STEPPING FORWARD Swansea University’s Welsh Language and Culture Strategy 2022-27
It is my great pleasure to introduce this new Strategy for the Welsh Language at Swansea University, which outlines our aspirations and ambitions to secure a prominent place for the Welsh language in our institution and in our community. Our graduates make a significant contribution to a variety of sectors across Wales and beyond, and we aim to ensure that there are opportunities for them to prepare for those careers by studying through the medium of Welsh and to come into contact with the language regardless of their background or area of study. This is also our aspiration for all our colleagues, in line with our commitment to invest in our people. Our University is proud to be an inclusive and welcoming place of study and work, and one that respects and celebrates diverse cultures. At heart, we are a University of and for Wales, and we celebrate our Welsh heritage and culture. From this position of strength, and in line with our University motto, “Technical skill is bereft without culture”, we reach out confidently to represent Wales and all that she has to offer on a global stage. This Strategy aligns with the University’s Strategic Vision and Purpose (2020), and in particular to our commitment to widening the range of opportunities for students to study through the medium of Welsh and to engage with the Welsh language. After all, our University has a reputation for teaching excellence, innovative research, international reach, and an exceptional student experience that equips our graduates for personal and professional success. This Strategy states our commitment to providing the means for our staff to engage with the language as a means of gaining an additional
workplace skill and as a gateway to new cultural and social opportunities at work and in the community. Addressing Welsh Government Cymraeg 2050 targets and The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 goals, we will enhance our institutional role, prominence, and influence to ensure that Swansea University is the main driver of change in relation to the advancement of the Welsh-language agenda within our communities. This Strategy acknowledges the reality of twenty-first century Wales with its two official languages and multi- cultural and multi-ethnic society. It strives to ensure that all who visit or live, study or work in Wales are able to experience all that this unique nation offers through their time at Swansea University. This Strategy will ensure that the Welsh language, culture and heritage remain integral to those formative experiences for all our students and that our Welsh speakers benefit fully from studying at a university with valuable multicultural and international links.
Professor Elwen Evans QC, Pro Vice Chancellor Welsh Language and Culture
staff, providing the necessary level of support for development where required, as well as accurately assessing – and effectively recruiting – the Welsh-language skills needed for new and replacement posts in key areas. Over the years we have developed excellent partnerships and external networks to promote the Welsh language and culture. Our collaboration with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and the National Centre for Learning Welsh is central to our strategy and day to day operation. But our work also includes supporting and developing projects with our national festivals – the National Eisteddfod, the Urdd Eisteddfod, and Tafwyl. We maintain close links with Welsh schools and with the Local Authorities within the University’s surrounding region. Building a community is key to our success as a university and our community on both our campuses cannot succeed without close links with our communities in south west Wales. As a result, we protect and maintain the mutually beneficial relationship with our Welsh language communities and further build upon that to reach the local non-Welsh speaking communities, many of which are multicultural communities including ethnic minorities, and ensure that the Welsh language also belongs to them. We are also successful in maintaining beneficial relationships with the national institutions of Wales, including the National Library, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, BBC Cymru Wales and S4C, and local organisations, charities and businesses sharing the aim of acting for the benefit of the Welsh language. Therefore, this Strategy and the Welsh language within the institution have a solid foundation, and our aim over the next five years is to move forward, building further on those foundations to ensure sustained progress and to take our place with confidence amongst those universities in Wales that embrace, celebrate and promote the Welsh language and Welshness.
