Welcome to the News section for The College Ystrad Mynach.

To stay informed of latest development, subscribe using the subscription tools on the right hand side.

Learners rewarded for their achievements

Prize Giving 2013

Learners from the Ystrad Mynach campus of Coleg y Cymoedd, were recently rewarded for their achievements at an awards presentation evening held in Caerphilly Castle.

The awards event celebrated the last cohort of The College Ystrad Mynach learners.  In August 2013, The College Ystrad Mynach merged with Coleg Morgannwg to form Coleg y Cymoedd.

Over 50 learners from the academic year 2012/2013 were honoured for their hard work over the last 12 months.

Learners were presented with awards in a number of different areas including care, sport, hairdressing, construction and A Levels.

The awards were presented by Dr John Graystone, Chief Executive of Colegau Cymru/Colleges Wales, the national organisation representing Further Education Colleges in Wales.

Judith Evans, Principal said “Tonight is one of my favourite events in the academic calendar when we celebrate the achievements of our students and also recognise the support given by family and friends – I wish all the learners presented with awards, success for the future”.

Catering at the ceremony was provided by Catering Learners studying at the Ystrad Mynach campus. 

Performing Arts learners studying at the Rhondda Campus provided entertainment during the ceremony with a performance comprising of dance and singing.

The event was closed by Caerphilly Male Voice Choir.

Posted by Marketing at 13:55

South Wales lecturer leads the way for human rights

A LECTURER in South Wales is training to become the one of the first Amnesty International UK tutors in Wales.

Paul Davies, a lecturer at Coleg y Cymoedd, Ystrad Mynach campus, is training to teach students across South Wales about the importance of human rights.

The 26-year-old, from Pentwynnawr near Newbridge, has been interested by the issues surrounding access to basic human rights since his university studies.

He studied International Politics at Aberystwyth University, before completing a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Cardiff University, where he wrote his thesis on humanitarian intervention.

Paul has been instrumental in organising events at the college to boost students’ knowledge of human rights.

For instance, he oversaw an Asylum Seekers Awareness Day in May, in which he encouraged students to take part in practical role-play activities to increase their knowledge.

The Amnesty Teacher programme enables lecturers to learn about human rights education and how to inspire students to build a more open, engaging and respectful learning environment.

Paul said:

“I’ve been passionate about access to human rights for some time now and am determined to help students understand the importance it plays in society.

“Put simply, it’s about learning how to treat people – as colleagues, as employees or as members of the public.

“It is important that students learn about different cultures and values, and this course will help to achieve that.”   

Former Principal of the then College Ystrad Mynach, Bryn Davies, said:

“I’m delighted that Paul has committed his time and effort to pursue this fantastic course.

“Our students will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of Wales’ only Amnesty International UK tutor, and that is certainly something to be proud of.”

The College Ystrad Mynach and Coleg Morgannwg have now merged to become Coleg y Cymoedd, which means college of the valleys.

Asylum Seekers Awareness Day

Paul Davies leading Asylum Seekers Awareness Day

Posted at 10:38

The College Ystrad Mynach Principal steps down

After 40 years devoted to the education industry, Principal Bryn Davies at The College Ystrad Mynach has retired, while The College merges with Coleg Morgannwg to become Coleg y Cymoedd.

Mr Davies has been at the helm of The College Ystrad Mynach for nearly 16 years, where he has taken charge of over 500 staff and more than 13,000 students, and has stepped down following the college’s merger with Coleg Morgannwg.

Having initially arrived at The College Ystrad Mynach in 1997, Mr Davies has driven a complete revamp of the college, including overseeing a £7 million investment into community learning and the opening of five new campuses – including Blackwood, Tredomen and Bargoed – with student numbers trebling.

Born in London, his first teaching job at Davidson Road School in Croydon in the 1960s, saw him helping pupils with remedial maths and English, and he has dedicated his life to teaching since, with an impressive background of various teaching jobs all over the country. 

Having previously taught at Stevenage College in Edinburgh and Brooklands College in Surrey, he joined Basingstoke College in 1979 as a head of section, where he ran classes on writing computer applications, eventually overseeing the first purchase of computers for the college. 

He continued to implement his community work in the 1980’s when he took up a post in Chichester College, bringing in £995,000 worth of commercial contracts, resulting in helping hundreds of people into jobs through training, before  joining  Somerset College of  Arts and Technology.

It is this commitment to community and teaching that has made his career so successful.

As four decades of teaching comes to an end, 66 year old Bryn Davies will now look forward to the future, in particular his involvement with the UFI charitable trust board and spending time with family.

The UFI Charitable trust is a charity aimed at providing funding for initiatives to improve the accessibility and delivery of adult learning.

