Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Cardiff University to study UK's multiculturalism

Muslim men (generic)
The network aims to draw attention to positive aspects of multiculturalism.

A university is to launch a research network to study the UK's growing multiculturalism.

Cardiff University will bring together staff and postgraduate students from several disciplines to analyse cultural and religious diversity within Wales.

Prof Chris Weedon said the university would seek to promote creative partnerships with ethnic communities.

Four new PhD scholarships will be made available over the next two years, as part of a £4m investment, she added.

The (Re)-Constructing Multiculturalism Network will look at matters such as integration and cohesion between different cultures, religions and lifestyles in a Welsh context, the university said.

Potential research areas include language and cultural identity, the display and performance of religion, and parallel legal and justice systems.

'Public understanding'

The network will also research the destruction of multicultural communities through ethnic or nationalist violence and other forms of cultural aggression.

Prof Weedon, who is also chair of the multi-ethnic organisation Butetown History & Arts Centre, said that questions of Welsh language, culture and history made issues of identity and belonging more complex for white as well as black and minority ethnic communities in Wales.

"This research network will engage directly with communities, seeking to promote creative partnerships between them and academic staff and postgraduate students," she added.

The university said the scheme would help draw attention to the positive dimensions of multiculturalism as well as public understanding and policy formation, and would include a specific Welsh dimension.

The new scholarships will coincide with the inauguration of 2007 Nobel prize winner Professor Sir Martin Evans as the university's new president.

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