UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art receives an additional grant to increase its Welsh language provision


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has received an additional grant from Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to increase its Welsh medium provision at Swansea College of Art.

Work by students at Swansea College of Art / Gwaith gan fyfyrwyr Coleg Celf Abertawe

Examples of work by students at Swansea College of Art.

UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art has been fortunate to have been in receipt of a Subject Grant from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's Academic Planning Fund  every year since 2017. Since receiving that first subject grant, Swansea College of Art has successfully exceeded its target of those studying through the medium of Welsh and this year, the grant has again been increased to reflect the success of the department and the hard work of Gwenllian Beynon, senior lecturer and Welsh language co-ordinator within the University's Institute of Science and Art.

A growing number of students within Swansea College of Art - from Foundation student to thoes studying for PhDs – now study part of their degree course through the medium of Welsh with at least 40 credits available through the medium of Welsh on most courses.

“Considering that a tradition of Welsh-medium provision did not really exist until fairly recently within the UWTSD's Swansea College of Art, the University is very proud of this success. It is fantastic that the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol recognises the hard work that has been done over the last few years in supporting and developing Welsh-medium and bilingual provision in Swansea,”said lecturer Gwenllian Beynon.

"I am so pleased to have received an increase in our grant as it shows that we are definitely on the right track," adds Gwenllian. “Receiving this financial increase also helps us to expand future provision, enabling us to secure more Welsh medium input into our courses. I am so excited to further develop Welsh medium provision across the the University’s  offer within the Arts and Science  and look forward to expanding our provision.”

Gwilym Dyfri Jones who leads on the University's Welsh medium provision is extremely proud of Swansea College of Art’s success and delighted to see the staff’s commitment to developing and increasing opportunities for students to study through the medium of Welsh.

"The University takes great pride in Swansea College of Art’s success in ensuring an increase in its grant from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to further develop its Welsh language provision," says Gwilym.  “This is the result of considerable efforts by staff to increase the Welsh-medium and bilingual learning experiences of their students and thus attracting more of them to study a higher percentage of their course through the medium of Welsh."

In order to meet the targets and increase in the provision, Swansea College of Art has used a number of strategies, activities and events to attract and support students during their studies.

Last year, two Welsh medium Artist in Residence roles were created within the College of Art to focus on working with current students as well as assisting in the recruitment of new students to study Art through the medium of Welsh.

Owain & Jess

Owain Roberts and Jess Burtonshaw.

This year, Owain Roberts and Jess Burtonshaw have taken on those roles supporting students to facilitate engagement with the Welsh language and to encourage them to work and discuss their work bilingually. They have also organised a wide range of Welsh language social events as well as helping with external events including running workshops at Yr Egin in Carmarthen and working on the Josef Herman Foundation Schools project.

Owain Sparnon, a Fine Art student, said: “Studying through the medium of Welsh at Swansea College of Art enables me to discuss my subject in Welsh with Gwenllian Beynon in weekly tutorials as well as meeting other students studying through the medium of Welsh to share ideas and experiences. I’ve had opportunities to exhibit my work in exhibitions with other Welsh students, to hear lectures by Welsh artists and to develop skills in both languages. I also receive financial support from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and I would highly recommend studying through the medium of Welsh at Swansea College of Art.”

Owain Sparnon

Owain Sparnon.

In order to increase opportunities to study and discuss work in Welsh, Gwenllian Beynon has been working closely with staff across the College of Art from a range of disciplines.  This collaboration has been vital to the success of the Welsh language provision and Gwenllian thanks all staff at Swansea College of Art and the Welsh Institute of Science and Art for their willingness to discuss new ideas.

“The College of Art produces an annual Welsh-medium Prospectus, leading and collaborating on a variety of projects including Celf ar y Map, the Golwg ar Gelf exhibition, the Cyfaill Celfyddyd project and we also hold an annual St David’s Day awards ceremony  and lecture,” adds Gwenllian.

"The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol grant has enabled Swansea College of Art to offer University of Wales Trinity Saint David students a Welsh experience in the field of Art and Design and we are very grateful."

Another important development within the College of Art over the past two years has been the provision of Welsh lectures by experts across a range of disciplines. These Welsh-medium lectures are available to all second-year students and are offered with simultaneous translation into English. This year saw Rhian Haf, a glass artist; artist and photographer, Peter Finnemore; Kathryn Ashill, a fine art artist and Guto Evans from graphic design agency, ‘Elfen’ taking part.

This year also saw the BSc Architecture course become part of the Swansea College of Art family with a number of students undertaking seminars through the medium of Welsh. The students also have the opportunity to be part in a Welsh Architecture Focus Group whereby students have the opportunity to discuss their own work as well as other architectural work through the medium of Welsh.

For further information about Swansea College of Art's Welsh medium provision, please contact Gwenllian Beynon.

More information about the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol branch within the University of Wales Trinity Saint David can be found on our website.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk