A new principal and chief executive officer of Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigon has been appointed by a board of directors, following the announcement of current principal Barry Liles’ retirement in August.
As the current deputy principal for both Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, Dr Andrew Cornish is preparing to take the helm at both colleges, bringing a familiar face to staff and students when he officially takes over the role this September.
Dr Cornish began his education at Maesteg Comprehensive School where he studied A-levels before progressing to study an honours degree in physics at University of Liverpool and then a PhD in physics at Cardiff University. He is a member of the Institute of Physics (CPhys MinstP) and has worked as a peer assessor for Estyn for nearly 20 years, assessing the standards of other further education colleges in Wales. He is also the former chair of the pan Wales curriculum and standards group for further education.
Following his doctorate he began working at Coleg Sir Gâr as a physics lecturer, and subsequently has undertaken various managerial and leadership roles including faculty manager for A-levels, access and sport and later as assistant principal, with the responsibility of teaching, learning and quality across the college. He is also the driving force behind significant new projects at the college’s Graig campus, including the development of the atrium, the 3G pitch and the performance and innovation centre, which is set to open in September. Over the last year, his focus has been on creating a new curriculum at Coleg Ceredigion, ensuring that the integration of the two colleges continues to progress smoothly.
Dr Andrew Cornish’s aim is to achieve a highly skilled, confident, sustainable workforce for Wales, creating ambitious and capable learners equipped with the employability skills and academic abilities to achieve in high quality jobs. “Developing a curriculum that aligns itself to the needs of employers is a vital and crucial part of our work,” he said. “We will continue to develop our strong links with employers, schools in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, to build upon the already established dual sector university partnership.”
As a committed learner of the Welsh language, Dr Cornish is very passionate about opportunities for Welsh medium learning, shared by his two sons who are currently studying at university primarily through the medium of Welsh, along with his family who are all Welsh speakers. “Mae’r iaith Gymraeg yn bwsig iawn yn Sir Gâr ac yng Ngheredigion hefyd, I think that being able to speak Welsh offers additional employability opportunities,” he said. “Ultimately, that is what we’re preparing our students for as well as ensuring they progress in their learning, including into university education.”
With nearly 25 years experience in education, Dr Cornish has a profound understanding of the real challenges that lie ahead in the sector. His ethos ‘an education for all’ and his passion to improve teaching and learning as core business values, stands him in good stead to lead two substantial organisations confidently into the future.
Dr Andrew Cornish added: “I am very privileged and proud to be the next principal of Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion and I will work tirelessly to ensure the college provides an excellent experience for all our learners and partners.”