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Expanding our Welsh language provision

26 October 2011

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Three new appointments have expanded further the University’s Welsh medium education.

Alex Llywelyn, Dr Matthew Pugh and Martin Wright have been appointed as Welsh medium lecturers in Law, Mathematics and History respectively.

Alex’s post is funded through the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's Academic Staffing Scheme with the aim of extending Welsh medium provision in Law. She joins the University following a career as a lawyer with the Welsh Government, prior to which she worked on a project funded by the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education.

She said: "It is a privilege to be part of a new team, and of the exciting developments at the Law School. This year, fifteen students at the School have received Incentive Scholarships from the Coleg Cymraeg, and as a result, there will be more students studying parts of the course in Welsh. I'm extremely pleased to be at the heart of this activity, and I’m looking forward to getting started and welcoming the new students."

Nigel Lowe, head of Cardiff Law School, added: "The Welsh medium provision has developed and increased significantly over the last two years, and Alex's appointment builds on the firm foundations already established. She will be joining a dynamic team which includes Manon George, another member of the Law School’s staff who was originally appointed with sponsorship from the Coleg Cymraeg, Kathy Griffiths, a PhD student who is sponsored by the Coleg Cymraeg, Richard James, and Professor Richard Wyn Jones, the Director of the Welsh Governance Centre.

"The response of the students who have taken advantage of these developments has been extremely positive, and numbers are increasing annually. It's an exciting period for Welsh medium higher education, and the School and the University are pleased to be playing their part."

Dr Ioan Matthews, Chief Executive of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, said: "I very much welcome this appointment and look forward to seeing a growth in Welsh medium provision in this area. There is an increasing demand for lawyers who can deal with legal matters in Welsh, and our task is to ensure that the demand is met by increasing the provision which is available at our universities.

"The use of Welsh in the courts is now increasingly common and is becoming easier for all. Also, as a result of devolution, young lawyers in Wales have innumerable opportunities to play an important role as new laws are created. With this in mind, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s investment in this area is very important."

Dr Pugh has been appointed to the School of Mathematics as part of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s Mathematics and Physics Development Plan. The Plan is implemented in collaboration with Aberystwyth University, Swansea University and Cardiff University with the intention of increasing Welsh medium provision in this specialist area.

Dr Matthews of the Coleg Cymraeg added: "There is undoubtedly enormous potential to develop Welsh medium provision especially as WJEC figures show that 11% of A Level Mathematics students in Wales and 8% of A Level Physics students study the subject through the medium of Welsh.

"Registrations at Aberystwyth, Swansea and Cardiff universities also confirm this potential; last year approximately 150 Welsh speaking students registered on programmes associated with both subjects between the three institutions. Investment by the Coleg Cymraeg in this subject area is therefore crucial as we look to the future."

Dr Mathew Pugh began his academic career at Cardiff University and since completing his doctorate earlier this year he has been managing the School’s Marie Curie Research Training Network.

Dr Pugh said: "I’m delighted to be part of these exciting developments and to be able to give students the opportunity to be educated in their chosen language. I’m also eagerly looking forward to collaborating with the other universities in Wales in order to increase and develop provision that is currently available in this area. I’m also keen to continue with my research work and I’m very glad to have the opportunity to do so.

For the very first time, the School of Mathematics at Cardiff will be able to provide tutorials through the medium of Welsh and this is an important step forward."

Martin Wright, originally from Northamptonshire, came to Wales to study History at Lampeter in the 1980s, and has lived here ever since. He learnt Welsh as an adult, and worked as a tutor, administrator and manager in adult education at Aberystwyth, before returning to full-time study as a PhD student at Cardiff in 2007.

Martin’s PhD study was supported by the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education (the forerunner of the Coleg Cenedlaethol), and is focused upon the socialist and labour movement in Wales in the period before the Great War. He said: "Researching and teaching Welsh history is both absorbing and exciting. To be involved in this historic initiative to expand Welsh medium teaching and learning in Welsh universities is both an honour and a privilege."

The closing date for Academic Staffing Scheme 2012/13 applications is December 5th. Any Academic Schools interested in these funded academic posts, please contact Elliw Iwan on