Call to expand role of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

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Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

The role of a "virtual" college which helps degree students study subjects through Welsh language teaching should be extended, a review has concluded.

The study said Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol should become a recognised strategic body for developing the language in higher and further education.

Education secretary Kirsty Williams ordered the review a year ago.

She said the conclusions offered "a number of exciting opportunities".

The review of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol formed part of the agreement between Labour and the Liberal Democrats that led to the appointment of Kirsty Williams as Education Secretary in 2016.

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol currently provides support to universities to provide Welsh-medium courses.

Recommendations include:

  • making the college a recognised body for developing the Welsh language across higher education, further education and work-based learning sectors
  • it should focus on supporting schools by developing marketing materials for teachers, pupils and parents
  • it should support Welsh-medium, bilingual and English-medium schools
  • calling for it to redirect its promotional work to reach younger pupils in year 9 and 10, before they make decisions about their post-16 education
  • the college should continue to be funded by Welsh Government

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

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.

"I hope the report and recommendations will assist to strengthen Welsh language provision across the higher education, further education and work-based learning sectors in the years to come," said review chairwoman, former Labour AM Delyth Evans.

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said the Welsh Government would study the report and provide a full response in due course.

Ffred Ffransis from Cymdeithas yr Iaith education group welcomed the review but expressed concerns as to whether the government would respond with adequate resources.

He said: "Bringing all these fields of education together in a comprehensive way can enable the college to offer pioneering new courses in Welsh which could cut across traditional boundaries and empower students with the knowledge and skills to provide an economic boost for Welsh communities."