Campaigners have accused Aberystwyth University of ‘breaking a promise’ by delaying the reopening of Pantycelyn Halls until September 2020.
Jeff Smith from Cymdeithas yr Iaith commented:
“The University is risking its reputation and its status by breaking its promise to open the Halls by 2019. This will be a further blow to their ability to attract students. It's essential that the University invests in Pantycelyn straight away in order to once again sustain a vibrant Welsh language culture. Too many students have already missed the chance to stay there, so the sooner the work is completed the better. They've already run a strong marketing campaign about the 2019 reopening, which is now misleading.”
“Pantycelyn was the centre of the Welsh language community at the University, and its impact over the years has been transformative. By sustaining a Welsh-speaking community and the cultural events in the building, the halls have attracted students to Aberystwyth. Official figures also show that Pantycelyn encourages students to study through the medium of Welsh, as well as attracting them here in the first place. Its given confidence to Welsh speakers, enabled people from outside Wales to learn the language, sustained a lively Welsh-speaking community and enable more students to interact and study in Welsh.”