A free online course which aims to prepare learners for university study has proved a major success with students from North Wales, the UK – and across the globe.

The Confident Learner course, run by Wrexham Glyndwr University, is set to welcome a new group of students from mid-July. The course, taught entirely online, has already seen learners taking part from across North Wales, around the UK – and from even further afield.

The course, which took on its first learners in April, is usually delivered face-to-face for potential students during the summer months at Glyndwr – but was radically overhauled for online delivery this Spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Glyndwr academics have been teaching the course entirely online since April – with a great response from their learners.

Dr Sue Horder, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Glyndwr’s Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, said: “The Confident Learner course was designed to ensure students from across North Wales – and beyond – could face up to an unprecedented situation with expert support.

“With the disruption of studies and the cancellation of exams, we were particularly keen to ensure that students in sixth form or further education who were hoping to go to university this autumn got additional support.

“We worked to ensure this course had enough capacity for all of those students, right across North Wales, wherever they are planning to study in the future.

“Focusing on the academic skills needed to prepare for study in higher education, over eight weeks course participants get the guidance they need on essay-writing, study planning, well-being as a student and much, much more.”

Upon completion of the course, students also receive a certificate for 20 Higher Education credits at Level Four.

The course has been offered to all potential six form and further education students in North Wales, with Wrexham Glyndwr University Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar writing to education chiefs in the spring to offer eligible students a place.

Dr Horder added: “The figures we have for the first intake of students – in April – show an encouraging uptake across North Wales.

“Interestingly, they also indicate that the course has been taken up by a number of mature students as well, and by students both across the UK and internationally.

“All of these students are welcome. We’ve seen learners from Cardiff, Birmingham and Liverpool postcodes as well as those in Dubai, Pakistan, and Germany take part alongside our North Wales students.

“Our next phase of the course – which will also include provision in the Welsh language – is set to see even more learners sign up, and we’ll continue to work to ensure we can provide support for as many people as possible.

“We’d also like to thank all those in public life in Wales who helped spread the word about our course to potential students across the country – it is very much appreciated.

“Most of all, though, we’d like to thank everyone who has already taken the course.

“They have told us that it has made them ‘feel less worried about starting university in September’, that they ‘can’t think of any week where I didn’t learn something new’ and that sessions were ‘very useful for me in the long term and for university.’

“Hearing feedback like that makes it all worthwhile for our lecturers – and it is great to know our course is helping have a positive impact at such a difficult time.”

The next sessions of the Confident Learner course – available in both English and Welsh – begin on July 13. Any student wishing to register their interest can also find out more about the course – and book online – at: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/ShortCourses/Confidentlearner/

To find out more about all short course available from Wrexham Glyndwr University – whether these are to support your student journey or to develop new skills – please contact enterprise@glyndwr.ac.uk or visit: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/ShortCourses/