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Our Welsh-medium research symposium 2022

17 March 2022

Written by Elliw Iwan, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Branch Officer

Our celebration of South East Wales’ Welsh-medium scholarly research community took place 1 March this year in the Temple of Peace. It was great to bring together three higher education institutions in the South East: Cardiff University (CU), Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU) and the University of South Wales (USW) to celebrate St David’s Day and Welsh-medium research. It is difficult to believe that it has been ten years since the establishment of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, and the variety of subjects covered in the beautiful platform at the Temple of Peace that morning was proof of the College’s, and the Research Scholarships Scheme’s, success.

The event was in the capable hands of Professor Lisa Lewis, University of South Wales, who introduced the speakers and ensured the morning ran smoothly, managing to finish in good time to maintain a moment of peace for the memory of Ukraine.

One of the priorities of our new Welsh language strategy at Cardiff University is to nurture and support a Welsh-medium research community and demonstrate that the Welsh language is relevant in all aspects of contemporary academic life, which is what the symposium exemplified. We had some very interesting presentations ranging from Heritage, multiculturalism and the Welsh language in landscape from Dr Dylan Foster Evans, Head of the School of Welsh, CU; Using Computers to Explore Materials for 21st Century Challenges in the field of Chemistry Owain Beynon, Coleg Cymraeg’s research scholarship holder, CU; The Role of Indigenous Language in Behavior Change by Derith Rhisiart, CMU; and Performance and Theater: For the Community, by Elis Pari, Postgraduate student, USW.

The panel discussion

Questions from the audience made the interest in the room clear, both from the Humanities and the Sciences Academics.

Between the presentations, there was a panel discussion, focusing on the Welsh-medium Research Community. The discussion was brilliantly chaired by Dr Sion Jones, a lecturer in Social Sciences here at CU, and who has benefited from the Research Scholarship Scheme himself. On the panel we had Gwion Jones of CMU, Bedwyr Thomas of CU and Heddwen Daniel of USW. As we were in a post-covid era, Heddwen and Bedwyr had to self-isolate, and participate in the discussion via the big screen- and this worked amazingly. So I’ll be welcoming ideas for inviting researchers from around the world to the next symposium! Again – the panel saw a variety of research areas, Medicinal Chemistry, Psychology and Education, but all agreed that the research community had been essential to sustaining their work during the pandemic, but was also important in order to create a sense of belonging , and bring together Welsh-medium researchers. Bedwyr is also one of the Coleg Cymraeg’s Postgraduate Ambassadors, and a testament to how the College supports the researchers.

A fun and fascinating day – we’ll see you in the next one. We’re planning to hold a joint Research Symposium again between the Coleg Cymraeg Branches of the three institutions, on 1 March and a venue will be confirmed nearer the time.

For more information about our Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol branch, contact Elliw Iwan (iwaneh@cardiff.ac.uk)