Young people across North Wales set to celebrate their achievements at Children’s University graduations

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024

More than 600 young learners from across the region are set to gown up and graduate from North Wales Children’s University over the next fortnight, after successfully completing a range of extracurricular learning activities and experiences.

The special ceremonies, which are taking place across the three patches of Wrexham and Flintshire; Conwy and Denbighshire and Gwynedd and Anglesey, are set to be a celebration of the achievements of the children and young people, who have taken part in the Children’s University initiative. 

The inspirational Children’s University scheme celebrates participation in learning activities and opportunities outside school hours by encouraging children and young people to try new learning experiences, in a bid to nurture a lifelong love of learning and raise their aspirations.

Pupils from 39 schools across North Wales will graduate over four ceremonies where they will be celebrated for their achievements in front of their classmates, family and teachers. 

As part of the day, there will be special entertainment and activities, as well as a number of well-known character cos-players surprising the children throughout the event.

Nina Ruddle, Head of Public Policy Engagement at Wrexham University, said: “We are incredibly excited for our North Wales Children’s University graduation ceremonies, which will recognise and reward the young people who have taken part and achieved 30 hours or more of additional learning activities. We hope it will be an event that gives them that special sense of achievement but also belonging within a higher education setting. 

“This work is part of our commitment to supporting the communities we serve across the region, created through strong partnership and collaboration with a wide range of organisations all working to create change to support children and young people. 

“Our aim now is to develop this work further across North Wales to support leadership, mental wellbeing and a love of learning for young people that connects all of our community resources together. This is a really inspiring way to enable young people to develop life skills and create broader opportunities to shape the learning children and young people want together.”

Following a successful pilot of the initiative across Wrexham and Flintshire last year, the scheme expanded across North Wales between September 2023 through to this month, thanks to funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

This funding enabled Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham University to work with Bangor University and as a key collaborative partner and a number of other regional partners to roll out the scheme to more than 50 schools, as part of a shared civic mission to work in partnership to end social inequality in the region.

A total of 147 learning destinations were recruited across Wrexham, Flintshire, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd and Anglesey as part of this latest roll-out of the Children’s University in North Wales.

Professor Andrew Edwards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Civic Engagment at Bangor University, added: "We look forward to welcoming young people, their families and teachers to Pontio, Bangor University for the Children's University graduation ceremony. 

“The programme is a great opportunity to support children's enthusiasm for learning, and through our research on the scheme, we look forward to learning more about how we can give the children and young people of the region the best extracurricular learning activities and experiences."