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A translation of Michelle Rafferty’s Welsh-language post…
Aberystwyth students were keen to contribute to the BBC Children In Need campaign. One club in particular, Aberystwyth Rotaract Club, was busy painting faces on Friday 18 November – with a little help from Pudsey himself! What better event to hold during the Intercollegiate Dance weekend that brought students from all over Wales to Aberystwyth University?
‘We had hoped to raise a reasonable sum of money towards Children In Need by asking students on their night out to make a contribution towards having their faces painted,’ said Owain Jones, Aberystwyth Rotaract Club’s President . ‘We were also eager to raise awareness and to encourage students to join our club; a club that was established in the university last year. We photographed all the students who had their faces painted, and they will be posted on our Facebook page to show what sort of activities the club hosts.’
According to Gruff Huws, the student dressed as Pudsey for the night, ‘It was a successful evening in many ways – it was an opportunity for students to raise money for Children In Need. But we also had a good response and lots of questions about what exactly the club does, and what sort of activities who hold during the year. Despite almost freezing to death in the suit, it was worth every second for such a good cause!’
Some club members are photographed here. Members of Aberystwyth Rotaract Club volunteer on a weekly basis in the community. It is an international institution, mainly for young people between 18 and 30. The club organised many fundraising events last year – pub quizzes, pool competitions, and also stewarded the local fireworks display, the town’s Christmas lights ceremony and Christmas fairs – and plenty more!
Money has been raised for a range of charities including Mary’s Meals, the End Polio Now campaign, Mind and Children In Need. The evening was a resounding success and the club raised £71.75 for Children In Need.
Michelle Rafferty, Welsh and History, Part II
Last month, just before the start of term, one of our Celtic Studies lecturers, Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, took off to the beautiful Llŷn Peninsula for a week-long Welsh language course.
After attending Abersytwyth University’s month-long intensive Welsh course in August, Peadar headed north to Pen Llŷn, and to the unique village of Nant Gwrtheyrn, where an abandoned former quarrying village has become a National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre drawing people from all over the world to study Welsh short courses. Once an active quarry, Nant, perched between the rock face and the Irish Sea has been beautifully restored, as some of Peadar’s pictures attest:
‘It was a great to be able to visit Nant, and most especially to meet some of the local people who have made Nant Gwrtheyrn such a success story, dw i’n edrych ymalen at fynd yn ôl’, said Peadar.
The Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies has recently received an award from the Irish Government to support the teaching of Irish Language and Literature at Aberystwyth. An award of 93,000EUR will been made to Aberystwyth University over the next three years though an Irish government program which supports the teaching of Modern Irish. The award will also be used to create a number of language scholarships allowing Aberystwyth students to attend summer courses in an Irish-speaking area in Ireland.
Irish language and literature is a key focus in the work of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies. Uniquely in Britain, Aberystwyth offers a joint honours degree scheme in Irish. The language also forms a core element in the Celtic Studies degree scheme and a popular option for those pursuing a degree in Welsh also. Irish at Aberystwyth is not a recent phenomenon, more than any other British university it has a strong tradition of Irish language studies. Staff of the Department have produced much important research over the years, but the most popular work is probably J. E. Caerwyn Williams’s The Irish Literary Tradition which has been published in Irish, Welsh and English, and is still used as the main textbook for Irish literature students in Irish universities. Williams was Chair of Irish at Aberystwyth between 1965 and 1979. More recently, the Department has forged links with Irish learners across Wales and England, providing regular teaching and support to groups based in Manchester, the West Midlands and London.
On the announcement of the award, Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, Lecturer in Celtic Studies, said: ‘The award is a recognition of the high profile and hard work of Aberystwyth colleagues over the years in the study and teaching of Irish language and literature. This and our location in a strongly Welsh-speaking area make it an excellent choice for Celtic Studies students’.
Cathryn Charnell-White, Head of Welsh and Celtic Studies said ‘We are particularly pleased that the award will allow us to set us a named scholarship scheme allowing students to experience the Irish language in its heartland, and to bring that experience back to Aberystwyth with them’.
Further details on the student scholarships will be made available in due course.
Aberystwyth Top in UK for Teaching Welsh & Celtic Studies
The quality of teaching at Aberystwyth University’s Welsh & Celtic Studies Department is the best in the UK, according to a poll of UK students.
In the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS), overall satisfaction with the teaching of Welsh (Celtic Studies) was 100%, while assessment and feedback, and academic support were also given the highest mark.
The Department also received a top score of 100% for overall satisfaction, compared to a UK score of 86%.
Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, Head of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University, said:
“As a Department we are delighted with the affirmation that our students have given us in the most recent NSS survey. The 100% rating for teaching reflects my colleagues’ commitment to engaging our students as well as sharing their passion for their particular areas of expertise in Welsh and Celtic Studies. The 100% rating for overall satisfaction speaks for itself.”
The NSS figures follow closely on the heels of the latest employability figures for UK universities which showed that 100% of graduates from the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. Employability figures at Aberystwyth University.
The Department’s achievements have contributed to a wider success story at Aberystwyth University which is rated one of the top ten higher education institutions in the UK for overall student satisfaction and the best in Wales, according to the annual survey.
The results show that overall satisfaction amongst students at Aberystwyth University stands at 92% – that’s six percentage points higher than the UK figure of 86%.
The NSS collects data from 158 of the UK’s Higher Education Institutions and is recognised as an influential source of information for prospective students when considering their options.
If you’re interested in studying at Aberystwyth University’s Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies and want to find out why our students are so satisfied with their courses, it’s not too late. We still have some clearing places left for the 2016-17 academic year or come along and visit us during one of our Open Days.
The National Student Survey is carried out annually by IPSOS Mori on behalf of the UK’s higher education funding councils and interviewing around 300,000 final year students in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It asks students to score their university across a wide range of measures including quality of teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources and personal development.
It is wonderful to be able to congratulate two of our colleagues in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies on being highly commended in this year’s Student Led Teaching Awards: Mrs Rhian Haf Davies (Support Staff of the Year) a Dr Ian Hughes (Supervisor of the Year). The awards acknowledge their excellent work and we are glad of this opportunity to thank them and congratulate them both warmly.
Dr Ian Hughes is about to retire and so this is also an opportunity to acknowledge his immense contribution to the Department. Ian is an inspiring language teacher (for both Welsh and Irish) and a clear and balanced interpreter of the Arthurian legends and the Mabinogi. As a scholar, he specialises in medieval Welsh prose and we look forward to reading his forthcoming volume, Bendigeiduran Uab Llyr, a Welsh edition of the second branch of the Mabinogi. We will miss his unstinting support and intelligent humour. As one current student eloquently stated, ‘Ian Hughes *%£#@! rocks!’
Comhghairdeachas agus go n-éirí leat, aireoidh muid uainn go mór tú
Many thanks to every one of our students who showed their appreciation by nominating Rhian and Ian this year!