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University launches free online course on devolution in Wales

08 Apr 2021 3 minute read
The Senedd. Picture by Senedd Cymru.

A university has launched a free online course on devolution in Wales.

The bilingual online course, at The Open University in Wales’, which launches today, will give learners an in-depth look at the workings of Welsh devolution

Understanding Devolution in Wales looks at how the devolution settlement has changed since the Assembly was created following the 1997 referendum.

It charts the institution’s development in the two decades since, giving learners an insight into the people and events that have shaped the devolution settlement we have today.

The course was written by Valerie Livingston of the political monitoring firm Newsdirect Wales and overseen by Dr Geoff Andrews of the OU’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The course is part of a set of bilingual resources hosted on the OU’s free learning platform OpenLearn.

‘Most important’ 

Director of The OU in Wales, Louise Casella said: “Understanding Devolution in Wales offers an in-depth look at arguably the single most important event in recent Welsh political history.

“Most of us who live and work in Wales will know that the devolution journey since 1979 hasn’t been that straightforward. Our new course examines why that is and explores what the future may hold for our political landscape.

“One of the OU in Wales’ biggest priorities over the next few years is to use lifelong learning as a tool to support an informed and engaged society.

“Our goal is to help people develop critical thinking skills – and to analyse and question the information they’re given – so that they can form their own ideas.

“This new course is a great starting point to better understand Wales’ devolved government and Parliament, and with the Senedd election just four weeks away, now is the perfect time to find out more .”

Understanding devolution in Wales is separated into bite-sized sections, allowing learners to study at their own pace, at a time that suits them.

The course takes around 12 hours to complete, and can be accessed on a PC, tablet, or smartphone and is suitable for learners of all ages.

The course also includes an interview with Professor Roger Awan-Scully, Professor of Political Science at Cardiff University, which explores how identity influences voting behaviour.

Understanding devolution in Wales is the latest offering in a series of new free online learning developed by the OU in Wales.

Last month saw the launch of Academi Arian, a free Welsh-language course based on the OU’s Academy of Money with Money Saving Expert. This followed the development of a hub of online resources to help students with their well-being and mental health, which went live in February.

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