The University of South Wales has become the first university in the country to deliver training sessions for Police Science students through the medium of Welsh, thanks to funding from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.
Using its state-of-the-art police training facility, the Hydra Minerva suite, the University has secured funding byt the Coleg Cymraeg to provide realistic simulated cases in Welsh for students to work on as part of their studies.
First year students act as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), covering a ward blighted by a number of community problems, such as youth antisocial behaviour and parking issues. They must then suggest ways of dealing with these problems as well as supporting frontline police officers.
The sessions will be of particular benefit to Welsh-speaking students who have been taught through the medium of Welsh throughout school, as they will be able to continue their higher education in Welsh and build on their language skills.
The Hydra Minerva suite has been a popular simulation facility at the University for more than five years, and is one of only two in Wales which are used to train Police Science students. Hydra Minerva suites are also widely used by many police forces across the country, including South Wales Police, to help prepare officers at all levels for real-life situations.
Judith Dacey, Senior Lecturer with the Coleg Cymraeg in Police Sciences at USW, said: “It’s fantastic that this funding has allowed us to deliver the training sessions and all supporting material through the medium of Welsh to our fluent Welsh-speaking students.
“This will not only help develop and enhance their Welsh communication skills but will also stand them in very good stead for securing a police officer role once they graduate from university.”
Hollie Jones, 1st year BSc (Hons) Police Sciences student, said: “Having received all of my school education through the medium of Welsh, the transition to university was initially difficult because you suddenly switch to having all of your lectures in English. But now that we have been attending hydra suite sessions in Welsh my experience has been so much better.
“It’s a brilliant facility that really drew me towards studying at the University of South Wales. The Hydra Minerva suite gives you that practical experience that is much more valuable than just reading something from a text book. This experience is sure to help prepare us for a career in the police force, and I believe it is a far more thorough way of training than if I was to join straight from school.”
Police Science BSc at the University of South Wales is eligible for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's Incentive Scholarship.
Picture: Judith Dacey