The money will allow an extra five colleges to join the Bilingual Champions scheme. As set out in the Welsh Government’s Welsh Medium Education Strategy, this scheme allows each college to employ a champion to increase Welsh-medium and bilingual provision for learners.
The colleges selected for the extension to the Bilingual Champions scheme are:
- Bridgend College
- Coleg Menai
- Coleg Powys
- Pembrokeshire College
- The College Ystrad Mynach
Each of the five Colleges will receive £50,000 per annum for the next three academic years.
They join four colleges already part of the scheme since 2011, Coleg Gwent; Yale College; Coleg Ceredigion and the Coleg Glan Hafren/Barry College/WEA South/YMCA Community College Partnership, and the four colleges that were part of the pilot phase of the programme.
Next year it is planned to extend the scheme to the remaining further education colleges in Wales.
The aim of the Bilingual Champion is to increase the number of modules and courses available to learners through the medium of Welsh or bilingually, and to create opportunities for learners to maintain and develop their Welsh-language skills through a range of informal activities.
A number of objectives have been set out to achieve this aim, such as establishing a college mentoring programme for staff that require additional support to teach through the medium of Welsh or bilingually, and increasing the number of college staff available to assist with portfolio building and assessment through the medium of Welsh.
Mr Andrews said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to extend this scheme to give students in FE colleges more opportunities to continue their studies through the medium of Welsh or bilingually, and to offer the support needed to encourage students to continue to use the language.
“Extending this scheme will develop and strengthen Welsh-medium provision in further education in line with the target set in the Welsh Government’s Welsh-medium Education Strategy. It also supports our new Welsh Language Strategy which aims to create more opportunities for people to use Welsh in every aspect of their lives.”