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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 November, 2004, 19:11 GMT
Student protest again over Welsh
Torn literature
University literature litters the floor
Nearly 200 students have demonstrated at Aberystwyth in protest at the number of courses available in Welsh.

They campaigned inside the Old College as university leaders gathered for a meeting, and destroyed dozens of copies of the university prospectus.

The dissent came as Education Minister Jane Davidson announced 3m for Welsh medium provision in higher education.

Students said that was not enough, but the Welsh Assembly Government said it was a "substantial initial response."

In criticism aimed at vice-chancellor Noel Lloyd, students shouted, "Noel, Noel, Noel - out, out, out."

What we really want is a Welsh medium college
Student Osian Rhys

But the university declined to comment on the verbal attack on Prof Lloyd or the damage to its literature.

At the protest on Wednesday, students also staged a mock court where student Meilyr Hedd played a judge.

Donning a long brown wig, he "impeached" Prof Lloyd, who was played by another student dressed in a suit,.

It is the third time this year that students have shown dissent, and follows other demonstrations staged last year.

Osian Rhys, president of the Welsh-speaking students' union, said: "We staged it at the Old College for maximum effect knowing that university council officials would have to walk through the crowd.

Student protest
Meilyr Hedd plays a judge at the protest
"All the protesters want more Welsh provision and we protested about this last year and this year."

Mr Rhys added: "The 3m is a step in the right direction, but it's not going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

"What we really want is a Welsh medium college."

At the council meeting, Aberystwyth University announced that it would be allocating 40 - 50,000 each year towards the provision of Welsh-language courses.

Speaking hours before Wednesday's protest, Ioan Williams, university spokesman on Welsh-language issues, said: "Today is a very interesting day indeed because we have got a campaign on behalf of the students and the sum announced by Jane Davidson.

"She has agreed to fund a scheme which is the result of the campaign within the establishment."

Mr Williams added: "I am very happy that the students are taking part in the campaign and process because it's very constructive.

"I appreciate the energy put into the cause which is good for the nation."

But he said the assembly's pledge of 3m for Welsh medium education was minute.

For Welsh-language education to be adequate and sustainable, the system would require 300m, not 3m, said Mr Williams.

An assembly government spokesman said: "This is a substantial initial response from the Welsh Assembly Government to proposals made by the Andrew Green steering group.

"The education and lifelong learning minister expects to make further announcement with regard to that group's broader recommendations once the minister receives them."

Student road block halts minister
11 Mar 04 |  Mid Wales

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