during their time at the University. All our staff and students also benefit from the services and provision of the local Welsh-language centres, T ^ y Tawe and T ^ y’r Gwrhyd. Through the work of our Learn Welsh: Swansea Bay Region unit, hundreds are joining our community and workplace courses annually to learn the language, and since the introduction of online and blended courses, there has been a further increase in numbers of those who choose to learn the language from their homes in countries all over the world. In order to give international students a warm welcome, we offer them the opportunity to learn the language and experience the Welsh culture while fulfilling the obvious curiosity amongst them about experiencing life in Wales to the full during their stay here. Our teaching excellence is matched by our international reputation for research, much of it rooted in the language, history and culture of Wales, from heritage-led regeneration projects and understanding the literatures of Wales in both English and Welsh, to policy-making and the exploration and promotion of Welsh as a vibrant language. The University is committed to the Welsh Language Standards (No. 6) 2017 Regulations, which came into force at the University in 2018. The Standards have facilitated significant development in the provision of frontline Welsh language services and the rights of students to access services through the medium of Welsh, which complement the Welsh-language developments in academic provision. Welsh language services for members of the public who interact with the University have also improved considerably, and the rights of Welsh-speaking staff are promoted and facilitated. Whilst the initial foundations in respect of the Welsh Language Standards are now in place, attention needs to turn to further embedding the Welsh language across University services, increasing the ability for teams to work bilingually at source. This will involve embracing and encouraging the Welsh-language skills levels of existing
Our University has a strong tradition of teaching Welsh and teaching through the medium of Welsh. The Welsh Department was established in 1921 as one of our founding disciplines and has existed continuously since, leading internationally in various fields of research over the decades. Since establishing Academi Hywel Teifi in 2010 to realize our aspiration to expand our Welsh-medium provision, we have ensured that a wide range of courses and programmes are available through the medium of Welsh. In order to accelerate these developments, we work effectively and closely with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, with the result that we now offer more than 21 subjects through the medium of Welsh, from law to medicine, history to biochemistry, and media to social work. In the past decade, we have experienced a 135%
growth in numbers of students studying a third of their course through the medium of Welsh. We are also working hard to stabilize and expand what is available to students, with new subjects such as Education, Paramedic Science and Pharmacy joining the provision. Swansea is a university that is proud of its roots, promoting its Welshness and offering a Welsh welcome to students wherever they come from. There is a vibrant Welsh language community on campus and in the local area, with students benefiting significantly from on campus residencies for Welsh-speakers, namely Aelwyd Penmaen on Singleton Campus and Aelwyd Emlyn at the Bay Campus. The Students Union’s Full-time Welsh Affairs Officer and the active Welsh Society ensure a range of opportunities and initiatives to further support our students
This strategy is aligned to the ambitions set out in Swansea University: Our Strategic Vision and Purpose (2020), and specifically to the recognition that we are a cultural and economic anchor within our community, with a distinct role to play in driving regional development and promoting health and well-being, and we are proud to be a beacon for Welsh heritage, language and culture across our five key pillars: OUR CIVIC MISSION: We contribute to the cultural life of our community through our Taliesin Theatre, Great Hall and Egypt Centre, our South Wales Miners’ Library and Richard Burton Archives, while T ^ y’r Gwrhyd, our Welsh language centre in the Swansea Valley, embraces its community through the promotion of Welsh
In order to deliver our ambitions for the Welsh language at Swansea University, we have focussed this Strategy around four key pillars .
1. OUR UNIVERSITY CULTURE, ensuring that our University is home to a welcoming and
thriving, multilingual and multicultural community of students and staff;
2. THE LEARNER EXPERIENCE, nurturing a supportive environment that helps all Welsh language learners to progress, no matter what their level of proficiency;
OUR STUDENT EXPERIENCE: We will ensure that all students have the
BY 2027 WE WILL HAVE: 1. Engaged meaningfully with Welsh Measures of success
opportunity to learn more about and experience our Welsh heritage and culture and that services and information provided to the student body is bilingual, in accordance with the Welsh Language Standards. OUR LEARNING AND TEACHING: We respect students’ right to study through the medium of Welsh and will expand our range of opportunities for them to do so and enhance their employability accordingly. OUR RESEARCH: We are committed to working in partnership with our local communities as well as with communities around the world, learning from them as we support their development. OUR ENTERPRISE: We will promote Wales as a location that stimulates and rewards collaborative research and innovation, attracting international inward investment to the region.
6. Consolidated our position as a key provider of Welsh and bilingual education, becoming a destination of choice for Welsh-language students. 7. Fostered greater bilingual employability opportunities for students with a view to increasing a highly-skilled bilingual workforce in Wales. 8. Intensified our excellence in research involving Wales, in the delivery of research through the medium of Welsh and bilingually, and our contribution to impactful studies which guide national policy in Wales. 9. Increased our engagement with the international Welsh diaspora and celebrate our cultural richness and diversity at home and abroad.
Government’s aspiration of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050 by enabling all students and staff to learn Welsh and to engage meaningfully with the culture and heritage of Wales. 2. Implemented a robust workforce planning process to further develop the institution’s aim to be a bilingual University. 3. Raised the profile of the Welsh language and the Welsh language community within the University and recognise the achievements of individuals working to promote this objective. 4. Increased the number of students taking our Welsh-medium provision to 750. 5. Enhanced our Welsh-medium offer across the disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate level and promote an inter- disciplinary approach.
