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Public education through ‘The Story of Wales’

Collaboration between BBC Cymru Wales and The Open University in Wales results in widening access to further education

Presented by Huw Edwards, ‘The Story of Wales’ marked the first occasion direct collaboration between BBC Cymru Wales and The Open University in Wales. The six-part series explored the history of Wales and to widen the reach of the broadcasts to different audiences, the partners further co-produced ‘The History of Wales’, a companion BBC Radio Wales series.

‘The Story of Wales’ was further supplemented with open educational resources surrounding the content on OpenLearn, aimed at inducing continued online debate about the series and providing additional Wales-related content. Available on OpenLearn were a free booklet on ‘Icons of Wales’, 7,000 of which were requested following the broadcasts. Using this booklet, as part of the widening access programme, The Open University in Wales delivered 12 workshops at historical sites, local libraries and community learning venues across Wales. These provided audiences with the opportunity to participate in face to face events surrounding the series and to engage in debates and discussions.

‘The Story of Wales’ was successful in inducing public education among large audiences and the series received the ‘1st Appreciation Measure’ by viewers and was nominated for 4 BAFTA Cymru awards. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the series 90 additional students enrolled on one of The Open University in Wales’ credit-bearing modules on the history of Wales. The series is now being used by the Welsh Government as part of the ‘Hwb’ learning portal for schools, providing a digital learning platform for supporting educational institutions across Wales and including a wide range of educational resources.

“Delighted to see OU & BBC partnership in Wales flourish… this series takes adult education and quality broadcasting to a new level… it is something to cherish.” Huw Lewis AM, Minister Education and Skills, Welsh Government