North West Wales

Welsh language call for Bangor University chief

Bangor University, Gwynedd
Image caption The university said the job application process was "still ongoing"

The new vice-chancellor of Bangor University should learn to speak Welsh if he or she is not bilingual already, the Welsh Language Board (WLB) says.

The board made its recommendation in a report after the university failed to specify in a job advert that its new vice-chancellor should speak the language.

The university said it would "take full account of the board's conclusions and recommendations".

But it added it "may not agree" with all of the comments in the WLB's report.

The board, a publicly-funded organisation which promotes and supports the use of the Welsh langauge, launched an investigation after the job advert appeared in a newspaper in February.

The WLB said the university had acted "contrary to the spirit of the language scheme and its own mission".

'Welsh-speaking staff'

According to the WLB's report, the job advert stated: "The university's charter specifies that Welsh and English are the official languages of the university and 60% of the university's total number of staff are Welsh-speakers or learners."

It added: "The university provides excellent opportunities, facilities and support for any member of staff to learn Welsh."

The report concluded "that the Appointment's Panel has led to the university acting contrary to the spirit of the language scheme and its own mission".

The WLB has recommended that the appointments panel should "ensure that the successful candidate, if they do not already have suitable bilingual skills, commits to learning the language within a specific timeframe".

It adds that the "university should submit an action plan to the Welsh Language Board within three months of appointing the new vice-chancellor".

A university spokeswoman said: "The university welcomes the report of the Welsh Language Board, and whilst it may not agree with every comment made, it will take full account of the board's conclusions and recommendations."

She said the application process was "still ongoing".

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