The Case for Wales Studies

The aim of this project is to bring together existing organisations and networks who share the strongly held belief that a vibrant and successful development of Wales Studies has much to offer Wales, inspire its people and contribute to delivering the well being goals of the Future Generations (Wales) Act.

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015) creates a duty on all public bodies in Wales to meet 8 national “wellbeing goals” based on the sustainable development principle.

The Act, which came into force in April 2016, aims to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales and is the first legislation of its kind to be passed anywhere in the world that looks beyond the cycles of short-term government electoral promises.

Underlying the delivery of the 8 national “well being goals” are people’s knowledge and awareness of what it means to live in a modern Wales; to have an affinity to Wales; and to be able to participate in Welsh society.

This requires an understanding of Welsh history, its sciences, arts, language, culture and connecting with Wales as a place and natural heritage all of which are critical parts of developing a sense of identity, confidence and sense of wellbeing. This integrated concept of landscape and community or ‘sense of home’ is uniquely captured by the Welsh word cynefin, used by Welsh writers and artists to describe the multiplicity of narratives that intersect to create a sense of place, belonging and identity.

At present, studies relating to Wales (it’s past and present) do not form an integral part of any coherent programmes or resources at primary, secondary or tertiary levels of study. This situation is anomalous and manifestly harmful to national well‐being when comparison are made with the practice in other mature, established nations.

In Scotland, the Government specifically endorses and under‐writes initiative and resources at school and HE of particular interest to learners living and studying in Scotland, to provide learners with the opportunities to broaden their understanding and appreciation of the society in which they live.

Conveying Interested Stakeholders

Although many different organisations, individuals and disciplines are and have been involved in promoting different aspects of Wales Studies, none have tried to harness the collective power of aggregating the different strands of Welsh studies until now.

Likely stakeholders include: Universities, National Institutions (e.g National Museum, BBC Wales, National Library, HEFCW, CADW, Colleg, Welsh Books Council) Networks (History Research Wales).

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