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The Welsh education system

Graduation day for three students

Education is important to us in Wales. It’s thought that Britain’s first centre of learning was set up by St Illtud on the coast of the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales in the 6th century.

Education in Wales is compulsory from the ages of 5 to 16, with around 466,500 attending state schools. There are deidicated Nursery, Primary, Middle, Secondary, Special and Welsh Language schools and the My Local School site provides information  on every public school in Wales.

Wales is committed to a system of community comprehensive schooling delivered through English, Welsh, bilingually or in a faith setting. Our schools and further education institutions aim to provide high quality inspirational teaching and learning and offer social inclusion, equal opportunities and bilingualism into all aspects of school life. Our Colleges and Universities also work very closely with businesses, developing tailored courses to upskill the workforce. 

Today the student population in Wales is large and diverse; there are 8 universities and 14 further education colleges and institutions. We have around 172,000 learners studying at further education institutions per year.

If you’re interested in joining the 19,000 international students from over 170 countries currently enrolled in higher education here, contact one of our universities

Find out more on our study pages.


For more information on the education system in Wales, see the Welsh Government's education and training pages.

If you would like information on enrolling your child at a local state school, you will need to contact the relevant local authority.

The Welsh Independent Schools Council has contact details of independent schools in Wales. 

For a full range of English language courses in Wales, visit the Learn English in Wales website.