FOLLOWING a recommendation to close Pantycelyn indefinitely to make it “fit for purpose”, teaching staff have called upon Aberystwyth University to give a clear commitment to Welsh-medium student accommodation.
Approximately 50 Welsh-speaking staff met to discuss the move, and said the University must now act, also going on to say that the decision to close Pantycelyn had “significant implications” for student recruitment.
Concerns about the future of Welsh-medium teaching and administration jobs, and Abersytwyth University’s standings in the Welsh community, were aired in a statement on Monday.
The statement called on the University to:
- clearly commit itself to “specified Welsh-medium accommodation for its students”
- state “unequivocally” that Pantycelyn would continue as a Welsh-medium hall of residence in the long term
- confirm alternative Welsh-medium accommodation plans if the hall is to close for renovation work
The decision to close Pantycelyn was made in May by the University’s finance committee, after what officials describe as “lenthy, rigorous” discussions. The committee said Pantycelyn would still be used for Welsh-language services.
The committee also suggested that, from September, alternative Welsh-medium accommodation could be made available on the Penglais campus. Following the committee meeting, Aberystwyth University released a statement stating that it “is fully committed to providing designated Welsh-medium accommodation”.
A decision on whether the hall will close will be considered by the University’s council on the 22nd June.