Developing Welsh language provision

Dr Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones

Dr Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones

06 July 2011

“It is an exciting time to be working in a university in Wales - we have a special mission, and we have resources to support that mission.”

These were comments made by Dr Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s first annual conference, held here at Aberystwyth yesterday, Tuesday 5 July. 

The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is a new national institution which will play a key role in planning, supporting and developing Welsh medium education and scholarship at universities in Wales. 

With several new lectureships being advertised -  six of which are based at Aberystwyth University – Dr Ioan Matthews, the Chief Executive of the Coleg Cymraeg noted that this conference was an important starting point for developing an Academic Plan for the Coleg.

During the day many discussions were held on educational developments within the Welsh medium higher education sector.  There were contributions from partners to development, workshops on the international context, and examples of best practice highlighting the importance of enriching the Welsh medium studying experience.

Dr Hywel Griffiths of Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Geography and Earth Science referred to his experience delivering collaborative Welsh medium modules, outlining the progressive teaching methods which are already in use:

“The trialling of ‘lecture capture’ for the Welsh Fluvial Geomorphology module during 2010-2011 was very successful,” said the physical geography lecturer. “I believe it offers a number of possibilities in terms of institutional collaboration, and therefore increases students’ studying opportunities.”

In his closing comments, Prof. Merfyn Jones, Chair of the Coleg Cenedlaethol, noted that it was very clear from the day’s deliberations how important being able to discuss thoughts and ideas in Welsh was for the future of the language, and that there was an exciting opportunity for the Coleg Cenedlaethol to contribute towards this.