3. EMBEDDING WELSH
ACROSS THE UNIVERSITY, enabling us to comply with and surpass the requirements of the University’s Welsh Language Standards regulations, and
4. SUPPORTING OUR RESEARCH AND CIVIC MISSION,
recognising the value of the Welsh language to our research and innovation activities, and its impact on our Civic Mission.
Pillar 1: Our University Culture
We aim to strengthen the ways we promote Swansea University’s Welsh- language and bilingual status, ensuring that our University is home to a welcoming and thriving, multilingual and multicultural community.
• Provide training for leadership posts across the University to encompass all aspects of engagement with the language and culture of Wales, to enable our leaders to better support staff and students. • Work with the Students’ Union full-time officers and societies and local external agencies to provide a diverse, inclusive and welcoming bilingual environment which can also offer expanded Welsh-language opportunities to students who desire them.
BY 2024 WE WILL: • Amplify the awareness and understanding of staff and students of their Welsh-language rights within the University. • Enable all staff to engage with the Welsh language through free learning opportunities within working hours and through providing social spaces in Welsh. • Ensure better integration of learners and fluent Welsh speakers, promote greater levels of confidence by individuals in their abilities, and greater opportunities for staff to use their skills in the workplace. • Support staff to highlight, make known and utilise their Welsh-language skills. • Strengthen our Welsh language academic staff network through Academi Hywel Teifi and the Swansea Branch of the Coleg Cymraeg. • Work with Development and Training Services to develop an in-house mandatory Welsh language and culture awareness training course for staff (including information on compliance requirements with the Welsh language Standards), especially as they join the institution. • Provide more opportunities to introduce the history and culture of Wales to all staff.
BY 2027 WE WILL: • Strengthen the visibility of the Welsh language across the University and
emphasise its importance in our everyday activities to staff, students and the public. • Ensure staff are recognised and rewarded for their engagement with the Welsh language through the University’s PDR process and internal ‘Use your Welsh’ campaigns. • Establish a programme for academics who are learning Welsh to help them develop their confidence to teach in Welsh. • Develop measures to demonstrate and celebrate the impact of the Welsh language on our University’s success in areas such as student recruitment, retention, progression and employment; research and global connections; cultural profile and civic mission.
• Deliver increased inclusion of elements of Welsh studies within the curriculum across the board. • Provide embedded employability and academic skills through the medium of Welsh in courses offering Welsh-medium provision. • Solidify our offer of adult learning short courses through the medium of Welsh across a range of subjects, in particular to adult learners without Level 4 qualifications. • Increase the number of Academi Hywel Teifi undergraduate scholarships per academic year to 80, and the number of bursaries to 20.
services, focussing particularly on the greater transition needs of students (including those impacted by Covid19). • Strengthen the Academic Mentor scheme’s partnering of Welsh-speaking mentors and tutees and encourage conversations about the benefits of multi-language skills between all students and their mentors. • Implement an opt-out registration approach to Welsh-medium modules for Welsh- speaking students. BY 2027 WE WILL: • Have reached 750 students studying 5+ credits in Welsh.
Pillar 2: The Learner Experience
We aim to enhance the number, range and quality of opportunities to support Welsh language learners across our student and staff communities. We will proactively engage with other Higher Education Institutions, further education colleges and schools and the Coleg Cymraeg to collaboratively explore, develop, deliver and promote Welsh-medium education. We will also work to provide further employability and academic skills support through the medium of Welsh.
• Intensify our activities with respect to engagement and recruitment in areas ranking highly on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. • Provide an opportunity for Welsh speakers who don’t necessarily study through the medium of Welsh to enrich their bilingual employability skills and to realise their potential as prospective bilingual employees. • Establish a programme of fieldtrips, talks and online content to provide greater opportunities for students, especially international students, to engage with the language and culture. • Intensify our Cymraeg i Bawb programme to provide greater integration of adult learning opportunities for staff and students to learn Welsh for free, on a credit and non-credit bearing basis. • Continue to offer 55 scholarships and 10 bursaries per academic year on a competitive basis through the Academi Hywel Teifi UG scholarship programme for all undergraduate students. • Further promote the Coleg Cymraeg’s Scholarships and Welsh Language Certificate to students, with a focus on supporting non- confident speakers of Welsh to improve their skills and to speak it on a daily basis. • Further strengthen our student experience for Welsh-language students by developing our academic skills support and well-being
BY 2024 WE WILL: • Recruit or convert more students to our Welsh-medium provision, exceeding our HEFCW targets for students studying 5+ credits and 40+ credits per year and working to an 8% increase on current numbers per year. • Offer broad and innovative Welsh-language provision across a range of subjects in all three Faculties at Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Doctoral level, in addition to a five-credit inclusive provision that supersedes Faculty boundaries. • Support all three Faculties, in collaboration with Academi Hywel Teifi, to commit to the delivery of and responsibility for achieving the University’s annual Welsh-language teaching and learning objectives and targets and to strategically resource those efforts. • Continue to build on our 40+ credit provision in Welsh in partnership with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol across a range of subjects, but with clear priority on degree schemes offering vocational routes (e.g. Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work, Law, Education, Medicine and Pharmacy) and areas of specialism (e.g. Paramedic Science and the sciences). • Reinforce the delivery of and promote our programmes offering 60+ credits delivered in Welsh, which include Welsh, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages and Media Studies.
