Aberystwyth University’s Pledge to Welsh Medium students
Aberystwyth University is launching a new strategy and vision for its Welsh medium provision.
The Welsh Medium Academic Plan will be launched at 6pm tonight, Monday 5 December 2016 in Medrus, Penbryn, at the start of the annual Pantycelyn Christmas Dinner for Welsh students.
It’s the most comprehensive strategy of its kind to be drawn up by any university in Wales.
It lists in a single document the University's priorities for its Welsh medium provision, and reinforces Aberystwyth’s commitment to promoting the language and culture.
As part of the plan, the University will hand out pledge cards to all students who choose to study through the medium of Welsh.
The pledges highlight what’s special about Aberystwyth and how the University can offer a complete Welsh experience, including:
• Flexible opportunities to study in Welsh in each Institute
• Guaranteed Welsh-speaking personal tutor
• Bilingual work experience
• Guaranteed Welsh medium accommodation
• Lessons to learn or improve Welsh
• Free Membership of the Welsh students’ union UMCA
Another important element of the policy is the piloting of a unique Conversion Scheme for prospective students who have either followed a Welsh Second Language pathway at school or who lack confidence and are keen to improve their Welsh language skills.
The Conversion Scheme will be based on the Late Immersion Provision methodology successfully developed for school pupils.
It will include a residential period of intense linguistic training on the University campus during the summer holidays (based on the Summer University model).
The aim will be to convert students participating in the training into students who will study 5 or 40 Welsh medium credits. Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: "Aberystwyth University has always led the higher education sector in terms of Welsh medium provision. What this plan does is ensure continuity and progression of what we already offer while also setting ambitious objectives for improvement and innovation.
“In terms of employability alone - one of Higher Education’s most important outcomes - the marked success of graduates who have studied through the medium of Welsh is clear evidence of the value of investment in Welsh medium provision.”
Dr Elin Royles is a senior lecturer in the Department of International Politics and Chair of the Aberystwyth Branch of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol: “What’s significant about this plan is that it gives students the opportunity to study modules through the medium of Welsh in almost every academic discipline. There is also depth of provision here, enabling students to follow complete degree programmes through the medium of Welsh.”
The new Academic Plan has been welcomed by the President of the Welsh students’ union UMCA, Rhun Dafydd: “I am very pleased that the University is leading on Welsh medium provision in the higher education sector and it shows that Aber is the best place to live and learn through the medium of Welsh.
“The Welsh Medium Academic Plan shows the commitment to the development and the future of the language within the University and nationally. I'm extremely pleased that free membership to UMCA is part of the strategy and shows the importance of the social experience to student life in Aberystwyth. Another factor which is an integral part of the Welsh community in Aber is the guarantee of Welsh medium accommodation."
Photos: Images from the launch.