Llywodraeth Cymru.

Mae TUC Cymru a'i Hundebau cysylltiedig wedi trawsnewid sgiliau gweithwyr ledled Cymru gan gyflwyno cyfleoedd dysgu yn y gweithle gyda manteision amlwg i fusnesau yng Nghymru, gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, gweithwyr a'n heconomi

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