Black Mountains College
A college for the future
Black Mountains College will be a new kind of college in rural Wales. Dedicated to creativity, experimental learning and adaptive thinking, BMC will offer undergraduate and further education courses and professional development for teachers. BMC will produce undergraduates, skilled craftspeople and teachers schooled in creative methods and the latest technologies ready to confront the huge challenges facing our future generations.
More than a college
Situated within the community of Talgarth at the gateway to Mid-Wales, the college will rest on three principles:
• Students as participants – learning and volunteering within existing businesses and organisations not just the classroom.
• Living Labs – the community as a venue for trialing ideas and as the first beneficiary of new investments, jobs and new thinking.
• Balance – in harmony with the present, with nature and with the future: looking after the elderly and the young as part of the architecture of the campus, and governing all practice with the trust of future generations in mind.
What can a place teach you?
BMC rests on the idea that natural resources are not only a source of food and fuel but also the root of well-being and the wellspring of the imagination.
At BMC, the Brecon Beacons National Park is our classroom… and the landscape our greatest inspiration and teaching resource.
In higher education….
BMC will explore a truly interdisciplinary, immersive teaching experience with no faculty departments and no lectures, only seminars with a maximum of 20 students each. Students will take mandatory core courses across a range of fields: science, humanities, performing arts and manual work before choosing a real-world research project in one “major” discipline. BMC graduates will be able to communicate, critique and collaborate in order to lead society back towards a more harmonious relationship with our environment.
In further education….
BMC will train school-leavers and others in future rural skills: the traditional low-impact crafts that are, of necessity, being revived, and also new solutions for a zero-carbon economy – computer coding, intensive organic agriculture, renewable energy and transport.
In teacher training….
BMC will run immersive professional development for Powys teachers and others in creative and adaptive skills as well as, in time, developing a PGCE course that will produce new teachers ready to deliver the inter-disciplinary Donaldson curriculum in Welsh schools with its core focus on creativity and the well-being of future generations.
“Black Mountains College (BMC) represents possibly the most exciting and important development in education in the UK because it draws together the strands of the humanities and science into an un-siloed whole enabling students and teachers to understand the interconnections of all things in such a way as to tease out insights into a future that remains ours to make. The Eden Project strongly supports BMC and believes it to be a hugely important venture asserting the intellectual ambition of Wales to be a global leader in education”
Sir Tim Smit – founder of The Eden Project
“The prospect of BMC creating a new kind of graduate and a new kind of learning experience is incredibly exciting. Wales is a small nation but still has the potential to lead the world when it comes to green issues and wellbeing, and a locally inspired, globally relevant college as an international centre of thought leadership will be a massive regenerative boost to the country’s intellectual and fiscal economy. Most importantly, though, BMC will question how we can create such a boost without harming our environment and communities. Wales needs BMC, but so does the world.”
“With BMC Powys and Wales have the chance to showcase a new kind of educational model for the future and a new way of living and working in harmony with our fragile planet. BMC shows us that another way of being in this world is not only necessary, but possible.”