News of Bryn Davies’ retirement comes as an end of an era for both him and the college.

The College Ystrad Mynach is to merge with Coleg Morgannwg at the end of the academic year to create Coleg y Cymoedd, meaning College of the Valleys.

Former Principal of The College Ystrad Mynach, Bryn Davies said:

“I will look back at my time at The College Ystrad Mynach with absolute fondness. 

“I have had a fantastic 40 year teaching career, in which I’ve met all different kinds of brilliant people, both teachers, students and beyond.

“My contribution towards education will not end here, as I’ll now look to focus on adult access to education in South Wales. 

“I hope the new college goes from strength to strength, and I’ll certainly keep track of its success, but most of all I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family.”

Bryn Davies

Posted by marketing at 09:24

Wales’ newest college officially launched

Wales’ newest college launched with the official merger between Coleg Morgannwg and The College, Ystrad Mynach which took place on 1 August.

Under its new name, Coleg y Cymoedd, meaning College of the Valleys, will become home to more than 25,000 students and 1,000 staff when the new term starts in September. With an annual turnover of more than £42 million, the college will operate across five campuses and attract learners from an area spanning from north Cardiff across Rhondda Cynon Taff and Caerphilly.

Principal of Coleg Morgannwg, Judith Evans, will head-up the new organisation. She will be supported by an experienced senior management team including representatives from both colleges. 

Ms Evans will be joined by a new Chair of Governors for the college, Liz James. Mrs James, from Ystrad Mynach, has served on the governing body of The College, Ystrad Mynach since 1992 and has been Chair for the last six years.

A HR and local government specialist, Mrs James will provide the college’s management team with strategic leadership and advice alongside the rest of the governance team which is made up of individuals linked to both colleges. 

Liz James said: “Coleg y Cymoedd represents the coming together of two extremely successful colleges for the benefit of its learners and the local communities. The merger will enable us to provide even greater choice across a vast range of subject areas for students as well as some world class learning facilities.”

Discussions over the merger began in 2011 following Welsh Government proposals to streamline further education in Wales.

New Principal Judith Evans said: “The 1st August marks a landmark event for further education in South Wales as we welcome the official beginning of Coleg y Cymoedd. 

“The college will benefit from excellent teaching expertise as well as a diverse range of learning programmes from A-Levels to vocational courses, apprenticeship programmes and part-time study to provide our learners with the richest experience possible. We are very much looking forward to starting the new term with the new name and to working together with colleagues and students, old and new.”

All educational provision across the new college’s five campuses will remain available from September 2013, providing one of the widest ranges of subject choices in Wales for learners.

Further information about the merger can be found at www.cymoedd.ac.uk

Coleg y Cymoedd logo

Posted at 09:16

Carpentry students carve a solid future following 100% success

Construction 100%

Back Left to Right: Robert Ford, Josh Seabourne, Ryan Cairns, Owen Ford, Ieuan Jones. Front Left to Right: Students Dean Greg, Margan Plantt, James Mills and tutor, Mansel Powell.


A CLASS of carpentry and joinery students at The College Ystrad Mynach have achieved a 100% pass grade in their diplomas.

The diploma group are now all fully qualified to enter the industry as professional tradesmen.

The three year course, which qualifies participants at level three, is designed to build theoretical knowledge in the classroom and aid practical skills in the workplace.

Starting from one day a week at level one, work placements increase to four days a week by the third year.

Robert Ford, from Mountain Ash, said the course has helped him to develop the skills he needed to open a carpentry business.

The 22 year old said:

“Woodwork was my favourite subject at school and following some research, I thought The College Ystrad Mynach diploma was the best course for me. Our tutors were incredibly supportive and the results are a credit to them, as they helped us achieve our grades and really get the most out of work experience placements.

“The diploma has allowed me to work four days a week as a joiner in Cilfynydd, Pontypridd which has given me valuable experience.

“Now I am qualified, I would like to start my own carpentry business. The knowledge and skills I have learnt on the course will help me achieve this and I am really looking forward to the future”

Level three Course Tutor at The College Ystrad Mynach, Mansel Powell, said:

“I’m so proud of the students’ achievements, as it’s a tough course and long-term commitment.

“Our students have learnt a lot from the classroom and applied that knowledge to practical situations in the workplace.

“We’ve had some fantastic feedback from the businesses we’ve partnered with, which is a testament to our students’ positive attitude and skills.”

Bryn Davies, Principal at The College Ystrad Mynach, said: 

“I’m delighted that our carpentry and joinery students have achieved such splendid results.

“We are committed to forming strong links with local businesses and this demonstrates exactly how well it can work.

“We always look to help our students find employment after their time with us and providing practical experience in the workplace certainly benefits their future prospects.”

Posted by marketing at 10:30