Students praise UWTSD online Summer School


25.09.2020

During two weeks in August, Year 11 students from secondary schools across Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion had the chance to experience a taste of university level study in an intensive online Chinese language and culture summer school.

During two weeks in August, Year 11 students from secondary schools across Carmarthen and Ceredigion had the chance to experience a taste of university level study in an intensive online Chinese language and culture summer school.

The first of its kind, the online Summer School was delivered by the Confucius Institute at UWTSD and allowed school students to achieve credits through the university’s Associate Faculty. Despite months of missed school due to lockdown, the students proved more than able to tackle the challenges of learning to speak and write Mandarin Chinese within just a few days. They quickly acquired research skills and explored a whole range of culture topics from Traditional Chinese Medicine to comparing Welsh and Chinese medieval poetry.

Feedback to the course and the online learning format has been excellent.  One student commented:

“I was so impressed by how interactive the course was, so this aspect of the language was very good. I also enjoyed the cross-curricular links (eg Traditional Chinese Medicine linking with Science) and opportunity for further research with culture topics.”

“Overall a truly fantastic course and I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking to broaden their perspective and learn things critically and reflectively! A really interesting and potentially useful new skill to use and a perfect refresher from the ‘colonised, canalised’ one-dimensional way of learning many are used to.”

“The help and support from the tutors has been amazing and every single one of the staff have been so supportive and approachable. The Tutors have prepared us for the tests very well and are evidently so good at what they do. The amount I have learned these last 2 weeks has been amazing!”

The course came about from a collaboration between the Confucius Institute and the Seren organisation, a network of Welsh Government funded regional hubs that helps students achieve their highest academic goals and aspirations. Seren Regional Hub Coordinator, Julian Dessent commented, ‘The balance of rigour and support on the course has been exemplary.  All of the students I and my colleague Bethan talked to felt they achieved far more on the course than what they would have dreamt possible. The course really has been an eye-opener for creating a collaborative but essentially motivating and challenging ‘spur-curricular’ course that has the potential to change the perceptions and lives of the students involved. I am keen for building on this course with UWTSD in the near future.’

Gwydion Wynne, Director of the University’s Associate Faculty which awards university credits to students who enrol for its extensive portfolio of Level 4 courses, said: ‘The course was an overwhelming success based on our excellent working relationship with the Confucius Institute, partnership schools and the Seren network. Congratulations to all students on their success, perseverance and application in completing the module to a high standard. Our aim is to develop further exciting blended learning modules and opportunities in the future that supports and challenges the student within the context of their chosen discipline.

Confucius Institute Executive Director Krystyna Krajewska said: ‘Online learning can be challenging for both students and tutors, so we made sure that the content was engaging for the students, and made full use of digital platforms to enhance their learning.  We really wanted these students to have a positive experience after so many months of disrupted routines, and worry about their future plans for education. I believe we more than achieved this aim! As a result of this pilot we will be offering this university Level 4 Chinese course again this autumn, free of charge to all students who want to take advantage of getting university credits under their belts while they are still at school.’

For more information please contact Krystyna Krajewska (email: k.krajewska@uwtsd.ac.uk)

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 07384 467076 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk