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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Student protest on Welsh lectures
Student protest in Aberystwyth
The protesters want more courses taught in Welsh
More than 200 students blocked the entrance to a university in mid Wales protesting over the lack of Welsh language teaching there.

Early morning rush hour traffic travelling towards the University of Wales, Aberystwyth campus' main entrance had to be diverted to another entrance by police while students staged a sit-in on the road.

The protest was held to draw attention to what the students claim is a lack of Welsh language education provision at Aberystwyth and an all-Wales strategy for the language.

After staging the sit-in for half an hour, the students marched to their student union building - Pantycelyn Hall - further down Penglais Hill.

The Welsh language student union, UMCA, is calling for a federal college for the anguage which it claims would make the University of Wales - of which Aberystwyth is a part - improve education provision in the language.

Enough is enough. We have been calling for proper provision for years and the situation is still pitiful
Osian Rhys, student officer

UMCA claims the language cannot continue to exist within the college if students are expected to rely on the goodwill of university departments.

Students believe that the practice of bilingual lecturers providing courses in Welsh only if they want to should be replaced by a more structured framework.

UMCA President, Catrin Dafydd said that modules are being deleted at the whim of individual lecturers and departments.

"Students have had enough. We will not suffer this injustice in our own country," she added.


Osian Rhys, Welsh Language Officer of the Guild of Students, said: "Enough is enough. We have been calling for proper provision for years and the situation is still pitiful."

Education Minister Jane Davidson said a Welsh federal college was a long-term target - but not until 2010 at the earliest.

However, she said the Welsh Assembly Government has not yet accepted that there was even a need for such an institution.

Even if a federal college was a priority, there was not enough staff available at moment, said the minister.

The assembly is currently looking at the training issue which they aim to address that by 2005.

University of Wales' vice-chancellor, Derec Llwyd Morgan, said he had for a long time asked the student's officers to bring their complaints to him first rather than to the media.

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