Overview: what is Seren?
Seren is a Welsh Government initiative dedicated to helping Wales’ brightest learners achieve their full academic potential and support their education pathway into leading universities in Wales, the UK, and overseas.
The Seren programme is available to year 8 to 13 learners from state schools and further education colleges across Wales, regardless of their economic background, personal situation, or location.
By providing extra-curricular study experiences and super-curricular enrichment activities that enhance and go beyond the curriculum, Seren supports the aspirations and ambitions of the most talented and able learners, helping expand their horizons, and develop a lifelong passion for learning.
Support includes subject-specific masterclasses, workshops, tutorials, study guides, advice and guidance, mentoring, help in developing personal statements, mock interviews, and online conferences.
Seren invites the brightest students from Welsh state schools and further education colleges to join the programme at the start of each academic year.
e-Seren announcement: Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education
Divided into 12 regional hubs across Wales, the Seren programme spans the length and breadth of Wales. Each Seren hub invites the brightest students from Welsh state schools and further education colleges to join the programme at the start of each academic year. Selection is based on outstanding GCSE results.
Hubs are led by a dedicated Seren coordinator who designs and organises a calendar of events. There are also cross-hub events that allow students to attend an even wider range of activities.
- Regional hubs: contact details for schools, parents and carers pdf 1023 Kb This file may not be accessible. If you need a more accessible version of this document please email email@example.com. Please tell us the format you need. If you use assistive technology please tell us what this is
Aim of the distance learning resources
Resources for Seren Academy Learners in Year 12 and 13 have been prioritised, but support for Seren Foundation learners from Years 8 through to 11 will follow over the summer term.
For learners in Year 12 and 13
The distance learning resources are aimed at supporting Seren Year 12 students on their journey to study at the leading universities in Wales, the UK, and overseas. You will find a wide range of interactive distance learning materials, live online events, webinars, videos and podcasts, all designed to stretch and challenge you within specific subject areas, and to help with your university selection and application.
The resources enable Seren Year 13 students to continue learning at their own pace, read widely around their chosen degree course, obtain advice and guidance about university life, and gain insight into studying at a leading university as they make the transition from school into higher education.
Support your Year 12 and 13 Seren students and guide them to beneficial information as they explore higher education opportunities, including preparing their personal statements when applying to the leading universities in Wales, the UK, and overseas. Additional resources will provide advice as you prepare the references required to support your students’ university applications.
For parents and carers
At this critical point in your son or daughter’s education, these resources and guidance aim to assist you in continuing to support their transition from school into higher education.
Seren has forged partnerships with the UK’s leading universities to provide unique extra-curricular study experiences and supra-curricular enrichment activities, including:
Jesus College, University of Oxford, Churchill, Trinity, Sussex and Magdalene Colleges at the University of Cambridge, Kings College London, and the universities of Aberystwyth, Swansea, Bangor, Cardiff, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Liverpool, Southampton.
Seren has also established partnerships with Fulbright and Sutton Trust US, Harvard, Yale Young Global Scholars, University of Chicago, The Social Mobility Foundation, The Brilliant Club, LEDLET, Legal Wales, Further Mathematics Support Programme, and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
These open up unique experiences and routes for young people to fulfil their ambition of studying at the leading universities.
Explore our exciting partner resources.
Jesus College Oxford Seren Summer School
We partner with Jesus College Oxford to offer a unique and immersive week-long programme exclusively for Year 12 Seren students. It’s an incredible opportunity to experience real-life study activities, lectures and seminars, masterclasses, and so much more at one of the UK’s leading universities.
To keep up to date with all the available opportunities open to you, follow our social media channels.
Advice and guidance
Why go to university? How do you choose which university to go to, and what degree course is best for you? How do you apply to university and write the best personal statement? What is it like studying and living at university?
A wide range of advice and guidance resources from universities and students help provide insight about university life, and offer beneficial information for learners, teachers, parents and carers about the university selection and application process.
You’ll also find tips on how to prepare for your interviews and admission tests, and read real-life student case studies.
Enhance your study and learning with a range of engaging subject specific enrichment resources that deepen your knowledge, stretch your mind, and challenge your understanding! All of which will help benefit your ongoing learning and study pathway.
Background to Seren
Seren is a collaboration between state schools, colleges, universities, Alumni, Local Authorities, Welsh Government, and third sector organisations working in partnership to support Seren students.
The Seren Network was established by the Welsh Government in direct response to the need to halt the decline in the number of successful applications being made by students in Wales to attend Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
During 2013, Paul Murphy MP, the former Secretary of State for Wales, was appointed the Welsh Government’s Oxbridge Ambassador and was tasked with undertaking research to understand the factors, which accounted for the decline and to put forward a series of recommendations to address the issues.
In his final report published in August 2014, the Oxbridge Ambassador recommended that ‘a national network of partnership hubs should be established to ensure that schools and colleges can learn from each other, and share resources to support their most academically able students’. This recommendation effectively laid the foundations for the establishment of the Seren Network.
The Minister agreed to implement this recommendation, and officially launched the Seren Network in January 2015. The Network consisted of eleven geographical hubs. Three pilot hubs were launched in January 2015 and the remaining nine hubs were established over the course of 2015/16, with the last established in November 2016.
Now 12 hubs, each hub comprises a partnership of schools and further education colleges in a local area, working together alongside local authorities and education consortia to deliver super-curricular (stretch and challenge) as well as guidance and support for university preparation, from completion of the application form through to interview.
The Seren Foundation is an aspirational programme for learners between years 8 and 11 at state schools across Wales which supports the development of valuable skills and academic ability at GCSE level.
The aim is to provide information, advice and guidance to enable learners to make informed decisions about GCSE and A level subject choices with the long-term view of helping them attain their higher education and career ambitions.
Connect with us and stay up to date with all the Seren news and announcements. When new online resources, events, and activities are available, you’ll be the first to know!
Welsh Government are working with universities in Wales to create online learning experiences and events for learners in Year 13. The resources have been developed by universities, colleges, and organisations, and include lectures, masterclasses and tutorials.