Leader of Welsh Lib Dems visits Aberystwyth following University’s decision to scrap PGCE program

LAST week, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds visited Aberystwyth University to meet students following the announcement that the University will be scrapping their Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) program.

The announcement comes after the publication of an Estyn inspection report last year, which found that the institution had “been too slow” when it came to prioritising student support.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have now called for the University to produce and implement an action plan that will enable the reintroduction of this course at the earliest opportunity, as well as for the Uni to rectify any similar shortcomings in other training programs.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“Aberystwyth university has long been seen as a cornerstone of education here in Wales, and its role in shaping the future of Welsh-medium education is pivotal.

However, the decision by the Education Workforce Council to withdraw accreditation for their teacher training program now puts this at risk.

The report published by Estyn rightfully identified several flaws in the Uni’s approach to supporting student teachers, along with requiring the University to make significant improvement.

The decision of the EWC suggest that these improvements have not been made.

We are now calling on the University to get their act together, fix the shortcomings in this program and begin plans to reintroduce the course as soon as possible.

Commenting, a spokesperson for the Welsh Young Liberals said:

“There was an overwhelming lack of support, especially for Disabled Students, which has been consistent since 2020.

Previous lecturers were always late, and assignments were marked late and inconsistently.

As a joint honours student my timetable is very erratic, and this has an adverse effect on my wellbeing.

This does not however, mean that the course should be cut, Aberystwyth university should be looking to improve the course and help deliver the next generation of teachers.”

Commenting, the Welsh Liberal Democrat PPC for Ceredigion Mark Williams said:

“The reputation of Aberystwyth University as a well-respected centre of education is rightfully a source of pride for many residents here in Ceredigion.

This is why it is so dis-heartening to hear that the Uni have failed to take the recommendations in the 2023 Estyn report seriously, leading them into the embarrassing position of losing their accreditation which risks delivering a severe blow to the future of Welsh-medium education.

The lack of foresight from the Uni in this regard is deeply worrying and I hope that, for the sake of both the students and the wider community, they take all the steps needed to restart the course at the earliest opportunity.”


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