I am currently co-ordinating an Erasmus+ bid on behalf of a network of Universities in Wales, UK. We plan to make a bid under Key Action 2 - Strategic Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth. We are currently seeking 2 partners. Due to the Memorandum of Understanding that exists between Wales and Latvia, we are ideally seeking a partner from Latvia and one from another Programme Country.
In Wales, we have identified a problem with the number of young people opting to learn a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) post the compulsory stage. This means that approximately 25% of young people in Wales receive a formal qualification in a MFL at the age of 16 years, and 75% of young people don't study a MFL at all after the age of 14 years. This in turn is having a knock-on effect higher up the education system, with fewer candidates qualified to study MFL in Higher Education and of course, fewer graduates equipped with the skills required by international employers based in Wales.
With this in mind, Routes into Languages Cymru works as a project funded by 4 HEIs in Wales (Cardiff, Bangor, Aberystwyth and Cardiff Metropolitan) tasked with running inspirational and motivating activities in order to encourage the young people of Wales to continue with their language learning after the age of 14 years. The most successful scheme that we manage is that of Student Language Ambassadors (SLAs).
Each year we select a team of undergraduate students studying languages from each of our partner universities and we train them to support our work. For the most part, they visit local schools giving motivational presentations about studying languages. However, they also provide additional support for many aspects of our work as well as the outreach work of their individual universities.
The impact of their work is extremely positive. Firstly, they have a strong impact on the decisions of the young people with whom they work. Secondly, this work experience is equipping these future graduates with essential skills sought after by employers.
We are therefore looking to submit a bid that will develop activity in order to highlight the benefits of learning MFL in each of the programme countries by:
• Expanding the work of the SLAs in Wales
• Introducing the SLA scheme to 2 other programme countries
• Improving links and transition between HEIs and their radius schools
• Improving the skills of future graduates to increase employability
An ideal partner will meet the following criteria:
• Have identified a need to improve the attitudes and/or standards of young people learning MFL
• Have strong links with Higher Education Institutions as well as local schools (perhaps a partner will be a university looking to develop outreach event with their radius schools, or perhaps it will be a local authority with contacts in schools and a university)
• Have experience of submitting and delivering Erasmus+ bids (although this is not essential)
If you think that you could be a potential partner and would like to find out about this bid in more detail, please contact me by 4th January 2015. My contact details are as follows:
+44 29 2026 5410
I look forward to hearing from you soon,
Rheolwr Prosiect - Llwybrau at Ieithoedd Cymru
Project Manager - Routes into Languages Cymru
Image credit: Wikipedia