Kirsty Williams to chair International Learning Exchange Programme Advisory Board

Former Minister for Education Kirsty Williams will play a leading role in the International Learning Exchange Programme (ILEP), having been appointed as Chair of its Advisory Board.

ILEP is the Welsh Government’s 65 million programme to enable young people, learners and staff to undertake structured learning or work experience overseas.

The Programme - which will initially run from 2022-26 - will enable participants from all education providers and the youth sector in Wales to benefit from international exchanges in a similar way to the opportunities that flowed from Erasmus+, not just in Europe but also further afield. It will also allow the development of new and existing strategic partnerships.

It is anticipated that 15,000 participants from Wales will go overseas on mobility exchanges over the four years, with 10,000 participants coming to study or work in Wales.

The ILEP Advisory Board will advise on the overall strategy for ILEP and its annual delivery plan and budget, and will help to ensure the ILEP delivers across the entire education sector and across Wales. The Board includes representatives from: the Association of Directors of Education in Wales; ColegauCymru; the Council for Wales Voluntary Youth Service; the Global Wales partnership; the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; the Local Authorities’ Principal Youth Officers Group; National Training Federation Wales; NUS Wales; Universities Wales; Wales Higher Education Brussels; the Welsh Youth Parliament; and the Welsh Government.

ILEP Ltd, a subsidiary of Cardiff University, will serve as the Programme’s executive. Recruitment is underway for an Executive Director who will oversee delivery of the Programme.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: "I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to appoint Kirsty Williams into the position of Chair. Her strong track record of leadership for Welsh education, combined with her ambition for the young people of Wales, makes her the ideal Chair to steer the development of this new Programme.

"At Cardiff University we see first-hand the impact that international experiences have on our students, broadening horizons and opening up a world of opportunities. I’m very pleased that Cardiff University has been entrusted with developing the Programme, working with colleagues right across the education and youth sectors for the benefit of the young people of Wales."

Kirsty Williams said: "I’m thrilled to have been appointed the Chair of the ILEP Advisory Board. The International Learning Exchange Programme offers an exciting opportunity for learners of all ages in Wales as well as those who work in the sector to expand their horizons, build on previous successes and forge new links across the globe.

"I look forward to harnessing the considerable experience and expertise of the members of the advisory board to ensure the programme delivers for Wales."

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