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First phase of £350m SA1 Swansea Waterfront development nears completion

UWTSD’s Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education is looking forward to an exciting new chapter in its long and illustrious history as it relocates from the university’s Townhill campus into state-of-the-art facilities in the heart of Swansea’s waterfront.

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The eye-catching phase one of the university’s £350 million SA1 Swansea Waterfront development includes purpose-built facilities for teaching, learning and research as well as social, leisure and recreation space.

The new development will also be home to the faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, the Construction Wales Innovation Centre and a new library.

Each of the university’s Yr Athrofa’s four component disciplines – Teacher Education, Social Justice & Inclusion, Early Years, and Psychology – will run courses out of SA1, and staff and students are excited by what the new campus has to offer.

And stunning views of Swansea Bay will look all the better now Yr Athrofa’s well-respected teacher training programmes have been given re-accreditation by the Education Workforce Council (EWC) after a rigorous selection process.

The Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership, a combination of school and university staff working together to deliver teacher training, was one of just four training centres chosen to offer teacher education beyond 2019.

The commendation ensures Wales’ oldest teacher training centre – ranked 1st in Wales in the National Student Survey for the past two years – will continue training new teachers long into the future.

Established programmes include the hugely popular PGCE Primary (with QTS); PGCE Secondary (with QTS); and the undergraduate BA Education (with QTS).

The development of a learning and innovation village in Swansea’s SA1 area supports UWTSD’s aim to inspire individuals and develop reflective graduates and practitioners who can make a difference to society.

And the university’s new agreement with Sony promises to bring the next generation of education technology to students and enhance the Athrofa’s offer yet further.

Sony has worked with UWTSD since 2015 to develop ‘Vision Exchange’, a pioneering platform to facilitate a move from traditional lecture theatres and auditoriums to cutting-edge learning spaces enabling collaborative and interactive learning styles.

The facility allows a sharing of content among those present in learning spaces, as well as for participants located elsewhere, regardless of geographic location.

Yr Athrofa began piloting Sony Vision Exchange, which will support distance learning and is designed to improve engagement and attainment, in September 2017.

Professor Dylan Jones, Dean of Yr Athrofa, said:

“Our fantastic new facilities in SA1 have already attracted a lot of attention and we are certain staff, students and our many partners will enjoy what the new buildings have to offer.

“Our move into our SA1 Swansea Waterfront development marks an important milestone for Yr Athrofa and is representative of the bright future we are creating with colleagues right across the educational spectrum.

“We have a wonderful range of courses available in teacher education, social justice, early years education and psychology – and our stunning new campus offers the perfect environment for students to develop their thinking.

“We cannot wait to get started in SA1 and look forward to welcoming students, staff and friends of Yr Athrofa to our eagerly-anticipated new facilities in the very near future.”

All students studying with Yr Athrofa in Swansea from September 2018 will be based in the new waterfront facilities.

In addition to Yr Athrofa Swansea, the institute will continue to operate from UWTSD’s Carmarthen Campus and at Tramshed Tech, Cardiff.

Facilities at Yr Athrofa in Carmarthen are being upgraded to mirror those available in the new SA1 development to ensure every student receives the same high-quality learning experience wherever they choose to study.