UWTSD: Placing students at the heart of the education mission

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is a higher learning institute that puts your success at the centre of its mission. By placing the learner at the heart of what they do, UWTSD transforms the delivery of higher education and establishes of a new sustainable planning framework that encompasses, nurtures, stimulates, and promotes the development of coherent academic pathways across a wide range of institutions.

“We are committed to placing our students at the centre of our mission by providing a relevant and inspiring bilingual curriculum, providing a supportive learning environment, investing in our campuses and facilities and ensuring that students, from all backgrounds, are given the opportunity to achieve their potential,” says Vice-Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes.

“Universities, after all, are about students, their experiences, the opportunities that they have here to challenge concepts, develop as individuals and thrive.”

And it’s a mission that seems to be working; the institution has recently received some of the greatest student praise, ranking number one out of 45 institutions for quality of lectures, class size, assessment, personal tutors, and counselling service, in the 2016 student satisfaction survey.

Its intimate class sizes and personal approach to teaching gives students a sense of belonging and purpose that, among other things, helped UWTSD leap an impressive 80 places – to 43rd in the UK – in the 2017 What Uni? Student Choice Awards in the space of just a year.

“The best thing about Uni for me was my support mentor, she really helped me out a lot,” says Sian Murray, a BA Medieval and Classical Studies graduate. “It’s a lot more one to one, you get to know the lecturers so well and it’s just a lot more personal…They know you for you, rather than a number on a piece of paper.”

This student investment is also reflected in UWTSD’s leading-edge facilities. Already spread across world-class campuses in Wales – namely the historic Carmarthen Campus, the picturesque Lampeter Campus, the vibrant Swansea Campus, and, home to the performance centre, the Cardiff Campus – not to mention its London Campus, with the University also investing millions in the exciting new Waterfront Innovation Quarter.

This beachside development will consist of purpose-built facilities that cater for learning, teaching and applied research, specifically-designed to nurture collaboration between the institution itself, as well as regional employers and start-up businesses.

Strong links with industry professionals is core to the study methods at UWTSD. The University prides itself on being connected with the local community and employers, both local and abroad.

These connections are a major asset for participating students, with programmes designed in line the input of industry leaders to ensure students receive the most relevant and up-to-date practice available.

Work placements, fieldwork and internships are also readily available and comprise a core component of each course, giving students real-life, hands-on experience that match their career ambitions.

BA Anthropology graduate, Amber, had the unique chance to pursue fieldwork overseas, stating that this once-in-a-lifetime experience gave immense value to her course.

“The best things about Anthropology was the variety of modules they had to offer, specifically the fieldwork elements of it,” she said. “I had the opportunity to go the Kenya to work with communities and children’s schools out there. I think that was the highlight of my degree.”

The Wales Institute for Work Based Learning assists in matching students with enterprise, generating a mutually beneficial exchange that broadens student horizons and grows their professional network long before they graduate.

In addition to industry programmes, UWTSD is renowned for its work in enterprise education and entrepreneurship, a commitment that is demonstrated by the high number of graduate start-up companies that have been generated by, and are still connected to, the University itself.

This pioneering delivery of flexible, responsive learning programmes spans the diverse range of Schools and Faculties – including the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, Swansea College of Art, Faculty of Business & Management, Wales International Academy of Voice, and the Faculty of Education and Communities – all of which offer a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for all interests, passions and ambitions.

By blending traditional higher education with vocational, professional and academic research activities, UWTSD develops graduates already equipped with relevant workplace experience, confident in their abilities, committed to lifelong learning and prepared to become a global citizen who’s a valued member of any team.

The School’s impressive graduate employment rates are testament to the success of this approach. According to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, a whopping 92 percent of undergraduate and 97 percent of postgraduate students were employed or in further study six months after graduation.

One such success story is that of BSc Environmental Conservation graduate, Stuart Rees.

“Since graduating, I now have a job at Natural Resources Wales, which I thoroughly enjoy and I thank university [for making it possible],” he says. “It was such a brilliant university, I enjoyed every minute of it.”

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