Wales

Welsh language Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol faces review

Cymraeg Image copyright Thinkstock

The future of a "virtual" college where degree students study a wide variety of subjects through Welsh language teaching will be reviewed, the Welsh Government has announced.

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol launched five years ago and, while universities in Wales signed up to it, it cannot award its own degrees.

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams wants to look at its future role.

One option could see the addition of further education for post-16 students.

After operating for five years, Ms Williams said now is the "right time" to consider what direction it takes and she will appoint a chairperson to oversee the review.

When it launched in 2011, the college received £1m a year and 109 students were awarded scholarships worth between £1,500 and £3,000 over three years.

The funding comes from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, which needs to find £11m of savings.

"Transformational"

On Tuesday, Ms Williams' Liberal Democrat party launched a campaign to implement its manifesto commitment of expanding the Coleg's remit to include further education in addition to higher education.

Spokesman Cadan ap Tomos said: "Aspiring plumbers and carers should have just as much opportunity to learn their skills in Welsh as historians or lawyers.

"Expanding the Coleg's remit would equip more young people with work-based Welsh language skills, helping the Welsh language become the language of choice in even more workplaces."

He described the college as having a "transformational impact" on the "breadth and quality of Welsh language higher education".

The Welsh Language Society Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg said: "Broadening the Coleg Cymraeg's responsibility to include post-16 education would be a very exciting and important development."

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