This was the second event of its kind, as the Institute of Mathematics & Physics (IMAPS) Aberystwyth University had organised a similar event during the summer of 2009. At that time, the event focused solely on the Welsh medium provision at IMAPS. With the establishment of the new Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol a national event was organised to encompass the Welsh medium provision not only at IMAPS, but also in the School of Mathematics at Swansea and Cardiff Universities.
The teachers had an opportunity to learn about the new Welsh medium developments resulting from the establishment of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. These included granting a Welsh medium lectureship in physics to Aberystwyth University, which is in addition to the Welsh medium Mathematics lecturer already in place at IMAPS; granting a Welsh Medium Lectureship in Mathematics to Cardiff University and granting a Welsh medium Research Scholarship in Mathematics to Swansea University. In addition, Mathematics & Physics courses have been included as eligible courses for the Coleg’s Incentive Scholarships worth £1500 for those starting university in September 2012. The Coleg also funds national strategic projects and the work of two projects relevant to Mathematics & Physics were outlined, namely the Higher Education Terminology Project and the Edward Llwyd Project.
Staff from the three institutions outlined their current Welsh medium provision. Teachers also enjoyed the opportunity to listen to two undergraduate students from IMAPS sharing their experiences of Welsh medium higher education - both from entirely different linguistic backgrounds.
To reinforce the importance of bilingual skills in mathematics and physics in the workplace, presentations were given by Nia Roberts, Welsh Government; Eiddig Morgan, Ceredigion County Council and Eilir Jones, BBC Cymru Wales.
Mr Wyn Jones mathematics teacher at Ysgol Morgan Llwyd said: “The presentations were varied and interesting which reminded us of our role as teachers to encourage students to grab the opportunities provided by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol with both hands.”
In the afternoon, a session was held to exchange ideas and encourage collaboration between both sectors. Dr Eleri Pryse, Aberystwyth University said: “The seminar was an invaluable opportunity to exchange information and ideas. We appreciate the positive ideas received by teachers as to how we as a higher education sector should collaborate with schools and colleges to support and encourage young people to study elements through the medium of Welsh.”