Following a successful pilot scheme last year, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol has appointed new ambassadors for the 2021/22 academic year and the emphasis on maintaining contact with postgraduate students studying outside of Wales is a crucial element this year.
Eight postgraduate ambassadors will take up their new role over the coming months representing a variety of research areas; from the Medicines Discovery Institute at Cardiff University to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and from research in Gestational Diabetes at Leeds University to Film Studies at Bangor University. More information about the ambassadors and their research areas can be found on the Coleg's website.
Five of the ambassadors are based in universities in Wales and three are based in universities in England and all are keen to develop the sense of a Welsh medium postgraduate 'community' in Wales and beyond. The Welsh Government has identified attracting students back to study or work in Wales as a priority and therefore Coleg Cymraeg is delighted to be able to support this agenda through the Postgraduate Ambassador Scheme.
They will represent and support the work of the Coleg Cymraeg in a variety of ways. Some of their online duties will include promoting and hosting events, creating and contributing to the content of the Coleg's social media websites, writing blogs and creating podcasts covering everything related to postgraduate student life. The podcasts will be added to the 'Swn y Sdiwdants' channel. In addition, the group will organise a research presentation competition and Christmas quiz in December as well as opportunities for postgraduate students to come together to network during the year.
Lois McGrath, Development Officer for Research and Training at the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, said: "We are delighted with the appointment of this exceptional group of postgraduate ambassadors this year and look forward to working with them during the academic year. The experience of being a postgraduate ambassador is going to support the students in enhancing their academic profile as well as strengthening their CV. The ambassadors will play a leading role in encouraging and promoting our Research Skills Program - a program that offers training and support to students throughout their research degrees. The program is open to all research students – wherever they are studying and whatever the research area. Everyone is welcome and we want to share that message widely."
Bedwyr ab Ion Thomas is one of the Coleg's ambassadors from Cardiff University. He said: “I'm looking forward to bringing the postgraduate community together, both virtualy and face to face. I think it is vital to have a sense of community between researchers because it can be a bit lonely at times. Being a postgraduate ambassador is a privilege and an honour, and a great way to share the Coleg Cymraeg’s vision and reputation for research and higher education! ”
Rhodri Llŷr Evans, also an ambassador, is studying at the University of Manchester. He said: “With many Welsh students choosing to study outside Wales, strengthening the Welsh postgraduate community will be an extremely effective way of attracting skilled workers back to Wales by creating a network of professional contacts among peers.”
You can follow @olraddccc on Twitter and join the 'Cymuned ôl-radd' group on Facebook to find out about events, chat to other students or find out more about research opportunities and courses through the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.