Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE) visit for Cabinet Secretary for Education

Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams visited Swansea University’s Singleton Park Campus today (Thursday, May 18) to meet staff, students, and graduates from the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE).

The visit focused on the University’s flexible learning opportunities for adults throughout the South West Wales region delivered by DACE, ranging from one-off lectures and tasters to part-time Higher Education Certificates, Diplomas and BA degrees, which has a strong commitment to widening access to Higher Education.

Kirsty Williams DACE visitThe Education Secretary met with senior figures including the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Martin Stringer; Emeritus Professor Hywel Francis, former Head of DACE and former MP for Aberavon; current members of staff and students, as well as graduates from the Department, which is based within the College of Arts and Humanities. 

The Education Secretary learned how DACE supports around 2,000 students each year from a wide geographical spread of course locations, with many of its courses organised in Communities First areas, including at The Phoenix Centre, Townhill; Forge Fach Community Resource Centre, Clydach; Canolfan Y Bont, Pontarddulais; the DOVE Workshop, Banwen; Glynneath Training Centre; the YMCA Neath; the YMCA Port Talbot; and the Bloomfield Centre, Narberth.

Kirsty Williams DACE visit 2Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said: “Continued learning as an adult has an impact on many areas of life. The world in which we live and work is changing all the time: advancements in technology, societal changes and the culture of work all affect the way in which we work and live. 

"Adult learning need not only relate to continued professional development, learning new skills and interests outside of the work remit also has huge benefits.

"The acquisition of new hobbies, skills and personal development interests lead to increased confidence, improved mental health, and a happier employee in the workforce. 

"Whether someone is self-employed, employed, in-between roles or involved with academia, adult learning is so beneficial.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Martin Stringer said: “We were again delighted to welcome the Education Secretary to Swansea University, on this occasion to meet with our colleagues at DACE to discuss  their wide range of  adult education programmes throughout  Swansea and in the communities of south west  Wales.”

Stepheni Kays, DACE graduate and current Swansea University Postgraduate student, who met the Cabinet Secretary during the visit, said: “DACE creates opportunities for people like me who would otherwise not have a chance of returning to education.  I am an example of how DACE is working in communities to make Higher Education accessible to all.

“I began my Foundation Certificate in Humanities studies at a community venue in Swansea, following this I enrolled on DACE’s Part-time Humanities Degree. I am now studying a Master’s degree in Development and Human Rights at Swansea University. Alongside my studies, I work for Swansea City of Sanctuary as an Integration Officer, a role which I thoroughly enjoy.”

Top image:
L-r, back, Emeritus Professor Hywel Francis and Professor John Spurr, Head of the College of Arts and Humanities. 
L-r, front, Bernard Salter, Acting Head of DACE; Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams; Pro-Vice-Chancellor Martin Stringer, during the visit to meet staff, students and graduates from the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE).

Bottom image:
Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams met staff, students, and graduates from the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE) during the visit to Singleton Campus.