Pillar 3: Embedding Welsh across the University
We will continue to focus on compliance with the requirements of the University’s Welsh Language Standards, contributing to the objectives of Welsh Government’s Welsh Language Strategy, Cymraeg 2050. In doing so, we will enhance opportunities to embed and promote the Welsh Language across our community and enhance our investment in areas that are key to supporting our ambitions, such as translation.
• Further invest in our Translation Services to better equip the University to achieve bilingualism across greater aspects of the institution’s work. • Implement robust systems for data collection involving the Welsh language – including detailed data on take-up of Welsh-medium academic provision; Welsh-language ability and use within the student and staff body; and greater levels of sophistication in data to enable targeting Welsh-language students for recruitment. • Ensure greater inclusion of the Welsh language in all University-run public events. BY 2027 WE WILL: • Actively promote the Welsh language and Wales’s unique culture and heritage to international students and partners, including those engaged through our international partnerships and Transnational Education programmes. • Support all Faculties and Professional Services Directorates to exceed their delivery against the requirements of the University’s Welsh Language Standards and to consider them as baseline targets rather than the objective. • Review our engagement with the Seren Network and other recruitment programmes to publicise the opportunities available and
BY 2024 WE WILL: • Continue to improve our marketing and communication with Welsh-speaking audiences and non-Welsh-speaking audiences in Wales, providing authentic bilingual communication for all current and prospective Welsh-domiciled students. • Increase recruitment of Welsh-speaking students across all three Faculties by making the promotion of Welsh-medium provision and the University’s Welsh-language community a strategic priority in the Faculties and Schools’ marketing and recruitment plans. • Deliver a campaign to highlight the University’s profile as a Welsh-language and bilingual employer offering excellent career prospects. • Ensure work conducted in Welsh across research, teaching and professional services is recognised through professional development reviews and workload management. • Extend opportunities for staff to use their Welsh in meetings and events through greater use of interpretation and the use of as many digital technology opportunities and platforms as possible. • Ensure a greater conversion rate of our Welsh-speaking students to Welsh-medium or bilingual study opportunities and provide active offers to enable students to take up these opportunities within the mainstream provision.
• Develop an internal policy for enabling simultaneous translation at internal meetings and scope the creation of a dedicated simultaneous translation room and/or greater use via zoom.
planning, embed bilingualism within our positive recruitment practices, and scope a fast-track graduate recruitment programme to install our Welsh-speaking graduates in areas of our business.
highlight graduate career prospects. • Implement a more integrated and sophisticated approach to workforce
• Develop further our engagement with the University’s Welsh-speaking graduates, alumni and Honorary Fellows to provide potential placements for students and to highlight their career successes through their bilingualism or multilingualism. • Commit to embracing the Welsh language in our Civic Mission aims. BY 2027 WE WILL: • Embed the Welsh language in our Civic Mission aims. • Raise the profile, reputation and public understanding of Swansea University’s impact from Research and Innovation initiatives, attracting further stakeholder collaboration and maximising our ability to deliver additional value through our bilingualism.
• Have supported and contributed to the aims of the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-32 by drawing on our interdisciplinary expertise to ensure that indigenous languages, and Welsh in particular, are preserved, revitalized and promoted around the world. • Benefit from greater engagement with the international Welsh diaspora for the benefit of learning, research and the University community. • Secure further University, government and local authority support for T ^ y ’r Gwrhyd to keep its doors open beyond 2026. • Develop our philanthropic funding options further with a view to offering the Hywel Teifi Memorial Scholarship beyond 2027.
