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University youth work degree bucks national trend with surge in numbers on 40th anniversary

03 July 2017

Youth work degree bucks national trend with surge in numbers

A youth work degree celebrating 40 years has bucked the national trend with a surge in numbers.

The BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work at Wrexham Glyndwr University has seen an increase in applicants for the 2017/18 academic year, while institutions across the border have suffered a decline and even closed their courses.

Celebrating National Youth Week in Wales, lecturers Jess Achilleos, Hayley Douglas and Debbie Owens held a series of events which culminated in a conference at the north east Wales institution, attended by partner organisations from across the region.

The University first began teaching Youth and Community Work in 1977, and is regarded as the “home of youth work in Wales”.

As such the department has excellent links with employers across Wales, northern England and the Midlands, and works with groups across the statutory, voluntary and third sector.

Having received a student satisfaction score of 100% in the most recent NSS, Jess says the task now it to build on momentum gained over the past two years.

“Wrexham Glyndwr University is the home of youth and community work in Wales, having first introduced this course 40 years ago,” she said.

“I’m proud to say the degree has gone from strength to strength, despite the many challenges faced by the profession and the recent closure of well-established programmes in England.

“The number of students applying to our programme has more than doubled over the last two years and we are looking at higher numbers again for this September. 

“Our team is committed to raising the profile of the sector and the incredible work undertaken by organisations and practitioners with young people and their communities across Wales.” 

Jess believes a collaborative approach ensures their degree meets the demands of the industry and its employers.

“We remain resilient in the face of ever-changing political climates and work closely with our partner organisations to ensure students enter their chosen career fully prepared,” she added.

“We have just had a brand new programme validated which has a strong focus on core youth and community work values and ethics ensuring that our graduates are able to navigate the political terrain in their employment with a strong sense of professional identity. 

“The teaching and learning on the programme mirrors these values and extends the offer of higher education and professional qualification to non-traditional students who share these beliefs and are committed to making a difference to the lives of others. 

“We are proud of our students and the ever increasing community of practice to which we belong, so in this, the 40th year of the course, we aim to deliver modules which are more innovative and relevant than ever.”

For more information, visit www.wgu.ac.uk/youthcom or come along to the University’s next open day on Saturday August 19 from 10am-2pm. Call the enquiries team on 01978 293439.

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