Campaign forces language standards review

Ceredigion’s Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones has joined students from Aberystwyth and other universities in defeating part of the Welsh Government’s proposed ‘language standards’ on the use of Welsh in public bodies.

The standards as they relate to universities had been widely criticised by students’ unions and language campaigners. It was feared that they could weaken the rights students currently enjoy in Aberystwyth and elsewhere to live in designated Welsh-medium halls of residence. There were also concerns that the standards failed to mention the provision of Welsh lessons for learners, or IT support in the language.

Student language campaigners

In a vote in the National Assembly, the university language standards were rejected by 27 votes to 26, with all opposition AMs voting against.

Local Ceredigion AM Elin Jones said;

“I was pleased to meet students from Aberystwyth University and elsewhere, who made a compelling case that the language standards relating to higher education as currently proposed are too vague on a number of points. This was particularly disappointing as the Welsh Government has had a long time to consider this issue.

“After the National Assembly vote, the Welsh Language Commissioner and Welsh Government will now have to reconsider. I hope they come back with clearer guidelines, which will address the issue of Welsh-medium residences, Welsh lessons for learners and the other matters which have been highlighted.

“I congratulate the students on their successful campaign.”

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