Pillar 4: Supporting our Research and Civic Mission
Much of our research is rooted in the language, history and culture of Wales, from heritage-led regeneration projects and understanding the literatures of Wales in both English and Welsh, to policy making and the exploration and promotion of Welsh as a vibrant language. We also recognise that our research and enterprise activities support our Civic Mission in Wales and beyond and we aim to ensure that work continues to be enabled and strengthened by the Welsh language.
BY 2024 WE WILL: • Further develop our public-facing Welsh- language and bilingual research community and identify opportunities to co-create impactful research with our students and external stakeholders on a local, national and global basis. • Strengthen the interdisciplinary and international network of the Richard Burton Centre and the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW) to further deliver innovative and influential bilingual research activities that promotes cultural development, guides public policy and provides a greater understanding of Wales’s place on the global stage. • Ensure research conducted in Welsh or bilingually is strategically-led and comprehensively mapped across the institution, and that all Welsh-medium research activity is recognised in the academics’ individual professional development reviews. • Building on our 2014 and 2021 REF returns, we will encourage and support our researchers to conduct further studies and complete more publications in Welsh with a view to submitting a greater number of Welsh publications in future research exercise returns. • Ensure that Swansea University students and researchers working through the medium of Welsh are afforded every opportunity to take
advantage of the opportunities offered by the Welsh Government’s new International Learning Exchange Programme (ILEP) and enable greater cultural exchange with students from across the globe, in particular in the context of minority languages. • Strengthen our collaboration with Welsh- language bodies such as Menter Iaith Abertawe, Menter Iaith Castell Nedd Port Talbot, Mudiad Meithrin, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, and reach out to new partners to explore opportunities driven by sharing languages, cultures, experiences and heritage. • Intensify our Welsh-language civic mission activities and engagement via national events and community activities and further incorporating the language and authentic Welsh content into annual University events. • Continue to engage in dynamic and innovative ways with national festivals including the National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Urdd Eisteddfod, and Tafwyl to showcase the University’s creative talents and trailblazing research. • Increase our collaboration with and support for the Academi Heddwch Cymru, of which the University is a partner, to embed peace- making and peace-promotion in the research and policy agenda in Wales. • Intensify our Welsh-language widening participation activities and offer to under- represented groups.
• Require each Faculty to develop its own operational plan to support the fulfilment of the Strategy. • Strengthen marketing intelligence so that we are able to engage authentically with Welsh-speaking audiences and promote the uniqueness of our culture to international audiences. • Ensure that the student voice is an integral part of the strategy’s implementation by working with the Students’ Union and its membership. • Influence planning and operational processes across the University to allow sufficient time for translation of staff/student documents. • Monitor progress made across the University in implementing each pillar of the Welsh Language Strategy and identifying additional interventions and support required to deliver against each objective. • Identify new national and global initiatives and best practice that strengthen bilingualism within a place of study or work, that offer opportunities to promote the Welsh language, and enable greater success through collaborative working and engagement with key partners. • Encourage delivery of the Welsh Language Strategy across the institution with regular communication, networking nationally and internationally, recognising and rewarding the value of our people and supporting them to deliver.
The Strategy supports, and is supported by, the University’s strategies for Learning and Teaching, Research and Innovation, Internationalisation, and Student Recruitment. It will be underpinned by two complementary action plans, for Welsh- language academic provision, research and civic mission, and for the Welsh language within University operations and administration. Delivery of the Strategy will be led by Academi Hywel Teifi and the Welsh Language Policy Office and draws on engagement with all three Faculties and their schools in addition to the Reaching Wider Partnership, Swansea Academy for Inclusivity and Learner Support, Swansea Academy for Learning and Teaching, Swansea Employability Academy, the Centre for Academic Success, and the Students’ Union in terms of the academic and student support provision. There will be commitment to deliver the strategy by professional services teams across the University, with particular key contributions from the following service areas: Translation, Marketing Recruitment and International, Human Resources, MyUni, Student Life and Information Services and Systems. IN ORDER TO SUCCESSFULLY DELIVER OUR WELSH LANGUAGE STRATEGY TOGETHER, WE WILL: • Address a range of internal systems and policies to enable greater promotion of Welsh and bilingualism as a valued workforce skill within our staff and student body. • Make greater use of reliable data on Welsh- language skills in current and prospective students and University staff to target key areas of development and opportunity. • Create a 2022-27 implementation plan that will underpin this Strategy and an associated business plan to expand resources to deliver its aims.Page 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17
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