The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is today announcing an innovative scheme to develop the community of people who teach through the medium of Welsh in Wales and beyond.
Since 2011 the Coleg has invested significantly in Welsh medium Higher Education by sponsoring over 100 new jobs for Welsh medium lecturers to teach a wide range of subjects at the universities. This significant new cohort of Welsh academics is in addition to those who already taught through the medium of Welsh at the universities.
As the original scheme, which financed individual jobs for periods of five years, is coming to an end by 2019/20 the Coleg, since publishing its new Academic Plan in 2017, has introduced a new finance model based on providing subject grants to departments and academic units, rather than financing individual jobs.
Therefore, from now on, everyone who lectures through the medium of Welsh in those departments will be considered ‘Associate Lecturers of the Coleg Cymraeg’ and this will significantly increase the number of teaching and training staff who have direct contact with the Coleg.
The Associate Lecturers scheme will be launched through the Coleg Cymraeg branches at the universities during the autumn, with specific events being held at the different establishments. One of the aims of the scheme is to strengthen the live community of educators who contribute to Welsh medium provision at the universities or contribute to the objectives and work of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.
With the plans to expand the Coleg's role with regards to Further Education and Work Based Learning underway, the Coleg predicts that the scheme will be extended to those sectors in the near future.
The Coleg Cymraeg branches at the universities will encourage any Welsh lecturer to become an Associate Lecturer and the advantages include:
- Being a part of a Welsh medium multidisciplinary community and opportunities to network with other lecturers;
- Being able to apply for the Coleg's grants;
- Taking advantage of the training programme for lecturers;
- Being invited to the associate lecturers' annual conference which will include good practice seminars;
- An opportunity to apply for the Coleg's annual awards.
One of the lecturers that will be a part of this new scheme is Dr Hywel Griffiths, Senior Geography Lecturer at Aberystwyth University: “It's a very exciting time for Welsh medium education at the universities as the Coleg launches this new scheme. The associate lecturers scheme will provide opportunities for those lecturers who have been lecturing through the medium of Welsh for some time to have their work formally recognised by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. I would encourage any lecturer who teaches through the medium of Welsh to join the scheme.”
Dr Ioan Matthews, Chief Executive of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, said: “The Associate Lecturers scheme is a natural progression from the original Staffing Plan, and the way the branches will take ownership of the scheme is an indication of the partnership between the Coleg and the universities as well as the fact that the Coleg is now an integral part of the Higher Education landscape. While proposals regarding extending the Coleg's role with regards to Further Education and Work Based Learning are being prepared, we are confident that a similar partnership will also develop in those sectors. We also intend to expand the scheme in due course to include educators who work outside Wales.”